It’s been 14 years since a defensive end was taken with the 19th overall pick in the NFL Draft. I’m not sure if there’s any significance tied to that fact (probably not), but if many of the Bears Mock Drafts come to fruition, Chicago will reset that ticker and choose a pass-rushing compliment to Julius Peppers.
Today, I thought I’d offer fans a look at what kind of player the 19th overall pick can get a team, historically. I had intended to go back ten years, but when I noticed the defensive end anomaly, I decided to keep going till I landed on one.
There’s certainly no specific significance about pick No. 19—mid to late round picks are never a sure bet—but I had to start somewhere. Below is a list of every player drafted at No. 19 for the last 14 years:
Let’s take a second to evaluate at least the five most recent . . .
2011: Prince Amukamara | Worth pick No. 19? No
He played just seven games in 2011 due to a broken foot. He did play in the Super Bowl, and he did get a ring. But toward the latter part of the regular season, he struggled and was benched at haltime against the Redskins in a Week-15 loss. Certainly the lack of an offseason in 2011 and missed time due to injury contributed to his struggles, but yet again, he is being held out of offseason workout this month because of that same foot issue. Not looking good so far . . .
2010: Sean Weatherspoon | Worth pick No. 19? Yes
Weatherspoon also had injury problems as a rookie, but he bounced back in 2011 with a solid campaign. He’s a great athlete, not perfect, but has the long-term potential to develop into one of the best linebackers in the League. He was a great addition at No. 19.
2009: Jeremy Maclin | Worth pick No. 19? Yes
What can I say, he’s a solid player. He’s a good contributor and a reliable receiver. He’s by no means one of the top guys in the game at his position (not a No. 1 by any stretch) but he’d start on the Bears roster!
2008: Jeff Otah | Worth pick No. 19? No
Otah has had chronic back issues throughout his career, and he’s never played a full season. The real troubling part about it that is the fact that, when he’s healthy, he looks like an above average tackle. But 29 out of a possible 48 games through three seasons does not a successful draft pick make.
2007: Michael Griffin | Worth pick No. 19? Yes
The guy’s a good player. He hasn’t missed a single game through five seasons and went to the Pro Bowl in 2008. Very nice pick.
. . .
Looking at the list in whole, there are no specific standouts, no real super stars. But Phil Emery doesn’t need to pick a super star (although it would be nice) at 19. He just needs to get a solid, every-down contributor. Players with injury history need not apply. Take them off the board.
And history does show that getting that guy is entirely possible. Even if we jump one more player down the list to Antonio Cromartie, we find another former Pro Bowl and All Pro selection, who was well worth his number.
19 is not a bad pick, Emery just has to execute.
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