11Alive Sports offers a capsule review of the NFL draft's 14th overall pick for this century (2000-18) ... which will likely be the Atlanta Falcons' Round 1 selection come April.
(Three other non-playoff teams finished at 7-9 for the season—the Dolphins, Redskins, Jets.)
As a fun, but possibly pointless exercise, we'll also lament the greater 'hindsight' options surrounding the vast majority of No. 14 picks, minus the notable exceptions of Earl Thomas and Darrelle Revis.
PICK: DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
HINDSIGHT: LB Leighton Vander Esch (Cowboys)
SKINNY: Too early to criticize the Davenport pick, along with the prohibitive trade package given to the Packers.
PICK: DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
SKINNY: As a rookie, Barnett played a big, big role in helping the Eagles claim their first-ever Lombardi Trophy.
PICK: S Karl Joseph, Houston
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: S Keanu Neal (Falcons), OT Taylor Decker (Lions), WR Will Fuller (Texans)
SKINNY: It's still early in Joseph's career, but Neal, Decker and Fuller stand out as more palatable options, moving forward; and keep in mind, each 'hindsight' player has missed substantial time to injury.
That said, the future's still immensely bright for the above trio.
PICK: WR DeVante Parker, Dolphins
HINDSIGHT: RB Melvin Gordon (Chargers)
SKINNY: Four years ago, the so-called draft experts were hyping Parker, Kevin White and Breshad Perriman as three potential world-beaters at receiver.
Fast forward to the present: The injury-wrecked, perhaps unstable trio has combined for merely 247 receptions, 1,418 yards and 14 touchdowns since 2015.
Regarding Gordon ... the Wisconsin product has racked up 5,200-plus total yards and 28 career touchdowns; and since 2016, Gordon holds strong averages of nearly 1,500 total yards and 13 TDs.
PICK: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: OT Zack Martin (Cowboys), WR Brandin Cooks (Saints)
SKINNY: Fuller has been particularly strong the last two seasons, averaging 4.5 interceptions and 21.5 pass deflections during this span.
The only snag here: Martin and Cooks possess more star power in NFL circles.
Hardly a bad pick on Chicago's part, though.
PICK: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: CB Xavier Rhodes (Vikings), TE Tyler Eifert (Bengals)
SKINNY: Lotulelei had a productive stint with the Panthers (2013-17), but a preseason back injury from last August derailed his inaugural campaign with the Bills.
As such, Rhodes (one-time All-Pro, two Pro Bowls) has emerged as the strongest defender in the mid-to-late stages of Round 1.
In fact, Rhodes might be a top-five shutdown corner in Year 6.
PICK: DT Michael Brockers, LSU
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: DE Chandler Jones (Patriots), DE Melvin Ingram (Chargers),
SKINNY: Brockers has been a solid contributor for seven seasons. That's the good news.
On the down side, Brockers still can't touch the sustained greatness of Jones, who has amassed 63.5 sacks over the last four seasons.
As such, if we had a do-over on the 2012 draft ... Jones would have been fourth overall, after Andrew Luck, Fletcher Cox and Luke Kuechly.
PICK: DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: DE Ryan Kerrigan (Redskins), RB Mark Ingram (Saints)
SKINNY: Kerrigan and Ingram continue to be highly productive assets with their original clubs, but that doesn't necessarily take the shine off Quinn's selection.
From 2012-14, Quinn recorded three straight campaigns of double-digit sacks, while being a consistent menace with pass deflections.
PICK: S Earl Thomas, Texas
SKINNY: The latter half of the 2010 draft produced a number of NFL cornerstones (Jason Pierre-Paul, Maurkice Pouncey, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Jerry Hughes, Bryan Bulaga, Kareem Jackson).
But make no mistake, Earl Thomas leads the whole bunch ... in terms of production.
We're talking about one Lombardi Trophy, four All-Pro berths, six Pro Bowls and being a founding member of the Legion Of Boom defense.
PICK: CB/S Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: Clay Matthews III (Packers), WR Percy Harvin (Vikings)
SKINNY: The 2009 Saints and 2017 Eagles are the only teams from this countdown to capture Lombardi Trophy honors the year after drafting 14th overall.
So, in that vein, Jenkins was a solid choice for the defensive-needy Saints.
From an elite-athleticism standpoint, however, Clay Matthews (one All-Pro berth, six Pro Bowls) or Percy Harvin (the forebear to Christian McCaffrey, in terms of rushing/receiving greatness) might have been stronger selections.
PICK: OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: QB Joe Flacco (Ravens), CB Aqib Tailb (Buccaneers)
SKINNY: Frankly, just about anyone else from Round 1 or Round 2 would have been a talent upgrade over Williams, who struggled through an injury-wrecked, but still-promising career (size matters), before signing a $13.5 million deal with the Bills in 2014.
Of course, Williams didn't see much of that second-contract money, after failing a physical the following year.
The alternative options: Flacco, Talib, Chris Johnson, Duane Brown, Felix Jones, Branden Albert and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Strong group.
PICK: CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh
SKINNY: Ten years from now, we could have six Hall of Famers selected in the first 14 picks—Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch and the aforementioned Revis.
The Jets absolutely nailed this one. Enough said.
PICK: DT Brodrick Bunkley, Florida State
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: DE Tamba Hali (Chiefs), C Nick Mangold (Jets)
SKINNY: Bunkley enjoyed a respectable, nine-year career with the Eagles, Broncos and Saints.
However, Bunkley would never match the blunt consistency of Hali (86 sacks from 2006-15) and Mangold (two-time All-Pro, seven Pro Bowls), who anchored the Jets' O-line for a full decade.
PICK: LB Thomas Davis, Georgia
HINDSIGHT: QB Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
SKINNY: The Davis selection was certainly formidable, providing the Panthers with a decade-plus beast at the linebacker slot.
However, no reasonable person could argue against the hindsight drafting of Rodgers (one Lombardi Trophy, two NFL MVPs, 42,994 yards passing, 365 total TDs), a first-ballot Hall of Famer sometime in the next decade.
PICK: DT Tommie Harris, Oklahoma
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: RB Steven Jackson (Rams), DT Vince Wilfork (Patriots)
SKINNY: Harris was certainly the most heralded prospect coming out of college (among the trio), but that momentum stalled in the pro levels.
Simply put, Jackson (15,000-plus scrimmage yards, 68 TDs) and Wilfork (one All-Pro, two Super Bowl titles, five Pro Bowls) are borderline Hall of Famers.
PICK: DE Michael Haynes, Penn State
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: S Troy Polamalu (Steelers), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (Raiders)
SKINNY: The Bears could have struck gold with either Polamalu (four-time All-Pro, eight Pro Bowls, 32 interceptions, 100 pass deflections) or Asomugha (one of the NFL's best cornerbacks this century) in Round 1.
Instead, Chicago targeted an underwhelming asset who notched 5 1/2 sacks for his career.
PICK: TE Jeremy Shockey, Miami
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: S Ed Reed (Ravens), DT Albert Haynesworth (Titans)
SKINNY: Shockey entered the NFL universe on the highest of high notes, demolishing a helpless defender in his first-ever preseason game and then posting career-best marks with catches (74) and receiving yards (894) in Year 1.
A good player, for sure ... but not even close to matching the resume of Reed (113 pass deflections, 64 INTs, seven touchdowns, five-time All-Pro, nine-time Pro Bowler), a future Hall of Famer, or even the dominant-for-a-short-period Haynesworth.
PICK: OT Kenyatta Walker, Florida
HINDSIGHT: OT Steve Hutchinson (Seahawks)
SKINNY: In hindsight, this could have been an easy swap for the Buccaneers, switching out an under-performing left tackle (Walker) for a future Hall of Famer at the same position (Hutchinson).
PICK: TE Bubba Franks, Miami
HINDSIGHT OPTIONS: RB Shaun Alexander (Seahawks), LB Julian Peterson (49ers)
SKINNY: Franks had a decent career with the Packers, averaging 38 catches and seven touchdowns over one four-year span (2001-04).
However, this production pales in comparison to Shaun Alexander (112 career touchdowns), who absurdly averaged 1,501 rushing yards and 19.5 total TDs from 2001-05.