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The No. 28 Overall Pick: Player and Financial Histories

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

About a month ago I took a look at the last 25 No. 11 overall picks in the NFL Draft.  Now the Bills hold the No. 28 overall pick as well, so I went back and looked at the history of our new selection.  As you would expect, the results are not as appealing as the eleventh overall.  The picks marked with an asterisk were made in the second round, but still at 28 overall.

No. 28 Picks, 1984-2008
2008 - Lawrence Jackson, DE, Seahawks
2007 - Joe Staley, OT, 49ers
2006 - Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars
2005 - Luis Castillo, DE, Chargers
2004 - Chris Gamble, DB, Panthers
2003 - Andre Woolfolk, DB, Titans
2002 - Jerramy Stevens, TE, Seahawks
2001 - Derrick Gibson, DB, Raiders
2000 - Rob Morris, LB, Colts
1999 - Andy Katzenmoyer, LB, Patriots
1998 - R.W. McQuarters, DB, 49ers
1997 - Trevor Pryce, DT, Broncos
1996 - Jerome Woods, DB, Chiefs
1995 - Derrick Brooks, LB, Buccaneers
1994 - William Floyd, FB, 49ers
1993 - Thomas Smith, DB, Bills
1992 - Darryl Williams, DB, Bengals
1991* - Mike Dumas, DB, Oilers
1990* - Reggie Rembert, WR, Jets
1989 - Keith DeLong, LB, 49ers
1988* - Marcus Cotton, LB, Falcons
1987 - Mark Ingram, WR, Giants
1986* - Jackie Walker, LB, Buccaneers
1985 - Trevor Matich, C, Patriots
1984 - Brian Blados, OT, Bengals

There are some outstanding players on this list.  We can measure how many outstanding players there are by looking at individual honors like Pro Bowl appearances, All-Pro Team selections, and Hall of Fame enshrinement.

Pro Bowl
Every year the Pro Bowl takes the best players from each conference and plays them against one another.  Between 40 and 50 players are considered Pro Bowl players in a given year from each conference for a grand total of 80-100 players.  Here's the No. 28 overall picks from our list that have been selected to the Pro Bowl:

Trevor Pryce ('99-'02)
Jerome Woods ('03)
Derrick Brooks ('97-'06, '08)
Darryl Williams ('97)

At the conclusion of every season, 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL select the All-Pro Team.  This is a much more exclusive honor than the Pro Bowl, however; 27 spots existed on the team in 2008.  Here are the All-Pro No. 28 overall picks.

Trevor Pryce ('99)
Derrick Brooks ('99, '00, '02, '04, '05)

Hall of Famers
The Hall of Fame is the greatest individual honor an NFL player may receive.  It takes into account your entire body of work throughout your career.  Of the thousands of NFL players and contributors in the league's rich history, only 247 people are currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  While Derrick Brooks is a probable Hall of Fame player, he is still active and can't be considered.  No one else on the list has come close.

Picks 11 and 28
Ironically, in 2007 the Niners had the same two picks - 11 and 28 overall - and got Patrick WIllis and Joe Staley.  Willis has been to the Pro Bowl twice and named to the All Pro team once.  Staley has started all 32 games of his career at tackle for the team.

Potential Salary
While looking at the eleventh overall selection, I also broke down about how much this year's pick will be paid.  The No. 28 overall selection will obviously be making less that the eleventh, but how much less?  Here are the last three contracts for players taken No. 28 overall:

DE Lawrence Jackson (2008): 5 years, $11.25M, $6.1M signing bonus
OT Joe Staley (2007): 5 years, $8M, $5.6M guaranteed, $1.1M signing bonus, $3M in bonuses
TE Marcedes Lewis (2006): 5 years, $7.5M, $4.8M guaranteed

The only reason I can see for Jackson's contract being so much higher than Staley's is the guaranteed money.  Staley's deal has most of the contract guaranteed, where Jackson has no guaranteed money but rather a $6.1M signing bonus.

If the Bills go the guaranteed money route, they will likely sign the player for somewhere in the range of 5 years, $9M, $6.5M guaranteed.  If they go signing bonus route like the Seahawks, expect the salary figure to be higher, in the range of 5 years, $12M, with a $6.5M signing bonus (almost the exact contract that last year's No. 27 overall pick, San Diego CB Antoine Cason, signed).