In an article currently running on si.com, Don Banks provides a "re-do" of the first round of the 2010 draft based on how the rookies chosen have actually performed on the field this year. Perhaps the biggest change involves pick #4. In the real draft the Redskins took OT Trent Williams with that pick. In his re-do, Banks gives them OT Rodger Saffold instead. According to Banks, Saffold, who went to St. Louis with the secnd pick of the second round (#33), is now the "consensus" choice as the best OT in the 2010 draft among NFL personnel people (i.e., GM's, head draft scouts, etc.). Trent Williams has in fact played well for Washington this season, but Saffold has been superb for the Rams and looks like he is in time going to be a Pro Bowl OT for a very long time (among other things he is very durable, never having missed a game in four years as a college starter or this year as a pro). Russell Okung, who everyone was drooling over before the draft, has also done fine, but it is now clear he is not as impressive as Saffold as a pro.
What this should teach us is not to focus so much on the ratings of the draft guru's -- all of whom pegged Saffold as a second-level talent. A small minority of us on this website were trying to make the case for Safold last spring, but were put down again and again with dismissive comments because "everyone knew" that Williams, Okung, Beluga, and Anthony Davis were the pick of the litter while Saffold was too small, too limited to zone-blocking, etc.
When we pointed out that Saffold had started at LT from his freshman year onward at a Big Ten school and man-hanlded one notorious speed-rusher after the other during his time there, it seemed to make no difference. Mel Kiper and Co. didn't like him, his stock wasn't running that high in the mock drafts, so he couldn't be any good. What a shame in retrospect that the Bills didn't either take him outright at pick #9 or, even better, trade down in the first round and select him at the lower spot while adding an extra second-rounder in the bargain.
As for Spiller, Don Banks drops him from the first-round altogether, stating outright that we now know he wasn't a legitimate first-round talent. I'm not sure that I'm ready to agree on that -- he may yet develop into something special -- but we now know that Rodger Saffold would have been a far wiser choice.