Preferring to be an optimist, I couldn't leave well enough alone. Going against my own stated theory that you need 3 years to evaluate a draft, here is my assessment of the 2005 draft class:
OVERALL: Funny how much talk there is of potential "break-out" years among this group. When you have 6 of 8 draft choices contributing after 3 years, you gotta call this draft VERY good. It remains to be seen if we're talking PRO-BOWL great or just good. A year under Phillips will likely answer this question. Look for Ware, Barber and Canty to have break-out years and move this draft into the category of GREAT.
1-11 Demarcus Ware OLB Troy -- Just as with JJs comparison to Jackson, Ware will always be linked with SDs Shawne Merriman. Ware has been a productive and valuable part of the defense, but if Merriman continues to put up hall-of-fame numbers, this will cloud the decision to take Ware. You cannot call it a great decision, only a GOOD PICK.
1-20 Marcus Spears DE LSU -- Indecision about the value of the other Round-1 pick will hopefully be clarified this year. He's been a solid starter, and now's the time for a break-out year. GOOD PICK.
2-42 Kevin Burnett OLB Tennessee -- Again, indecision as to his long-term value, but you got to like a guy that feels like he deserves more time. Burnett's shown flashes of brilliance. GOOD PICK.
4-109 Marion Barber HB Minnesota -- Still potentially our franchise runner, here's hoping MB3 gets a shot at starting. As much as I have been pulling for JJ, Barber has put up the numbers. GREAT PICK.
4-132 Chris Canty DE Virginia -- As an ACC fan, I have followed Canty since his college days. This pick has proven to be one of the steals of the draft. GREAT PICK.
6-208 Justin Beriault S Ball St. -- This was one of the feel-good stories from the '05 draft, but his knees simply wouldn't cooperate. Based on the numbers alone, gotta call this one a BUST.
6-209 Rob Petitti OT Pittsburgh -- Started his rookie year, but was consistantly helping his QB off the carpet. Released within the year. Only time will tell if we gave up too early. BUST.
7-224 Jay Ratliff DE Auburn -- Sees playing time mostly in 3rd down situations. A solid contributer. GOOD PICK.