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Green Zone League Articles

2011 GZL Draft, First Round Three Seasons Later
By Corey Smith
Special to gzl-football.com

2011 GZL Draft, First Round Three Seasons Later

Around draft time, youll always hear the idea thrown around that you cant judge a draft pick until X-number of years down the road. Arbitrarily, that number tends to be three so well roll with that for this article. Here is a breakdown, by position, of the first round of the GZLs first rookie draft (2011). Key stats for each player, as well as the spot they were taken at in the draft.

This makes it a little easier to look at the big picture (of the first round, at least) of the value some GMs have gotten out of their first-round investments thus far.

NOTE: All of this data is based off of LP, and the Draft Recap function. I had to try and figure out some of the picks by sifting through rosters, so I apologize if any of the picks are wrong.

NOTE #2: All of the stats are from the players first three seasons (doesnt include this seasons stats to-date).


[1.01] Andrew Luck | Chiefs 9,545yds, 54% Comp., 48TD / 49INT, 72.6 QB Rating
[1.10] Christian Ponder | Cardinals 9,475yds, 57% Comp., 77TD / 35INT, 92.3 QB Rating
[1.22] Christopher Henderson | Chargers 10,475yds, 56% Comp., 78TD / 42INT, 88.2 QB Rating

While Luck and Henderson have better skillsets on paper at the moment, Ponder has been the most efficient and effective QB of the three first-rounders from 2011, putting up a hardy 92.3 QB Rating over his first three seasons. Its pretty safe to say, though, that all three will be just fine as the GZL moves forward.

[1.14] Mark Ingram | Raiders 3,636yds, 4.75 YPC, 24TD, 4 Fumbles 28rec. 450yds, 5TD
[1.17] Keith Payne | Rams 3,379yds, 4.58 YPC, 19TD, 10 Fumbles 35rec. 348yds, TD 3,428 Return Yards
[1.28] Mario Fannin | Falcons 3,173yds, 4.09 YPC, 22TD, 13 Fumbles 44rec. 669yds, 4TD

After a major breakout season that netted him the 2013 GZL MVP award, Mark Ingram (2,143yds 17TD in 2013) has separated himself from the other two first-round backs from 2011. Payne was dealt to the New York Jets after his third season with St. Louis. And Fannin is a key component to a high-octane offense in the ATL.

[1.04] A.J. Green | Falcons 303rec. 4,098yds (13.5 YPC), 19TD, 30 Drops
[1.16] Chris Matthews | Dolphins 220rec. 3,215yds (14.61 YPC), 17TD, 27 Drops

Only two WRs were taken the first round of 2011, but those two have both averaged over 1,000yds a season through their first three. A.J. Green has become of the premier WRs in the GZL, and netted 126 catches for nearly 1700 yards and 8 TDs in 13.


[1.12] Nate Solder | Saints 259 Pancakes, 18 Sacks Allowed

The only OT deemed worthy of a first-round selection has done a good job manning the RT position, and has not given up more than 7 sacks in a season.

[1.24] Joseph Hernandez | Ravens 156 Pancakes, 12 Sacks Allowed
[1.27] Clinton Newton | Raiders 141 Pancakes, 16 Sacks Allowed
[1.29] Lance Nguyen | Cowboys 198 Pancakes, 5 Sacks Allowed

Its tough to judge OL based on the stats provided by Madden, alone but Lance Nguyens numbers look incredible, especially considering how much the Cowboys pass.

[1.25] Ryan Bartholomew | Patriots 89 Pancakes, 6 Sacks Allowed

Again, tough to judge how an OL is doing off of these stats.

[1.06] Cameron Jordan | Browns 136 Tackles (36TFL), 24 Sacks, 2 FF
[1.13] Justin Houston | Rams 132 Tackles (31TFL), 28 Sacks, FF, 2FR
[1.15] Ryan Kerrigan | Cowboys 120 Tackles (22TFL), 21 Sacks, FF, FR, INT
[1.19] DaQuan Bowers | Ravens 123 Tackles (35TFL), 23 Sacks, 4FF, 2FR
[1.23] Cameron Heyward | Eagles 108 Tackles (22TFL), 15 Sacks, 5FF

DEs tied with CBs for the most taken in the first round in 2011, and all 5 have been productive. No DE has separated himself from the pack, yet. But Houstons 28 sacks are impressive. Bowers and Heyward registering 4 and 5 FFs, respectively, deserve mention.

[1.07] Marcell Dareus | Bills - 114 Tackles (20TFL), 19 Sacks, FF
[1.08] J.J. Watt | Panthers 111 Tackles (18TFL), 18 Sacks, FF
[1.18] Marvin Austin | Broncos 107 Tackles (18TFL), 9 Sacks, FF
[1.31] Phil Taylor | Bears 92 Tackles (8TFL), 9 Sacks, 4FF, 3FR

It could be due to them moving around the DL in their schemes (no way for me to tell) but Dareus and Watt have been extremely disruptive up the middle for their squads. Both are generating DE-like sack numbers from the interior, and that is worth a high draft pick everytime.

[1.20] Brooks Reed | Titans 171 Tackles (33TFL), 7 Sacks, 2FF, 2FR, 2INT, 20 Deflections

Reed has been a solid contributor to a very good Titans team over his first three seasons. No eye-popping numbers, but solid nonetheless.

[1.03] Von Miller | Rams 350 Tackles (51TFL), 3 Sacks, 5FF, 2FR, 6INT

Its unusual to see an important position like MLB only have one player taken in the first round, but Miller has been a rock for the Rams. Averaging over 115 tackles and 2 INTs per season, hes established himself.

[1.02] Patrick Peterson | Seahawks 113 Tackles (3TFL), 2FF, FR, 5INT, 39 Deflections, 78 CTH Allowed 68 Return Yards
[1.05] Chimdi Chekwa | Panthers 216 Tkls (7TFL), Sk, 2FF, 2FR, 10INT, 70 Defl., 142 CTHA, TD 868 Return Yards, TD
[1.09] Jimmy Smith | Lions 250 Tackles (12TFL), FF, FR, 10INT, 90 Deflections, 140 CTH Allowed, 3TD
[1.11] Alan Morris | Redskins 166 Tackles (6TFL), 2 Sacks, FF, FR, 7INT, 56 Defl., 108 CTH Allowed, TD
[1.21] DeMarcus Van Dyke | Chargers 82 Tackles (3TFL), 8 Sacks, FF, 10 Defl., 40 CTH Allowed

The other of the two first-round-heavy position, the CBs have been another solid group. Peterson missed one season due to injury Asleepm assuming), but has been very good in the two seasons that he has played. Chekwa has been a nice addition for the Panthers secondary, grabbing 10 INTs (TD), and also contributing in the return game. Jimmy Smith been the most productive of the CBs, grabbing 10 picks, breaking up another 90 passes, and running back 3 for TDs. Van Dyke was traded this past offseason to rival Kansas City, and will look for the opportunity to finally move into a starting role.

[1.26] Gerald Powell | Cowboys 203 Tackles (3TFL), FR, 2 INT, 31 Deflections, 23 CTH Allowed
[1.30] Dana Garcia | Ravens 102 Tackles (4TFL), 2INT, 18 Deflections, 11 CTH Allowed
[1.32] Patrick Murphy | Titans 173 Tackles (6TFL), FF, FR, 7INT, 31 Defl., 14 CTH Allowed, TD

Patrick Murphy has been great in coverage over his first three seasons, and has separated himself a bit from the other two FSs taken. Hes nabbed 7 INTs in three seasons, and returned one of those for a TD.

If I can figure out a way to somewhat-easily find the non-first-round picks that are overachieving, I will do an article on that as well, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, please discuss the players you think are having the best careers to this point, OR if you think any of these guys can be deemed a BUST yet.
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