Shanahan's draft history: Running backs

Shanahan's draft history: Running backs
April 5, 2011, 11:12 am
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011 7:15 a.m. By Rich Tandler
Redskins Blogger Mike Shanahan has been the primary talent selector in 14 drafts with the Denver Broncos (1995-2008) and for one with the Washington 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. After examining his offensive line picks last week, today we look at running backs. Details of each players draft status are at the bottom of the article. Best pick Shanahans first pick at the position was his best. Terrell Davis was on the path to a Hall of Fame career but knee injuries limited him to just four productive seasons. Still, at that, four seasons where he gained an average of 100 yards per game and three All-NFL selections is certainly worth a sixth-round pick. Good picks The Broncos only got two years out of Clinton Portis, but he gained over 1500 yards in each season and as trade bait he fetched Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick. Both Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson gained over a thousand yards as rookies in 1999 and 2000, respectively, paying good returns as picks in the second half of the draft. Third-round pick Detron Smith never gained a thousand yards; in fact, he only had five career carries. But the Broncos got six solid years out of Smith as a backup fullback and special teams ace. He was selected to the 1999 Pro Bowl for his kick coverage ability. Worst pick Shanahan gambled and lost when he took Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett with a supplemental pick at the end of the third round. There were red flags for character issues all over the place for legal problems but Shanahan took him with the 101st pick in 2005, almost two and a half years after he had last played in a football game. Clarett showed up to camp both rusty and about 20 pounds overweight. He was cut during training camp and he never played a down in the NFL. Bad picks The Broncos got only 16 games over two seasons out of 2003 fourth-round pick Quentin Griffin and 1998 fourth-rounder Curtis Alexander never played in the NFL. Two other Shanahan-drafted backs, L. T. Levine and Ahmaad Galloway, both seventh-round picks, never saw the field either. We will see how Ryan Torain turns out for the Redskins but he didnt produce much for the Broncos, playing in two games and rushing for 69 yards as injuries plagued him throughout his time there. The nitty-gritty Total running backs drafted drafted: 14
NFL games played: 564
Seasons as a starter: 18
Pro Bowls: 6Terrell Davis 3, Detron Smith 1 (selected for special teams play), Clinton Portis 2
Games played, seasons as starter and Pro Bowls are for players career with all teams. RoundsPlayers None2Clinton Portis (51 overall) 2002; Tatum Bell (41) 20042Detron Smith (65) 1996; Maurice Clarett (101) 20053Curtis Alexander (122) 1998; Olandis Gary (127) 1999; Quentin Griffin (108) 20032Chris Howard (153) 1998; Ryan Torain (139) 20082Terrell Davis (196) 1995; Mike Anderson (198) 20003L. T. Levine (235) 1996; Ahmaad Galloway (235) 2003; Brandon Miree (247) 2004 Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at You can reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @RealRedskins.