The NFL Draft is an inexact science. It’s also kind of like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. The one thing we can all agree on is the fact the NFL Draft is a great way to build your team to success. It may take a while, but years of solid drafting will eventually show — The Detroit Lions behind draft picks Ndamokung Suh, Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, and Louis Delmas are a good example this year.
Every now and then, there are players that are franchise-changers. Bears WR/KR Devin Hester is one of those. Not only is Hester a game-changing and electrifying player, he is also THE most prolific returner in NFL History. Additionally, he’s only 28 and still adding on to the legend. Recently, Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo spoke about how the Bears were able to draft Devin Hester:
“Devin was pretty prolific in college as a returner,” Angelo said. “He came out early, and he really didn’t have a defined position. If he did, he probably would have been a first-round pick. … The Titans, who were picking ahead of us (at No. 45 overall), had him on the phone and were making flight arrangements, and then they changed their mind literally at the last minute.”
“Aaahhhh! Noooo!” should be the reaction of every Tennessee Titans fan that reads this…
So, the Titans don’t draft Hester. Who do they use the 45th pick in the 2006 Draft on?
LenDale White, RB from Southern California…
While LenDale was a serviceable player for the Titans, he became expendable with the emergence of Chris Johnson a few years later. Looking back at that 2006 NFL Draft, the Titans drafted Vince Young third overall and he’s no longer with the team. Also, the 2nd round pick that they used to select LenDale could have gotten them Devin Hester or Greg Jennings (taken 52nd overall by Green Bay).
Imagine a Titans team with Devin Hester returning kicks? What happens if the Titans don’t change their minds and go ahead and get Devin Hester on a flight to Nashville. We’ll never know. Luckily for the Titans, they’re not doing too bad at the KR position currently as they drafted Marc Mariani from Montana in the 7th round last year. Mariani was a pleasant surprise for the Titans as he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
I guess that helps ease the pain.