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Recent posts by Alex Mayster
Overview: The Pats struck gold with their No. 27 pick last season, a feat that hasn't been tough to accomplish recently. The pick has been used on running backs in four of the past 10 seasons, but PFW found that the 27th selection, which is held by the Falcons this year, has ultimately led to solid players on both sides of the ball:
2010: Patriots select Rutgers CB Devin McCourty
McCourty was fantastic in his first season, leading all rookies with seven interceptions. He started all 16 games for the Patriots, recording 82 tackles, one sack and 17 passes defended.
2009: Colts select Connecticut RB Donald Brown
Brown has had multiple chances to prove himself and has disappointed each time. With RB Joseph Addai injured last season, Brown gained just 3.9 yards per carry and had only one contest with more than 70 rushing yards.
2008: Chargers select Arizona CB Antoine Cason
After beginning his career as a nickel back, Cason became a full-time starter at cornerback for the Chargers in '10. He had a career season, making 67 tackles and picking off four passes.
2007: Saints select Tennessee WR Robert Meachem
In an offense that spreads the ball to all of its receivers, Meachem has established himself as a dangerous weapon. He didn't see much time his first two years in the league, but he has pulled in 89-1,360-14 over the past two seasons.
2006: Panthers select Memphis RB DeAngelo Williams
It took him a few years to get going, but Williams developed into one of the league's best in '08. After a pair of seasons of 1,000-plus yards, Williams missed time with a foot injury last year and is currently a free agent.
2005: Falcons select Alabama-Birmingham WR Roddy White
After taking a few seasons to develop, White has become one of the best receivers in the league. A dangerous possession target, White led the league with 115 catches last year at the age of 29.
2004: Texans select Western Michigan OLB Jason Babin
Babin was never overly impressive in Houston and jumped from team to team for a few years before landing with the Titans in '10. He started all 16 games last season and had a career-high 12½ sacks.
2003: Chiefs select Penn State RB Larry Johnson
An injury to RB Priest Holmes allowed Johnson to burst on to the scene on '05. He rushed for 336-1,750-20 in practically half a season as the lead back, followed by 416-1,789-17 the next year. The enormous workload took its toll, though, and Johnson hasn't been the same since.
2002: 49ers select Miami (Fla.) DB Mike Rumph
Rumph spent four seasons in San Francisco and never developed into anything special. His best year came in '03, when he collected all three of his career interceptions. Rumph hasn't played since '06.
2001: Vikings select Wisconsin RB Michael Bennett
Bennett rushed for 1,296 yards in his second season in the league but was never able to build on his momentum. He recently completed his 10th season in the league but hasn't rushed for more than 250 yards in a year since '05.