There were a lot of misses in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft.
It wasn’t loaded with elite talent, but it was one of the deeper classes in recent memory. It also seemed to be plagued with injuries. Top players such as pass rusher Brian Orakpo, wide receiver Percy Harvin and cornerback Lardarius Webb haven’t lived up to their full potential because of various ailments.
Leading up to May, NESN.com will reset every NFL draft from 2006 to 2013. This time, it’s the 2009 draft. The Lions still would have taken Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall if they could do it all over again, but check out how the rest of the chips would have fallen.
1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Georgia (drafted No. 1 overall)
Actual pick: Stafford
Stafford hasn’t reached “elite” quarterback status yet, but he helped turn around the Lions, so he still deserves to go No. 1 overall.
2. St. Louis Rams: Clay Matthews, linebacker, USC (No. 26)
Actual pick: Jason Smith, offensive tackle, Baylor
Matthews might be the best player in the entire draft. He dealt with injuries in 2013 but still racked up 7.5 sacks in 11 games.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Brian Orakpo, linebacker, Texas (No. 13)
Actual pick: Tyson Jackson, defensive end, LSU
Orakpo also has dealt with injuries, but he had a nice bounce-back season in 2013 with 10 sacks.
4. Seattle Seahawks: LeSean McCoy, running back, Pittsburgh (No. 53)
Actual pick: Aaron Curry, linebacker, Wake Forest
It’s safe to say Curry was a mistake at No. 4 overall. McCoy is a rare back who can catch the ball out of the backfield and be used on first and second down as a bellcow. He has shown impressive durability despite less-than-ideal size.
5. Cleveland Browns: Arian Foster, running back, Tennessee (undrafted)
Actual pick: Traded selection to New York Jets, who took USC quarterback Mark Sanchez
If the Browns drafted Foster, they never would have used a top pick on Trent Richardson. It’s amazing that Foster went undrafted.
6. Cincinnati Bengals: Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle, Virginia (No. 8)
Actual pick: Andre Smith, offensive tackle, Alabama
Monroe is the best tackle to come out of this draft class. Smith was a disappointment.
7. Oakland Raiders: Percy Harvin, wide receiver, Florida (No. 22)
Actual pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver, Maryland
The Raiders definitely wish they could have this pick back. Harvin has been inconsistent in his five-year career, but he has been great when he’s on the field.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jairus Byrd, safety, Oregon (No. 42)
Actual pick: Monroe
The massive contract Byrd just signed with the New Orleans Saints was based on his impressive play on the field. Byrd has been one of the best safeties in the NFL since being taken in the second round by the Buffalo Bills.
9. Green Bay Packers: Henry Melton, defensive tackle, Texas (No. 105)
Actual pick: B.J. Raji, defensive tackle, Boston College
It was unfortunate to see Melton tear his ACL in 2013. He was emerging as one of the best three-technique defensive tackles in the NFL.
10. San Francisco 49ers: Vontae Davis, cornerback, Illinois (No. 25)
Actual pick: Michael Crabtree, wide receiver, Texas Tech
Davis probably didn’t deserve a four-year, $39 million contract, but he does show flashes of being a top-tier cornerback.
11. Buffalo Bills: Michael Johnson, defensive end, Georgia Tech (No. 70)
Actual pick: Aaron Maybin, defensive end, Penn State
Maybin was a massive mistake at No. 11 overall. Johnson has been a much better player, and he was a third-round pick.
12. Denver Broncos: Mike Wallace, wide receiver, Ole Miss (No. 84)
Actual pick: Knowshon Moreno, running back, Georgia
Wallace had a disappointing 2013 season, but there was a reason he earned a huge contract from the Dolphins last offseason.
13. Washington Redskins: Michael Bennett, defensive end, Texas A&M (undrafted)
Actual pick: Orakpo
It’s amazing that Bennett went undrafted after the career that he has had. Any disappointment he might have experienced on draft day can be forgotten now that’s he’s earned a big contract with the Seahawks.
14. New Orleans Saints: Terrance Knighton, defensive tackle, Temple (No. 72)
Actual pick: Malcolm Jenkins, cornerback, Ohio State
Knighton had an incredible breakout season in 2013 with the Broncos. He’s being placed at No. 14 overall for that season, not the four before it.
15. Houston Texans: Lardarius Webb, cornerback, Nicholls State (No. 88)
Actual pick: Brian Cushing, linebacker, USC
Webb has dealt with injuries, but if he can stay healthy, he’ll be a top cornerback in the league.
16. San Diego Chargers: Sebastian Vollmer, offensive tackle, Houston (No. 58)
Actual pick: Larry English, defensive end, Northern Illinois
Vollmer didn’t even get invited to the combine, then got drafted in the second round by the Patriots. He’s a right tackle in New England, but he has the ability to play on the left side, as well.
17. New York Jets: Louis Vasquez, guard, Texas Tech (No. 78)
Actual pick: Selection traded to Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who took Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman
Guards aren’t typically taken in the first 20 selections, but Vasquez is one of the best players in this draft.
18. Chicago Bears: Brian Cushing, linebacker, USC (No. 15)
Actual pick: Traded selection to Broncos, who took Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers
Cushing is another player who has dealt with injuries during his career. He was having a nice season in 2013 before breaking his fibula.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Max Unger, center, Oregon (No. 49)
Actual pick: Selection traded to Philadelphia Eagles, who took Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin
This draft is full of top interior linemen. Unger is a Pro Bowl center when he’s healthy.
20. Dallas Cowboys: Alex Mack, center, California (No. 21)
Actual pick: Traded selection to Lions, who took Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew
Unger and Mack are both fantastic talents. The Cowboys would be lucky to get a player like Mack that can solidify a line.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Crabtree, wide receiver, Texas Tech (No. 10)
Actual pick: Traded selection to Browns, who took Mack
Crabtree would be a lot higher if he could stay healthy. He turned around the 49ers’ season in 2013.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Andy Levitre, guard, Oregon State (No. 51)
Actual pick: Harvin
The Vikings would love it if Harvin fell to them at No. 22. They will have to settle for one of the league’s best guards.
23. New England Patriots: Paul Kruger, outside linebacker, Utah (No. 57)
Actual pick: Traded selection to Baltimore Ravens, who took Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher
The Patriots could have solidified their pass rush in 2009 before it was too late. Kruger earned a big contract last year with the Browns.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Andre Smith, offensive tackle, Alabama (No. 6)
Actual pick: Peria Jerry, defensive tackle, Ole Miss
Smith wasn’t worth a top-10 pick, but he has played like a first-rounder in the last three seasons.
25. Miami Dolphins: Phil Loadholt, offensive tackle, Oklahoma (No. 54)
Actual pick: Davis
The Dolphins were lucky to grab David No. 25 overall. Trading him to the Colts doesn’t look like a such a great move at this point, though. Loadholt has been a top right tackle.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Hakeem Nicks, wide receiver, UNC (No. 29)
Actual pick: Selection traded to Packers, who took Matthews
Nicks has been inconsistent with the Giants, but he has 4,622 career yards with 27 touchdowns.
27. Indianapolis Colts: T.J. Lang, guard, Eastern Michigan (No. 109)
Actual pick: Donald Brown, running back, UConn
Brown finally had a breakout year in 2013 — just in time for a new contract. Lang has been much more consistent.
28. Carolina Panthers: Malcolm Jenkins, safety, Ohio State (No. 14)
Actual pick: Selection traded to Bills, who took Louisville center Eric Wood
Jenkins hasn’t been worth the No. 14 overall pick as a cornerback. But a move to safety helped him save his career.
29. New York Giants: Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver, Missouri (No. 19)
Actual pick: Nicks
Like so many other players in this draft, injuries have plagued Maclin, who had the potential to be the best wideout in this draft class.
30. Tennessee Titans: Jason McCourty, cornerback, Rutgers (No. 203)
Actual pick: Kenny Britt, wide receiver, Rutgers
The Titans would have to take McCourty 173 picks earlier to grab him in the redraft.
31. Arizona Cardinals: Brian Hartline, wide receiver, Ohio State (No. 108)
Actual pick: Beanie Wells, running back, Ohio State
There were three running backs taken in the first round in 2009 and, amazingly, none of them were McCoy or Foster. The Cardinals would have been better off helping out wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald with fellow wideout Hartline.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Glover Quin, safety, New Mexico (No. 112)
Actual pick: Ziggy Hood, defensive tackle, Missouri
Quin’s been a top safety since being drafted in the fourth round. He earned a big contract from the Lions last offseason.
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