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Draft Dose: The green room

Posted Feb. 11, 2011 @ 11:03 a.m. ET
By Andrew Struckmeyer

Every year there is an added element of drama to the NFL draft: the green room. A select number of players are selected to attend the draft in person, and wait for their name to be called. They then can go on stage, take pictures with the commissioner, and do the usual meet-and-greet. The downside is that sometimes it can take a while for your name to be called. And at that point, every television camera is focused in on you. In the second installment of the Draft Dose series, we look back at some of the "last men standing" in the green room and how they have fared in the NFL.

2004 — QB Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger didn't have to wait too long to hear his name called. The Steelers snatched up the Miami (Ohio) product with the 11th overall pick. However, Roethlisberger was taken behind fellow quarterbacks Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. While one can argue their overall talents, what can't be argued is Big Ben's 2-1 advantage in Super Bowl victories over the duo.

2005 — QB Aaron Rodgers

At one point in the discussion, Rodgers was in the running to go first overall before the 49ers decided on QB Alex Smith. Thus began Rodgers' precipitous fall all the way to No. 24, where the Packers happily took him. After studying behind Brett Favre for a few years, Rodgers took the reins in 2008 and has become one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. Rodgers' out-of-this-world play at the end of 2010 led the Packers to the franchise's fourth Super Bowl title. Think the 49ers wished they had picked Rodgers instead of Smith?

2006 — QB Matt Leinart

The Cardinals' front office was overjoyed that they could select Leinart, a Heisman Trophy-winning signalcaller, with the 10th overall pick. Dennis Green, the team's head coach at the time, called getting Leinart a "gift from heaven." Fast-forward to present day, and Leinart is known more as a bust than a steal. After several opportunities to seize the Cardinals' starting QB gig, Leinart was released prior to 2010 season and hooked on with the Texans as a backup.

2007 — QB Brady Quinn

Quinn was similar to Rodgers, in that he was in the discussion to be an early pick. However several teams decided against drafting a quarterback in the early part of the first round, including Quinn's eventual destination, Cleveland. After selecting Joe Thomas with the third overall pick in the draft, the Browns traded back into the first round and picked up Quinn with the 22nd overall pick. Quinn battled Derek Anderson for the starting job for a couple years, but when his turn came, he never delivered on the promise that made him a first-rounder. Quinn has now been relegated to a backup role with the Broncos, to whom he was traded in March 2010.

2008 — OLB Vernon Gholston

Gholston didn't have to wait long at all, as he was the sixth overall pick of the Jets following a monster ’07 season at Ohio State. In hindsight, Gholston deserved to wait a little longer. He failed to pick up former coach Eric Mangini's defense and hasn't shown much of an aptitude for Rex Ryan's "D," either. He is widely considered to be a bust.

2009 — OT Michael Oher

After falling to the Ravens with the 23rd overall pick, Oher had a stellar rookie season, stabilizing the right tackle spot in Baltimore. Shifting to the left side in '10 proved more troublesome, however. Oher was inconsistent, and struggled with the league's elite pass rushers. He might be better suited to the right side, but still was a valuable pick that late in the first round.

2010 — CB Brandon Ghee

After the format changes to the draft in 2010 spread the selection meeting over three days, Ghee didn't have to wait only one day to hear his name called. He was in the green room for all of Day One and nearly all of Day Two before his name was called by the Bengals with one of the last picks of the third round. Ghee played in six games in his rookie campaign, notching nine tackles, as he contributed mostly on special teams.

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