This guy was picked 19th in 1996. Do you know who went 20th?
For about twenty minutes after the coin flip, we held our heads slightly higher. It was our winning coin flip in the 2008 draft that brought us Matt Ryan and Curtis Lofton, after all. But how much difference is there really between the 19th and 20th picks?
I don't think any of us assume picking 19th instead of 20th equals punching a ticket to the Super Bowl, but I was curious to see what kind of players went in these spots for the past decade.
* We don't hate the Houston Texans.
We'll break down the last ten first-round 19th/20th duos by games played and started for drafting teams, '09 Football Outsiders DVOA, Pro Football Reference approximate career value, Pro Football Focus '09 rating (asterisk means '08 due to '09 injury), and -- just for gigsies -- Madden 10 rating. Last box to the right shows current team; if blank, they're still with the one what brung 'em. Follow me:
|Jeff Otah||T||Charlotte *||25/25||-||6||-5||86|
* Suggested new Falcoholic rule: They're either the Charlotte Panthers, South Mint Street Panthers, or the North Carolina Panthers. There's no such place as Carolina. You don't see us calling ourselves the South Of Appalachia Falcons or the Georgiabama Falcons.
** Suggested new Falcoholic rule: They're the Tampa Bucs. They don't play in an estuary, though that would explain their past 30 years of offensive production!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|Aaron Ross||CB||New York Giants||33/24||-||12||-10.9 *||81|
|Antonio Cromartie||CB||San Diego||63/23||-||21||-2.7||84||NYJ|
|Tamba Hali||DE/OLB||Kansas City||63/47||-||22||7.4||65|
|Alex Barron||T||St. Louis||63/58||-||23||-23.7||77|
|George Foster||T||Denver||49/45||-||26||-30.5 *||66||DET|
|Ashley Lelie||WR||Denver||64/40||-38%||32||-6.7 *||-||OAK|
|Javon Walker||WR||Green Bay||48/18||-11%||25||- 3.9 *||71||OAK|
|Adam Archuleta||SS||St. Louis||72/69||-||29||-||-||None|
Total games/games started:
19th picks: 528/480
20th picks: 494/378
About 10 career starts more each for 19th picks.
Total PFR approximate career value:
19th picks: 274
20th picks: 178
So yep it's a small sample size and there's not a gigantic difference between 19s and 20s, but we weren't really expecting to uncover any trends here. Without five-time Pro Bowler Casey Hampton or 2005 MVP Shaun Alexander in the mix, the talent gap would be a whole lot closer. According to realgm.com, the difference in salary comes down to about $100k/year -- also negligible.
But the whole point is...
I SAY ALL THAT TO SAY THIS: Who do you think we'll have the option of picking at 19 that we might have missed if we were picking at 20? In other words, who are the Texans worried we'll get first crack at?