Athletes are just as bored as the rest of us, and a few have decided to fill their time by jumping on studio shows that currently represent our only sports-centric escape from reality. Cam Heyward did just that on Thursday, appearing on First Things First to explain why the 2011 NFL Draft is one of the best of all time.
With the caveat that Heyward is inherently biased as a member of that class, he broke down his argument to Nick Wright.
Looking back, the 2011 draft was definitely stacked. The players selected in the first round alone have a combined 21 All-Pro selections to date, with names like JJ Watt, Julio Jones, Cam Newton, Von Miller, and Heyward leading the pack. In fact, out of the first 32 players picked, only about 10 would be considered busts in some way, shape, or form.
As Heyward points out, this draft wasn't top-heavy either. Richard Sherman, Justin Houston, Jurrell Casey, Marcus Gilbert, and Randall Cobb are among the big names scattered in the later rounds. It had everything from potential all-time greats (Watt, Miller, Sherman, Jones) to regular Pro Bowlers and All-Pros (Peterson, Newton, Heyward, Tyron Smith, AJ Green, Cameron Jordan) to steady starters that have stuck around the whole decade (Ryan Kerrigan, Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo).
It was absolutely a stacked class, and easily the best of the decade thus far. Time will tell if it can match the quality of the 1983 draft, which had seven Hall of Famers in the first round. But in its first decade, the 2011 draft definitely holds a candle to the best of the best, even if we can't definitively say it's there quite yet.