Bountygate: Losing The 59th Overall Pick
With the Saints being stripped of their 59th overall selection in the draft as a result of the team’s bounty program, here is a quick look at the players selected at that spot:
– Of the 42 players selected in the 59th spot since the merger, 9 were active last year.
– The other 33 players averaged 71 games played over 6 years, with the average player starting about 2.6 seasons.
– 14 of the 42 players were never full time starters (8+ games started in a single year), 28 of the 42 started 3 or fewer seasons.
– Only 4 made the Pro Bowl: Ryan Kalil (twice), Marcus Washington (once), Aeneas Williams (8 times), Jeff Hostetler (once)
– In the last 20 years, only 4 players were truly useless (Jackson, Tuiasosopo, Shields, Watkins)
– Since 1992, 59th overall picks have started more than half of the years that they’ve been active.
While drafting is a crapshoot, and every pick carries a lot of risk, guys who go in the 50-65 range tend to be useful players – though 2nd round picks are often overrated by fans and draft experts alike. Few of the guys selected at or near the 59th spot turn into indispensable players, but in the salary cap era, a serviceable starter or high quality backup/role player is a valuable commodity when you factor in the cheap rookie contracts they get. Needless to say, losing two such picks is a big blow for the Saints, if only because they will most likely have to shell out more money for similarly skilled players in free agency.