Shanahan's draft history--Linebackers

Shanahan's draft history--Linebackers
April 19, 2011, 10:17 am
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 6:15 a.m. By Rich Tandler
Mike Shanahan has been the primary talent selector in 14 drafts with the Denver Broncos (1995-2008) and for one with the Redskins (2010). How well has he performed? Over the next few weeks, 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 the offensive linemen, running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive linemen selected by Shanahan. Today, we look at linebackers. Details of each players draft status are at the bottom of the article. Best pick Middle linebacker Al Wilson more than justified his first-round status by cracking the starting lineup early in his rookie campaign. He made the first of three straight Pro Bowls following his third season, the start of five appearances is six years. He might still be playing had a neck injury suffered in 2006, when he was just 29, not forced his retirement. Good picks This is a solid group as five of the 11 linebackers drafted by Shanahan played in 90 or more games. All of them made a roster and appeared in at least two NFL games. In addition to Wilson, the other two first-rounders, John Mobley and D. J. Williams started for the Broncos for six and seven years, respectively. Ian Gold played in 115 NFL games, 99 of them for the Broncos, and made the Pro Bowl in 2001. And seventh-round pick Nate Wayne lasted just two years in Denver but he went on to play 90 games for a total of four different teams, including 23 as a starter for the Eagles in 2003-2004. Its early yet to make a call on Spencer Larsen but as a rookie in 2008 he started a game at fullback and at linebacker. Just to make sure he didnt get bored, he played some special teams as well. Worst pick Terry Pierce was the 51st overall pick in 2003 and he never was able to establish himself in Denver. He played in just three games as a rookie. After playing mostly special teams in 2005 he was waived before the next season. The Broncos got 18 games a four tackles for their second-round pick. Bad picks Fourth-round pick Ken Brown, and fifth-rounder Phil Yeboah-Kodie, both picked in 1995, played in two games each. Again, there isnt much to complain about here as every linebacker Shanahan has drafted has made the roster and has played in an NFL game. The nitty-gritty Total linebackers drafted: 11
NFL games played: 622
Seasons as a starter: 30
Pro Bowls: 6Al Wilson 5 (2001-2003, 2005-2006); Ian Gold 1 (2001) Note: John Mobley was named first-team All-NFL in 1997, but was not selected for the Pro Bowl
Games played, seasons as starter and Pro Bowls are for players career with all teams. RoundsPlayers 1. 3John Mobley (15 overall) 1996; Al Wilson (31) 1999; D. J. Williams (17) 20042. 2Ian Gold (40) 2000; Terry Pierce (51) 20033. None4. 2Ken Brown (124) 1995; Perry Riley (103) 20105. 1Phil Yeboah-Kodie (146) 19956. 1Spence Larsen (183) 20087. 2Steve Russ (218) 1995; Nate Wayne (219) 1998 Shanahans draft history breakdown on CSN Washington: Offensive lineRunning backsQuarterbackWide receiver Defensive line Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at You can reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @RealRedskins.