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Draft countdown: Pick No. 2

About the Author

Alex Mayster
Editorial assistant

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Posted April 26, 2011 @ 8:58 a.m. ET
By Alex Mayster

Overview: The second pick in the draft has proven to be well-utilized, with many players recently drafted at that spot becoming Pro Bowl regulars. PFW found that the last 10 players taken with the No. 2 pick, which is held by the Broncos this year, have gone on to accomplish great things and rarely have short careers:

2010: Lions select Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
Suh made a big and immediate impact as a rookie, being named the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America Defensive Rookie of the Year and earning a Pro Bowl nod. He finished his first season with 10 sacks in 16 starts and it appears the sky is the limit for the 24-year-old.

2009: Rams select Baylor OT Jason Smith
Smith was drafted with the expectation that he would become the Rams' starting left tackle, but rookie OT Rodger Saffold beat him out for that spot before last season. Smith likely will continue to be used on the right side, giving St. Louis a pair of talented, young bookends to protect QB Sam Bradford.

2008: Rams select Virginia DE Chris Long
Long has yet to develop into an elite player, but he did take a big step forward in 2010. He finished the season with a career-high 8½ sacks and started every game for the second time in three seasons.

2007: Lions select Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson
Johnson has become one of the best receivers in the NFL. At 6-foot-5, he is able to use his height and athletic ability to beat defenders and regularly dominates when left in single coverage. "Megatron" has made 33 TD catches in 55 career games, including 12 in both 2008 and ’10.

2006: Saints select USC RB Reggie Bush
Bush hasn't been able to live up to the sky-high expectations, but he has become a productive option in New Orleans. While he probably wasn't worth the second overall pick, he has shown he can be successful as a situational back, contributing big plays as a runner, receiver and punt returner in the Saints' run to the Super Bowl title following the 2009 season.

2005: Dolphins select Auburn RB Ronnie Brown
Brown has been a great fit in Miami not only for his effectiveness in the running game, but for his ability to run the "Wildcat" formation as well. Brown has split carries with RB Ricky Williams for most of his career and gains 4.3 yards per carry. Injuries cut short two seasons and have been a concern.

2004: Raiders select Iowa OT Robert Gallery
Gallery didn't work out as the elite tackle the Raiders thought they were getting, but his transition to guard ignited his career. The No. 2 pick might be high for a player who turned out to be a left guard, but he has performed well at the position and likely is looking at a lucrative free-agent contract whenever the FA market opens for business.

2003: Lions select Michigan State WR Charles Rogers
Rogers entered the league as an immature, wiry receiver and never put forth the work to improve. His NFL career lasted only three seasons as he finished with 36 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns. He is one of the all-time draft busts, and his failure led the Lions to draft wideouts with their first-round pick the following two years (Roy Williams in ’04 and Mike Williams in ’05).

2002: Panthers select North Carolina DE Julius Peppers
Peppers made 12 sacks his first season in the league and helped Carolina reach the Super Bowl in his second season. He has been among the NFL's elite pass rushers ever since. He has 89 career sacks and, at the age of 30, finished fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting with the Bears last season — his first in Chicago after signing a lucrative free-agent deal in March 2010.

2001: Cardinals select Texas OT Leonard Davis
At 6-6, 355 pounds, Davis has used his size to become an effective guard since moving inside from tackle after joining the Cowboys in 2007. The three-time Pro Bowler has been durable throughout his career and continues to be a productive blocker for the Cowboys, though he showed signs of slowing down in ’10.

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