2006 – Mercedes Lewis – Tight End
Selected by the only team in teal, Jacksonville hoped to give some life to their offense which had been sputtering since the days of Mark Brunell. Lewis played 12 seasons in Jacksonville going to one Pro Bowl and being selected to the Second-Team All-Pro both in 2010.
He was released by Jacksonville at the end of the 2018 season and was picked up by Green Bay. He played four more seasons. He never found the success which he did in 2010, but in 2021 he did eclipse 5,000 career receiving yards.
Lewis ended his career with 5,084 yards and 39 touchdowns, assuming no one signs him this offseason. According to Wes Hodkiewicz at Packers.com, Mercedes Lewis is the final active player from the 2006 draft class.
2007 – Joe Staley – Offensive Tackle
Staley was taken by the 49ers out of Central Michigan in the 2007 draft. He played 13 seasons in the NFL, all in the red and gold in the Bay. During that time he was named to the Second-Team All-Pro three times, from 2011-2013. He also made six Pro Bowls in 2011-2015, and 2017.
He helped San Francisco to two Super Bowls unfortunately losing both. One to Baltimore in 2013 (2012 Season) and then in 2020 (2019 Season) to the Chiefs. After the loss to the Chiefs, in April 2020, Joe announced his retirement.
He made the NFL 2010 All-Decade Team and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2007. There is a high possibility that Joe Staley finds his way into Canton one day. He played 181 games in his career and started every single one of them.
2009 – Eric Wood – Center
Buffalo took Eric Wood 28th overall in the 2008 draft. He played nine seasons in the NFL and just like Joe Staley, Wood started every game he played in. In 2015 he was selected to his lone Pro Bowl. Eric Wood actually started his NFL career at guard.
At the beginning of the 2011 season, he made a transition to Center. In his Pro Bowl 2015 campaign he was also selected as the Bills' Man of the Year candidate. In 2018 (2017 season) Wood helped the Bills make their first playoff appearance since 1999. Also thanks to Andy Dalton and our Bengals.
2011 – Mark Ingram – Running Back
Ingram was hot coming out of college at Alabama, all of which was capped off by his winning the Heisman in 2009. The Saints took him in the 2011 draft just a year from his Heisman campaign. He was a solid pick, not being the explosive Heisman winner, but a reliable back for New Orleans.
So much so that he is currently their all-time leading rusher with 6,500 rushing yards during his eight seasons as a Saint. He played two seasons in Baltimore, a quick stop in Houston in 2021, before coming back to NOLA in 2021 and through 2022.
It's too early to tell if Mark Ingram will make the Hall of Fame, it’s not likely but possibly the New Orleans Ring of Honor. One weird statistic while doing research for this article -- His father Mark Ingram Sr. was selected 28th overall in 1987 by the New York Giants.
2015 – Laken Tomlinson – Guard
Things haven’t been looking great for Laken Tomlinson, at least to start his career. He was drafted by the Lions in 2015 but at the beginning of the 2017 season was traded to San Francisco. He found more success and stability there playing five seasons and making a Pro Bowl in 2021.
Laken signed a three-year deal with the Jets in March of 2022. We’ll see if anything else comes of his career or if he will only make the one Pro Bowl.
What do you think? Who was the best player drafted 28th overall? Did I miss anyone?