Unless you know someone in the war room on Draft day, it's hard to understand how much time and preparation really goes into evaluating talent for the NFL Draft. Yet the evaluation process, and whether emphasis should be put more on game tape or combine numbers will always remain an inexact science.
Peter King had an interesting note in his Monday Morning Quarterback column this morning noting that 42 of the top 64 players picked in the 2008 draft (just under five years ago) are no longer with the teams that drafted them.
That's 66% of the players drafted in the first 64 picks that are no longer with the teams that they originally signed with, and King points out that number includes 19 of the first 32 players picked and then 23 players out of the next 32 chosen.
Some of the names that might ring a bell that have since changed teams are Jake Long, Glenn Dorsey, Derrick Harvey, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kenny Phillips. and Chad Henne. By our count, four of the top ten picks have either moved on from their original team, or are currently free agent, proving that even the most coveted players coming out of college aren't locks by any means.
Those are some interesting numbers to keep in mind when your NFL team calls a name on draft day in the first few rounds. After all, chances are pretty good that player won't be wearing the same colors in five years.
Just to give you a barometer of how much the landscape of college football has changed in that time, Alabama did not have a single player drafted in 2008, and now players coming out of Nick Saban's program are some of the most coveted players in the country early on in the draft (four players taken in the first round the last two drafts).
King's MMQB article is always worth a look, and is full of quality material even in the off season. Read the full piece here.