Back in Time: Recapping the First Round of the 1998 Draft


The NFL Draft first round is infamous as much for its misses (Ryan Leaf) as for its hits (Peyton Manning). With the 2008 NFL Draft a little more than two months away, I thought it would be fun to review the past ten first rounds.

The purpose of this project is to find out how long, on average, first rounders stay with their original teams and to measure the success of the players drafted.

I will use the infuriatingly complicated formula of 1-5 to judge the players. 1 is a bust, 2 is a poor player, 3 is average, 4 is good, and 5 is a Hall-of-Famer.

As I research future classes I will compare each one to the past first rounds that have been previously mentioned. I didn’t include my entire analysis on this site for space reasons, but you can view it here…

Here is the first class:

Number of players in each “class” with their draft position in parentheses

7 Busts – Ryan Leaf (2), Andre Wadsworth (3), Curtis Enis (5), Jason Peter (14), Robert Edwards (18), John Avery (29), Marcus Nash (30)

5 Poors – Duane Starks (10), Kevin Dyson (16), Terry Fair (20), Mo Collins (23), Victor Riley (27)

7 Averages – Grant Wistrom (6), Kyle Turley (7), Anthony Simmons (15), Brian Simmons (17), Tebucky Jones (22), Shaun Williams (24), R.W. McQuarters (28)

8 Goods – Charles Woodson (4), Greg Ellis (8), Fred Taylor (9), Tra Thomas (11), Keith Brooking (12), Takeo Spikes (13), Vonnie Holliday (19), Donovin Darius (25)

3 Hall-of-Famers – Peyton Manning (1), Randy Moss (21), Alan Faneca (26)

The typical ’98 first rounder spent an average of six years with his original team, eight years in the NFL and has played for 2 teams.

Eleven players stuck with one team their entire career while six of those players have been with the same team through last season.

Seven players were named to 35 Pro Bowls, four were named to 18 All-Pro teams and six players accumulated seven Super Bowl wins.

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One Response to “Back in Time: Recapping the First Round of the 1998 Draft”

  1. Can you believe Ryan Leaf was ranked higher then Peyton Manning.

    I personally rate Leaf as the biggest flop of all time.

    Clint Steiner