Pro Bowl Selections Show Which Teams Draft Best

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Ted Thompson

For the Green Bay Packers to have no players going to the Pro Bowl is a sure sign the team is not producing star players like they used to. Maybe we can learn something from four teams that are doing much better: the Steelers (8 Pro Bowlers), the Eagles and Saints (6 each), and the NFC North champs, the Vikings (4).

The following stats are from 2006 through 2017, starting with the no-Pro-Bowler home team. All five teams, due to their many wins, similarly have had few late overall draft picks over this 12-year period.

Packers – 2 losing seasons, 8 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 5th in 2006, 9th in 2009

Steelers – no losing seasons, 8 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 15th in 2007 and 2014

  • QB Ben Roethlisberger – Rd. 1/2004
  • RB Le‘Veon Bell – Rd. 2/2013
  • WR Antonio Brown – Rd. 6/2010
  • T Alejandro Villanueva – U/2010
  • G David DeCastro – Rd. 1/2012
  • C Maurkice Pouncey – Rd. 1/2010
  • LB Ryan Shazier – Rd. 1/2014

Eagles – 3 losing seasons since 2006, 6 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 2nd in 2016, 4th in 2013

  • QB Carson Wentz – Rd. 1/2016
  • TE Zach Ertz – Rd. 2/2013
  • T Lane Johnson – Rd.1/2013
  • G Brandon Brooks – Rd. 3/2012
  • DL Fletcher Cox – Rd. 1/2012
  • SS Malcolm Jenkins – Rd. 1/2009

Saints – 5 losing seasons since 2006, 6 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks: 11th in 2017, 12th in 2016, 13th in 2015

  • RB Alvin Kamara – Rd. 3/2017
  • RB Mark Ingram – Rd. 1/2011
  • WR Michael Thomas – Rd. 2/2016
  • DE Cameron Jordan – Rd. 1/2011
  • CB Marshon Lattimore – Rd. 1/2017

Vikings – 5 losing teams since 2006, 5 double-digit-win seasons; highest picks 4th in 2012, 7th in 2007

  • WR Adam Thielen – U/2013
  • DE Everson Griffen – Rd. 4/2010
  • OLB Anthony Barr – Rd. 1/2014
  • CB Xavier Rhodes – Rd. 1/2013

Summary

Without a doubt, first-round draft success is essential to having a star-studded roster.

Pittsburgh’s seven PB’ers (I didn’t include their kicker) include four first-rounders, a second rounder, and one of two undrafted players out of these 23. Six of seven were drafted from 2010-14.

Philadelphia in just 2012 and 2013 drafted four PB’ers. Overall they’ve hit on four first-rounders.

Three of New Orleans PB’ers came from round one, two in round two, and one in round three.

Three of Minnesota’s PB’ers were drafted in 2013 or 2014, including undrafted phenom Thielen.

While these four teams were excelling on that first draft day, the Packers last six top picks, all defenders, have to date failed to possess star quality – however, Kenny Clark (2016) is a potential future All-Pro. Justin Harrell (2007), Derek Sherrod (2011), and Datone Jones (2013) produced little or no value whatsoever.

About The Author

Rob is currently twiddling his thumbs on Whidbey Island in Washington. He likes to do research, although he has no shortage of opinions. He saw his first live Packers game in 1958, the only win of the year.

9 Comments on "Pro Bowl Selections Show Which Teams Draft Best"

  1. MM²SUCK

    Our draft day has for the most part mirrored our on field play. Shoddy and head scratching . . . A perfect balance of what the fuck and why is this player here? To point out the obvious is still needed however. This team is a clusterfuck of epic fails regarding picks up until now. Occasionally we have hit upon a few players, everyone does. Lately, however you look at it, most of the players are mediocre to laughable. Even HHCD can be a joke more often than not. No special speed, no playmakers, just serviceable guys for our draft choices (generalizing of course) K. Clarke, Martinez? perhaps they will rise to the top. It seems that in recent years the few that start to separate from the rest are either shown the door, or not given enough opportunities. Regarding the draft room, my big question “moving forward” is how much did B. Gutekunst contribute to this epic fail over the past 7-10 years????? That would be interesting to find out!

    • PF4L

      I have that same thought, these are the senior members of our scout and draft team, surely their fingerprints are on this.

      I can’t say i’m real hyped about the development over the last week. I think we needed some new people and voices. Also, the power structure got turned upside down right on it’s head. Harlan and Wolf restructured it and this franchise flourished. Mark Murphy reverses it and now wants to play God.

      FYI……Mad Mike Daniels is Pro Bowl bound.

  2. Bob

    Going back to why Wolff didn’t make GM. Maybe he wasn’t going to give up the power a true GM should have. The two m@m’s wanted more power. What a mess this is going to be.

  3. PF4L

    I believe, all the moves that happened, happened to keep everybody’s ego satisfied.

    Murphy, more perceived power. McCarthy, the new GM can’t fire him, only Murphy cn fire him, but we ll know, Murphy won’t. As a matter of fact, i wouldn’t be surprised if McCarthy was given another contract extension in short order.

    Russ Ball….McCarthy talked Murphy out of him being named the GM. In turn, Ball gets two new job titles and i’m sure a fat raise. BUT……..retains his original job duties.

    Brian Gutekunst…Promoted to GM, but stripped of power, huge increase in pay.

    So…everyone gonna get paid.

  4. Deepsky

    Let’s look at the drafting since 2009 vs the Steelers.

    Here are the Packer Pro Bowlers: Raji, Matthews, Lang, Shields (undrafted), Cobb, Hayward (not with Packers), Hyde (not with Packers), Lacy, Bakhitiari and Clinton Dix. That’s 10 Pro Bowlers by my count.

    For the Steelers, they got Mike Wallace, Maurice Pouncey, Emmanual Sanders, Antonio Brown, Alejandro Villenuava, David DeCastro, Le’Veon Bell and Ryan Shazier. That 8 Pro Bowl Players.

    • KILLER

      Interesting view DEEPSKY. You make a decent point. Not maybe totally completely the actual drafting that is messed up. I’ll add to it.

      Three, maybe four of those Packer pro bowlers never should have been there. I don’t know if it is because of the extra fan voting or riding the coattails of a team with lots of victories but these guys were pro bowlers in name only, not performance:
      Raji
      Cobb
      Lacy
      Clinton-Dix (especially)

      That’s 40%. You don’t see anyone like them over on the Steelers’ side of the equation.

      In that group we see Raji retiring in the middle of his career. Medical? How he was treated by management or coaches? Toxic environment?

      We see Matthews, a product of PED usage.

      We see Lacy who had and has a weight problem. Selecting him perhaps was unwise and near-sighted.

      We see Hayward and Hyde who were not fully developed to their potential in GB. What we see with them is coaching failure rather than draft failure, especially where they were selected. But we also see GM failure to retain them or to retain Lang. Lacy I would put as a draft failure with his issues and not failure to retain by the GM given that he would not have provided much value this year.

      Shields was lost only due to injury and was resigned before then. That was a talent find + GM win. Bahktiari was both a draft win and a GM retention win. Same thing Mike Daniels who I know you do not have listed above.

      But, it is the old saying: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut or two. Finding or retaining talent does not prove success. It is doing it again and again repeatedly and consistently over the course of time.

      As well, not all pro bowlers are created equal. I already addressed the 4 who never should have gone. Subtract them. Shields I think was a single year. You cannot put him as counting equal to a DeCastro or Pouncey for instance. Either one of them is worth 5 Shields’s.

      And, of course, the superstar effect. The Packers in those drafts have zero. Meanwhile the Steelers have Brown and Bell two of the best ten players in the entire league. One of them is worth all those Packers times 5.

      For the Packers to be — without the aging endorsement distracted beard-employing fan-deceiving smug prick QB — to be very much equivalent to the Browns (proof being the OT win over the winless Browns) it takes failure across the board. The drafting, despite the occasional gem, has been a fail. Same thing free agency, coaching, and player retention. Fail, fail, fail.

      You guys needed change, lots of them. However, I don’t think there has actually been enough change and I don’t think the changes made were the right ones. Just a guess so far not a prophecy.

  5. PF4L

    Deep, how many of our Pro Bowlers are 1 year and done Pro Bowlers. Plus how many got voted in, vs coming in as an alternate?

    Maybe the lonely boy mentioned what i did in his diatribe of a novel, but i highly doubt it.

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