So this is what you do in January during the NFL playoffs when the home team finishes 5-11 and everybody else is stewing over Mike Holmgren returning to Green Bay and whether or not T.O. will play and will Jessica be at the Cowboys game. You look for a new coach, you ponder free agents and you start thinking about the draft three months before the thing happens.
If you don't know by now, the Ravens draft eighth in the first round. So what's that mean? Who knows at this point. But we can sort out what it has meant for the last few years.
We went back to the 2000 draft to see what players were selected in the No. 8 slot. Here are the results. You'll notice that for the last five years, a defensive player has been chosen every time, and four of them were defensive backs. The good news is that most of them are starters, and there are two Pro Bowlers in this group: Dallas safety Roy Williams (left, drafted in 2002) and Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall (drafted in 2004). The 2001 pick, wide receiver David Terrell, has been the only true bust of this group so far.
No. 8s through the years:
2007: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Atlanta
2006: Donte Whitner, S, Buffalo
2005: Antrel Rolle, CB, Arizona
2004: DeAngelo Hall, CB, Atlanta
2003: Jordan Gross, OT, Carolina
2002: Roy Williams, S, Dallas
2001: David Terrell, WR, Chicago
2000: Plaxico Burress, WR, Pittsburgh
Photo credit: Associated Press