As the 2013 NFL Draft approaches, it becomes harder and harder to separate one class from another.
Let’s take a look at which teams scored big in the 2009 draft with those helpful 20/20 lenses.
Green Bay Packers: While earlier drafts laid the foundation, this draft really hammered home general Ted Thompson‘s reputation as a genius at building through the draft. Quiet offseasons and free-agency periods are OK when you can reel in players who quickly contribute to a champion the next year, as in Clay Matthews (first round), B.J. Raji (first) and T.J. Lang (fourth) with the first three picks.
Detroit Lions: I really struggled with putting the Lions on this list due to the drops of Brandon Pettigrew (first round) and the fact that top pick Matthew Stafford — with all the talent in the world — has such a long way to go. But at the same time finding value and starters in their first four picks, when factoring defensive additions Louis Delmas (second) and linebacker DeAndre Levy (third), makes it hard to exclude a draft class that helped snap a streak of futility for this franchise.
Houston Texans: Brian Cushing (first) can be one of the league’s best inside linebackers when healthy. Houston may have lost Connor Barwin (second), Glover Quin (fourth) and James Casey (fifth) this offseason, but got plenty good value out of them while they were here.
Baltimore Ravens: Ozzie Newsome only had six picks in this draft and no fourth-rounder, but he made the most of it: the first three picks turned out Michael Oher (first), Paul Kruger (second) and Lardarius Webb (third).
More NFL Draft at Rant Sports: I analyzed which teams got the most and least out of their draft classes from 2012 (most, least), 2011 (most, least), 2010 (most, least) and 2009 (most, least), along with the kings of the draft over that span.