Kyle Rodriguez reviews the 2001 draft in a continued study of the Polian-era drafting.
This is the sixth part in a season-long series assessing the effectiveness of the last 13 years of drafting. For details on how the drafts are judged see the first post in the series (1998 draft).
1998 Draft (A-)
1999 Draft (A)
2000 Draft (B+)
As the drafts move along, we've seen the Colts doing very well. Eventually, they need to regress to a mean, right?
#30 WR Reggie Wayne
Career AV (Season Average): 12.5
Average #30 AV: 6.45
Median #30 AV: 7.27
Reggie Wayne has been one of the highest producers in the last decade, and was the most consistent producer at the #30 pick, the second being Joseph Addai. Not only has he been extremely productive in his career, but all of his production has come with the Colts (unlike a player like Edgerrin James). Yes, he has benefited from playing with Peyton Manning, but he fits into the Colts' system perfectly, and has paid off tremendously.
The Colts needed another weapon opposite of Marvin Harrison, and they definitely got that with Reggie Wayne. However, the Colts had bigger needs on the defensive side of the ball, especially the secondary and defensive tackle.
Pre-Draft Ranking: (A)
Wayne was ranked as the fourth or fifth best receiver in the draft, but was the sixth taken. Wayne's career was far more productive than any of the receivers picked ahead of him, and the Colts got a steal with this pick.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 52.5
Wayne Career AV: 107
The only player that would have been worth picking for the Colts between this pick and their next was Kyle Vanden Bosch, a DE that would have helped shore up the Colts' defensive line problems.
Overall: (A-) Wayne has been the most consistent target for Peyton Manning for the last ten years, and the only knock on the pick is that it wasn't the most pressing need.
#37 FS Idrees Bashir
Career AV: 3.33
Average #37 AV: 4.55
Median #37 AV: 4.75
Bashir was a below average safety with the Colts, but they did get four years of starting from him. For what it's worth, Bashir's AV was 4.25 while he was in Indianapolis. But, overall, he wasn't a successful pick, and the Colts had to draft a safety in the second round twice in the next three years.
Secondary was the biggest need on the Colts, with safety being a huge hole on the defensive side of the ball. Chad Cota and Jason Belser were the safeties for the Colts in 2000 (7th and 8th round picks) and Bashir was a step in the right direction for the Colts.
Pre-Draft Ranking: (C)
Bashir was ranked anywhere from 3rd-7th in terms of safeties, and was the third one taken. It seems the Colts reached on him, especially considering that Adrian Wilson was ranked ahead of him by most experts, but wasn't taken until the third round.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 39.6
Bashir Career AV: 18
Now, this pick would be below average anyway, but the fact that the Colts traded up for this pick makes it worse. The Colts traded their second round pick (#52 overall) and third round pick (#81 overall) to move up to #37, and picked Bashir with it. With players like Kris Jenkins, Aaron Schobel, and Matt Light still available (not to mention Wilson), Bashir was a big miss.
Overall: (C+) The Colts tried to pick to fill a need, but Bashir never turned out to really be the answer. But the fact that the Colts gave up their third rounder for him as well really doesn't sit well with me.
#81 S Corey Bird
Career AV: 1.5
Average #91 AV: 3.24
Median #91 AV: 2.5
Bird played in 45 games as a Colt largely as a reserve safety and special teams player. He started eight games in that period, and amassed half a sack, a forced fumble, and one pass defended.
Need: (A-) As stated above, the safeties on the 2000 Colts' team were terrible, but the Colts had already addressed this need with their second round pick.
Pre-Draft Ranking: (C) Bird was ranked anywhere from 7th to 15th as a safety, but was the sixth taken. Perhaps the fact that this was an extra pick (gained from trading down in the first round) gave the Colts some confidence to gamble a little bit here.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 21.1
Bird Career AV: 6
Only miss I see here is on CB Anthony Henry, who was a good CB for Dallas and Cleveland.
Overall: (C+) Again, the Colts tried to fill a need here, but they gambled and lost.
#118 G/T Ryan Diem
Career AV: 8.6
Average #118 AV: 1.54
Median #118 AV: 1
Although Diem looked like a turnstile in 2010, he'd been a stud right tackle from 2002-2009. For a late fourth round pick, Diem was an absolute home run in terms of production.
Need: (B+) Offensive line depth was still a need in 2001, but I still firmly believe that the defense had much bigger holes to fill, leading to the downgrade.
Pre-Draft Rankings: (A) Diem was ranked as high as sixth as a tackle coming into the draft, seen as a 3rd round pick. As he dropped to the late fourth round, the Colts got a steal. As Diem had the second highest AV for a tackle (only to Matt Light), I'd say the Colts killed it for the 118th pick.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 14.4
Diem Career AV: 73
Nothing here. Corell Buckhalter was the best player after Diem.
Overall: (A) Diem was a great pick in the fourth round, turning into a consistent starter for ten years. For a fourth round pick, there's nothing better.
#152 CB Raymond Walls
Career AV: 0.8
Average #152 AV: 1.33
Median #152 AV: .8
While Walls only lasted a year in Indy (and never became more than a below average depth guy), it wasn't much different than most late fifth rounders.
As stated above, the defensive backfield was a huge position of need. But the Colts already spent two draft picks on it, and defensive tackle may have been a better way to go.
Pre-Draft Rankings: (B-)
Walls was ranked anywhere from 14th to 21st in terms of cornerbacks. He was projected to go somewhere in the sixth round, but got taken late in the fifth, the 17th cornerback to go. He may have been a slight reach, but overall this was about right where he should have been.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 2.8
Walls' Career AV: 4
Nothing. There was very little talent on the back-end of this draft.
Overall: (B-) Walls didn't work out, but Colts weren't in err to try here. Unfortunately, there was not a large talent pool this late in the draft.
#193 S Jason Doering
Career AV: 1.5
Average #193 AV: 0.88
Median #193 AV: .775
Better than the average pick, but Doering only stayed in the league for four years as a reserve safety.
Yeah, the defensive backfield was bad, but isn't this getting to be a bit overkill?
Pre-Draft Ranking: (B) Seen as a 6-7 round pick, late in the sixth was the perfect place.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 9.8
Doering Career AV: 6
This was another pick from the first round trade down, and the Colts used it on a need. Unfortunately, Renaldo Hill (starting CB/S) and WR T.J. Houshmanzadeh were both picked up soon after, and had much better careers.
Overall: (B) The Colts got above average production from a sixth round pick. Only three of the other 13 picks have had higher average AV's than Doering. You can't ask for much more.
#220 OG Rick DeMulling
Career AV: 4
Average #220 AV: 1.05
Median #220 AV: 1
DeMulling was the starting left guard for three years with the Colts, much better than you'd expect for a pick as low as 220.
Again, the depth on the offensive line was a need, but I still believe that defense was the bigger issue, and offensive line has already been addressed in this draft.
Pre-Draft Ranking: (A)
DeMulling was the last guard chosen in the 2001 draft, but wasn't predicted to be that low. Some saw him as a 5th/6th round pick, but he slid all the way to the bottom of the seventh. Looks like it was worth it for the Colts.
Average Career AV for next 10 picks: 4.2
Doering Career AV: 26
Missed Marlon McCree at 233, but they had already drafted four DBs. McCree was really the only talent left though.
Overall: (A-) DeMulling only lasted for four years in Indianapolis, but was a great pick for a late seventh rounder.
2001 Draft Overall
Sum of Colts' AV Averages: 32.23
Sum of Average AV's: 19.05 (Median: 18.07)
Sum of Colts' CarAV: 240
Sum of next 10 picks' CarAV: 104.8
Hit %: 3/7- 42.9%
The Colts got great results from this draft, scoring more than thirteen points higher than average for their AV season averages. Wayne and Diem got the Colts to the league average all by themselves, while DeMulling and Bashir also turned out to be contributors. This draft is an A+ for me. Another solid draft all around for the Polians.
Kyle, Looking at this draft and your comments, I wonder if THIS is where Manning's presence may have hurt the team overall. Not in a dollars sense, as a lot of Pats fans wrongly laud Brady for taking less and excoriate Manning for squeezing too much money from Indy, but in the sense that the team had needs elsewhere but tied their fortunes to the GOAT, and felt that they had to keep feeding the beast. Hard to blame Manning for this but the Polians may have been giving their favorite son too many toys at Christmas and leaving their other kids' stockings empty. (The Clark and Gonzo picks struck me this way too--love the players, but wonder about the global approach to improving the team.) Picking more D instead of some of these O guys may have reduced O production for the next few years, but might also have produced a more balanced team, where the D (like in the 2006 playoffs) could support and even lead when O production faltered.... Awesome, awesome, awesome series. Thanks.