The 5th spot in the draft since 2003

When you hold the first overall draft pick, you select your franchise QB or just go 'Best player available', which means as much as 'Best printer affordable' for Jerry Jones, because every player is available. At the second overall spot, you could still get either the best offensive or the best defensive player on your bord. So what's the deal with #5 overall? Blue chip heaven or rather trade bait?

While we all remember the 'boom' and 'bust' players, who were selected first, I wanted to look up the #5 draftees, in relation to those, who went earlier and later. It's not a excercise in second guessing, but an overview that may provide a better feel for the upcoming draft and the question: nail it or spread it?

No way I'm in the position to really judge those players and some names I read the first time, so it's basically the overview, some snippets based on web research and some thoughts about hits, 'steals' and not so impressive outcomes.

The #5 selections 2003-2013

2003 CB Terence Newman (DAL) Pro Bowl '07,'09. Still in league (CIN). 36 ints, 134 Pdef, 669 comb tackles
2004 FS Sean Taylor (WAS) Successful starter, Pro Bowler. Died in 2007 after being shot by a burglar.
2005 RB Cadillac Williams (TB) AP Offensive Rookie of the year. 4.038 career rushing yds, 3.8 avg. Severe knee injuries (third and fourth year), starter in '09 (823 yds, 3.9 avg). Backup role in '10 and with Rams ('11).
2006 OLB A.J. Hawk (GB) 3rd place in AP DroY. First or second in tackles for GB in 6 of 7 seasons. Starter, hardly ever missing a game, re-signed in '11 to a 5yr/33.75million contract. Restructured and had a paid-cut since.
2007 OT Levi Brown (ARI) Starter at LT, but traded to PIT for a conditional late round pick in Oct '13. Injured and IR'd before first gm.
2008 DT Glenn Dorsey (KC) Tagged decent, not special. Not in the plans of the new regime, signed with 49ers. Took over NT spot after starter's injury (and after playing in a 4-3 in KC).
2009 QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) Trade up: Players Coleman, Ratliff, Elam, #17 and #52 for #5. Playoff runs in his first two seasons. Career Rating of 71.7 in regular season, stepped up in postseasons '09 and '10 with 92.7 and 97.3 (3 gms twice). Last season backup to rookie Smith.
2010 S Eric Berry (KC) Pro Bowl '10, '12 and '13 ('11 early on IR)
2011 CB Patrick Peterson (ARI) Pro Bowl '11 (as a return man),'12,'13. Impact in all three phases of the game.
2012 WR Justin Blackmon (JAX) Trade up: #7, #101 for #15. 64 for 865 in first season (most yds among rookies), 5 TDs. 2013 injury before the season and four-game, later indefinite suspension for substance abuse.
2013 DE Ezekiel Ansah (DET) Led rookies with 8 sacks. 581 snaps, Profootballfocus: -0.7

Last year McKenzie traded down from the 3rd spot and got an additional, higher 2nd round pick. Miami wanted Dion Jordan, so it apparently doesn't need a still available QB to make a similar or better deal happen (for a QB targeting trade, see 2009). In the second round a lot of potential starters are up for grabs, so if you turn down a trade offer, the selected player has to outplay the combination of a later first round player and a second round player, sort of. He better is a difference maker (or the quality of the draft class drops so early, you don't want to pick at any later point).

Who fits the bill among those?

I'd say Eric Berry and Patrick Peterson. They seperate themselves, while the resume of the other is rather ordinary. The next tier would be that of (at least) solid contributers like Newman and Hawk. Fans may argue, that they did expect more due to the high draft position, but they are less comfortable in the cases of Brown, Dorsey, Sanchez. Cadillac Williams started high and couldn't get back on track after his injuries, Blackmon had some stats, but was perceived as rather unpolished - and when they expected him to develop, he vanished into suspension. Ansah was an 'upside' guy and developmental project. The 'physical specimen' drafted high are always good for disappointment, but he's ok at this early stage. (I don't include Taylor, who played very well, because evaluating other people is weird anyway, all the more when you stumble upon a life's course beyond stats.)

Earlier and later picks

Here the drafts 2003-2013, cut down to the top 5 and some noteworthy selections. For the latter part, I didn't focus on players with a Raiders history, but they qualified anyway...

Top 5 1 QB Carson Palmer (CIN)

2 WR Charles Rogers (DET) 3 yr/15gms career, 440yds, 12.2avg, 4 TD, injuries, off-field issues

3 WR Andre Johnson (HOU)

4 DT Dewayne Robertson (NYJ) Trade up: #13, #22, #116 for #4. 6yrs, started almost every gm, 16 sacks, avg. 46.33 comb tackles/season

5 CB Terence Newman (DAL)

Good ones 10 OLB Terrell Suggs (BAL)

16 DB Troy Polamalu (PIT) Trade up: #27,#92,#200 for #16

31 CB Nnamdi Asomugha (OAK)

Also ran 6 DT Johnathan Sullivan (NO) Trade up: #17,#18,#54 for #6,#37,#102. 3+yr career 36gm, 77comb, 1.5 sacks. Traded to NE for WR Bethel Johnson, released a few months later.

7 QB Byron Leftwich (JAX)

19 QB Kyle Boller (BAL) Trade up: #41,2004 first rd for #19

Top 5 1 QB Eli Manning (SD)

2 OT Robert Gallery (OAK)

3 WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)

4 QB Philip Rivers (NYG)

5 FS Sean Taylor (WAS)

Good ones 11 QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

12 MLB Jonathan Vilma (NYJ)

21 NT Vince Wilfork (NE) Received #21 pick from BAL (see Boller 2003)

Also ran 22 QB J.P. Losman (BUF) Trade up: #43, #144 and 2005 first rounder for #22

Top 5 1 QB Alex Smith (SF)

2 RB Ronnie Brown (MIA)

3 WR Braylon Edwards (CLE)

4 RB Cedric Benson (CHI)

5 RB Cadillac Williams (TB)

Good ones 9 CB Carlos Rogers (WAS)

11 OLB DeMarcus Ware (DAL)

24 QB Aaron Rodgers (GB)

Also ran 10 WR Mike Williams (DET) The USC, OAK Mike Williams

19 OT Alex Barron (STL)

23 CB Fabian Washington (OAK) Trade up: #26 and #105 for #23

Top 5 1 DE Mario Williams (HOU)

2 RB Reggie Bush (NO)

3 QB Vince Young (TEN)

4 OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (NYJ)

5 OLB A.J. Hawk (GB)

Good ones 11 QB Jay Cutler (DEN) Trade up: #15 and #68 for #11

12 DT Haloti Ngata (BAL) Trade up: #181 and #13 for #12

20 DE Tamba Hali (KC)

Also ran 7 S Michael Huff (OAK)

10 QB Matt Leinart (ARI)

13 OLB Kamerion Wimbley (CLE) Trade down: received #181 for #12


Top 5 1 QB JaMarcus Russell (OAK)

2 WR Calvin Johnson (DET)

3 OT Joe Thomas (CLE)

4 DE Gaines Adams (TB)

5 OT Levi Brown (ARI)

Good ones 7 RB Adrian Peterson (MIN)

11 LB Patrick Willis (SF)

12 RB Marshawn Lynch (BUF)

14 CB Darrelle Revis (NYJ)

28 OT Joe Staley (SF) Trade up: #110 and 2008 first rounder for #28

Also ran 8 DE Jamaal Anderson (ATL) Trade up: Matt Schaub, #10 for #8, #39 and 2008 second rounder. Recently: OAK Future contract

9 WR Ted Ginn Jr. (MIA)

17 DE Jarvis Moss (DEN)

Top 5 1 OT Jake Long (MIA)

2 DE Chris Long (STL)

3 QB Matt Ryan (ATL)

4 RB Darren McFadden (OAK)

5 DT Glenn Dorsey (KC)

Good ones 10 LB Jerod Mayo (NE) Trade down (see Ellis). DROY

15 OT Branden Albert (KC) Trade up: #17, #66, #136 for #15 and #76

18 QB Joe Flacco (QB) Trade up: #26, #89,#173 for #18

Also ran 6 LB Vernon Gholston (NYJ)

7 DT Sedrick Ellis (NO) Trade up: #10 and #78 for #7 and #164. Retired in 2013.

8 DE Derrick Harvey (JAX)

Top 5 1 QB Matthew Stafford (DET)

2 OT Jason Smith (STL)

3 DE Tyson Jackson (KC)

4 LB Aaron Curry (SEA) out of league

5 QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) Trade up: Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff, Abram Elam, #17,#52 for #5.

Good ones 9 NT B.J. Raji (GB)

10 WR Michael Crabtree (SF)

13 DE Brian Orakpo (WAS)

21 C Alex Mack (CLE) Trade down: #19 for #21 and #195

26 LB Clay Matthews (GB) Trade up: #41,#73, #83 for #26,#162

Also ran 7 WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (OAK)

11 DE Aaron Maybin (BUF) out of league

20 TE Brandon Pettigrew (DET)


Top 5 1 QB Sam Bradford (STL)

2 DT Ndamukong Suh (DT)

3 DT Gerald McCoy (TB)

4 OT Trent Williams (WAS)

5 S Eric Berry (KC)

Good ones 7 CB Joe Haden (CLE)

14 S Earl Thomas (SEA) Received #14 pick from DEN for 2009 #37

15 DE Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG)

22 WR Demaryius Thomas (DEN) Traded down from #13, later up: #24,#113 for #22

24 WR Dez Bryant (DAL) Trade up: #27 and #90 for #24 and #119

Also ran 8 LB Rolando McClain (OAK)

10 DT Tyson Alualu (JAX)

Top 5 1 QB Cam Newton (CAR)

2 LB Von Miller (DEN)

3 DT Marcel Dareus (BUF)

4 WR A.J. Green (CIN)

5 CB Patrick Peterson (ARI)

Good ones 6 WR Julio Jones (ATL) Trade up: #26,#59,#124, 2012 first rounder, fourth rounder for #6

7 LB Aldon Smith (SF)

11 DE J.J. Watt (HOU)

14 DE Robert Quinn (STL)

Also ran 10 QB Blaine Gabbert (JAX) Trade up: #16 and #49 for #10

12 QB Christian Ponder (MIN)

26 WR Jonathan Baldwin (KC) Trade down: #21 for #26,#70

Top 5 1 QB Andrew Luck (IND)

2 QB Robert Griffin III (WAS) Trade up: #6,#39, 2013 first rounder, 2014 first rounder

3 RB Trent Richardson (CLE) Trade up: #4,#118,#139,#211 for #3

4 OT Matt Kalil (MIN) Trade down: see Richardson

5 WR Justin Blackmon (JAX) Trade up: #7,#101 for #5

Good ones 9 LB Luke Kuechly (CAR)

21 DE Chandler Jones (NE) Trade up: #27 and #93 for #21

Also ran 18 LB Melvin Ingram (SD)

22 QB Brandon Weeden (CLE) Received #22 from ATL (see 2011, Julio Jones)

30 WR A.J. Jenkins (SF)

Top 5 1 OT Eric Fisher (KC)

2 OT Luke Joeckel (JAX)

3 DE Dion Jordan (MIA) Trade up: #12 and #42 for #3

4 OT Lane Johnson (OT)

5 DE Ziggy Ansah (DET)

Good ones 11 OT D.J. Fluker (SD)

13 DT Sheldon Richardson (NYJ) Received #13 from NYJ (Revis trade)

14 DT Star Lotulelei (CAR)

15 S Kenny Vaccaro (NO)

20 OG Kyle Long (CHI)

19 OT Justin Pugh (NYG)

Again, I'm fully aware that in hintsight everything is easy. But once the Top 4 teams spoil your top targets, the pastures might be greener on the other side of the fifth overall spot, just because of the compensation and the rather even level of talent and odds.

(Sources: Awards etc from wikipedia and other sites, regular season stats from, trade informations from

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