In the weeks and months leading up to the 2007 draft, Steelers fans basically wanted Anybody But Lawrence Timmons. Fresh off an 8-8 performance, and holding the 15th-overall selection, Pittsburgh was too far removed from the "franchise players" that populated the top of the board, but not far enough down to justify taking a guy to fill a specific need (like, say, tackle, guard, or center).
Pre-draft reports had Timmons showing up to his pro day out of shape, and, at 20, he was too inexperienced to contribute immediately in the NFL. Well, the Steelers drafted him anyway, even though fans were clamoring for names like Jarvis Moss, Jon Beason and Anthony Spencer.
Beason has been a legit NFL linebacker from Day 1, and Timmons has had a solid sophomore season. But due to injuries, bad luck and ineffectiveness, Moss and Spencer are still finding their way. Which explains this bit of time machinery via the Dallas Morning News' Tim McMahon:
Well, LaMarr Woodley, a key cog in the NFL's top defense, could have been a Cowboy. Instead, Dallas traded back up into the first round to take Anthony Spencer, who went 20 picks ahead of Woodley.
The thing is, if Dallas and Pittsburgh had swapped Timmons for Spencer back in April 2007, nary a Steelers fan would've complained. More than anything, though, it just goes to show that there's a little more to scouting players than reading a few magazines and watching college football from the couch every Saturday.
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For shiggles, I took a look at my 2007 ESPN Draft Guide, and Spencer was ranked the sixth-best defensive end while Woodley was eighth. (The Sporting News ranked them eighth and 10th, respectively.) Which makes me think that maybe buying a few draft mags is all you need to be a good scout.
(photos courtesy of Getty Images)
2007 Draft Do-Over: Cowboys Might Prefer LaMarr Woodley to Anthony Spencer originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Wed, 07 Jan 2009 15:10:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.