I must admit that I am quite surprised with the results of the 2000 draft. It wasn't a mind-blowing work of art but a solid effort none-the-less. Did we draft a monster? No. We didn't get a high-profile quarterback, we didn't get THE BEST player at any single position in the draft, so we surely didn't write our ticket to the Super Bowl next year. But...we did make strides towards improvement.
Let's review the picks. I'll add comments to the selections from the first three rounds:
Plaxico Burress - WR - Michigan State - 6'5" - 225 lbs.
Born 12-Aug-1977 in Norfolk, VA
Finished the 1999 season with 66 catches for 1142 yards (17.3 yds/catch) and 12 TD's.
Burress adds young, hungry talent to the Stillers wide receiving core. He's a tall playmaker which should blend nicely with Troy Edwards compact playmaking ability. While Burress can go up over DB's, Edwards uses his body to get position inside of DB's... With two receivers capable of the big play, Gilbride should be able to make the offensive line and running backs look much improved since defenses will have to respect the threats on the outside.
Marvel Smith - OT - Arizona State - 6'5" - 315 lbs.
Born 06-Aug-1978 in Oakland, CA
Finished the 1999 season with 80 knockdowns and a 92% blocking percentage. He also missed ZERO assignments and had ZERO penalties en route to giving up only one sack. The Synopsis:
Marvel Smith brings (and will hopefully continue with) the ability to focus in the trenches. How many times did we see the foolish thoughtless offside penalties by our slovenly o-line last year? I'm sure you can't answer that since no human has ever counted that high on fingers and toes. This guy played at ASU, not Hee Haw State, and still managed to finish with a clean slate in the missed assignments and penalties department. That's impressive! We'll have to wait and see if he pans out, but I like what I've seen to date. More than likely, he will not be a big factor this year since the Black 'n Gold rarely start rookie lineman.
Kendrick Clancy - DT - Mississippi - 6'0" - 275 lbs.
1999 stats include 49 tackles, 29 solo tackles and 7 sacks.
Clancy has a decent upside although he's not completely polished and is lacking a little size for a DT. He's capable of stepping up in the big game (he was named defensive MVP in the 1999 Independence Bowl as a junior). He has decent speed for a DT (5.06 in the 40) and good quickness for shooting gaps. This was a risky pick, but I don't dislike it due to the potential he may someday exhibit.
Hank Poteat - CB - Pittsburgh - 5'10" - 185 lbs.
Finished 1999 with 44 tackles, 33 solo tackles and 3 interceptions. Averaged 23.6 yds/return on kickoffs (17 for 401 yds.) and 16.2 yds/return on punts (19 for 307 yds.) which was good enough for 7th in the nation.
What do I have to say other than "yeah baby"! I'm a Pitt fan and I've always liked Poteat. He can contribute yesterday to the return teams. He's got good speed and footwork (and thus the return skills). If he decides he really wants to excel in the NFL I think he could be a solid DB and return man for years to come. He probably won't contribute right away in the secondary, but lookout for Hank on special teams.
Danny Farmer - WR - UCLA - 6'3" - 215 lbs.
He was plagued by injury his senior year, but managed to catch 29 passes for 573 yds. (19.8 yds/catch). His junior year he caught 58 passes for 1274 yds (22.0 yds/catch).
Clark Haggans - DL - Colorado State - 6'3" - 250 lbs.
Finished the 1999 season with 87 tackles and 8 sacks.
Tee Martin - QB - Tennessee - 6'1" - 220 lbs.
Completed 54.1% of his passes in 1999 (165 of 301) for 2317 yards and 12 TD's. He also ran for 317 yds. and 9 TD's for 21 total TD's.
Chris Combs - DL - Duke - 6'4" - 285 lbs.
Born 15-Dec-76 in Roanoake, VA
He had 57 tackles (14 for loss) and 2 sacks in 1999.
Jason Gavadza - TE - Kent State - 6'3" - 245
He caught 19 passes for 260 yds. and 2 TD's in 1999.