Shanahan's draft history: Wide receiver

Shanahan's draft history: Wide receiver
April 25, 2012, 11:01 am
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Mike Shanahan has been the primary talent selector in 15 drafts with the Denver Broncos (1995-2008) and for two with the Redskins (2010-11). How well has he performed?Over the next few days, well break down Shanahans drafts position by position. If the past is prelude, maybe we can learn something about where he might go in the draft that starts on April 28 and how much success the players drafted might have going forward.So far, weve look at defensive backs selected by Shanahan. Today, we turn our attention to the wide receivers.Details of each players draft status are at the bottom of the article.Best pickAs part of the trade to acquire an additional first-round draft pick in 2005, the Redskins traded their fourth-round pick in 2006 to the Broncos. Shanahan used that selection to take Brandon Marshall out of Central Florida. While Marshall had some off-field and attitude issues he certainly has been productive posting three straight seasons with over 100 catches and four straight with 1000 yards.Good picksEddie Royal gained 980 yards receiving as a rookie in 2008 and he has proven to be a solid contributor both as a receiver and punt returner. The Broncos didnt get much out of Patrick Jeffers but he did gain 1084 yards for the Panthers in 1999. Ashley Lelie played fairly well in four seasons in Denver, leading the NFL in average yards per catch in 2003 (20.1) and 2004 (18.3). Still, describing him as a good pick is a borderline call since you would like to get more than four seasons out of the 19th overall pick in the draft. Denver did, however, manage to get third- and fourth-round picks from the Redskins in a three-way trade when the parted ways with Lelie, so that tips the balance in favor of it being a solid selection. Leonard Hankerson showed some flashes of potential before his rookie 2011 season ended early due to a hip injury.Worst pickDrafting last as the Super Bowl champs, the Broncos took Marcus Nash out of Tennessee at the end of the first round in 1998. Denver got four receptions in ten games out of Nash before cutting him loose during the 1999 season. He played one game with the Ravens later that year and never caught on with another team after that.Bad picksUnfortunately, most of Shanahans wide receiver picks fall into this category. Second-round pick Darius Watts had 31 receptions as a rookie in 2004 but he was gone after a two-catch season in 2004. Third-round picks Travis McGriff and Chris Cole had five and 12 career receptions, respectively. Fourth-round pick Domenik Hixon became a valuable reserve but it was for the Giants as the Broncos released him during his rookie 2006 season. No receiver selected by Shanahan in Denver from the fifth round on had double-digit receptions for the Broncos.The nitty-grittyTotal wide receivers drafted:20
NFL games played: 520
Seasons as a starter: 12
Pro Bowls: 2Brandon Marshall 2008-2009
Games played, seasons as starter and Pro Bowls are for players career with all teams.RoundsPlayers2Marcus Nash (30 overall) 1998; Ashley Lelie (19) 20022Darius Watts (54) 2004; Eddie Royal (42) 20083Travis McGriff (93) 1999; Chris Cole (70) 2000; Leonard Hankerson (79) 20112Domenick Hixon (130) 2006; Brandon Marshall (119) 20065Patrick Jeffers (159) 1996; Muneer Moore (154) 2000; Herb Haygood (144) 2002; Adrian Madise (158) 2003; Niles Paul (155) 20114Chad Plummer (204) 1999; Kevin Kasper (190) 2001; Triandos Luke (171) 2004; Aldrick Robinson (178)2Leroy Fields (246) 2000; Terrence Austin (219) 2010Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at You can reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.