The 2006 NFL Draft holds a special place in St. Louis Rams history. A complete failure, the effects of the team whiffing on almost every pick is still being felt today on a roster bereft of depth and talent. ESPN's NFL draft cash cow, Mel Kiper, rolled out a redraft for the first round in 2006 on Wednesday.
How did he manage to replace the Rams' excellent decision to take Clemson cornerback Tye Hill? Let's find out after the jump.
St. Louis swung a deal with the Denver Broncos that year. It was the last time the Rams made a swap in the first round of the draft. Denver traded up for the Rams' 11th pick to draft Jay Cutler. The Rams got Denver's 15th pick and 68th pick in, the fourth pick in the third round, which they used for DT Claude Wroten. Smart drafting all around!
In Kiper's re-imagined draft, the Rams select Hoftra wide receiver Marques Colston, who was actually picked in the seventh round at #252, just four picks away from being Mr. Irrelevant.
What's the most impressive number -- the 449 catches, 48 TD catches, or 6,240 receiving yards? Actually, it's none of those. It's No. 252, where Colston was drafted just moments before Mr. Irrelevant. (Hofstra doesn't even field a football team anymore.) The one Super Bowl ring isn't shabby, either.
In six seasons, Colston has topped the 1,000-yard mark five times.
Some of the other picks I would consider:
- Johnathan Joseph, CB - Looking back at this draft, Joseph looks like the best corner of the bunch. Ask Houston what he did for their defense this season. Paired with Ron Bartell, drafted the year before, the two could have formed a very formidable duo.
- Nick Mangold, C - Picked late in the first round that year, he's become the league's best center.
- Davin Joseph, G - Another top tier interior lineman would have been a huge plus for the Rams over the last four seasons where they've struggled at that position, settling for expensive and mediocre Jacob Bell and the expensive and woeful Jason Brown. They drafted Mark Setterstrom in the seventh round. He was a good lineman, but injuries torpedoed his career.
- Marcedes Lewis, TE - The Rams picked Joe Klopfenstein in the second round, leaving the lacking at the tight end spot until last year when they picked Lance Kendricks ... and they still might be lacking at the position.
- Owen Daniels, TE - He was picked in the fourth round. You see what's happening here.
Over the years - the 2006 season was the first year we started TST - I've heard several say that the Rams should have selected Cutler. In hindsight, that's pretty obvious, but at the time Marc Bulger looked like he could have been a decent quarterback.
The Rams' 2007 draft needs a re-do too.