I have often wondered how the 2000 Dawgs weren't National Championship contenders that season. 11 defensive guys are or did start in the NFL. Heck, it would make a damn good NFL all-star team to have those eleven guys in their prime. I may have overlooked a few, but here are some facts I pulled up about these Dawgs:
DE Charles Grant – 1st round draft pick that has been a career sack machine for the Saints. Has started since day one.
DT Richard Seymour – Has been described as the best #6 draft pick of all time. Has started since day one for the powerful Patriots teams and now the Raiders. Has made multiple Pro Bowls!
DT Marcus Stroud – 13th overall pick in the draft that has also started since day one! Also has been elected to multiple Pro Bowls.
LB Boss Bailey - 2nd round pick by the Lions, made the all-rookie team in 2003.
LB Kendrell Bell - 2nd round pick of the Steelers that won Rookie of the Year award!
LB Will Witherspoon - 3rd round pick by the Panthers and has been a defensive starter and leader for 3 different teams in the NFL.
LB Tony Gilbert - 6th round draft pick by the Cardinals, and he currently plays for our own Atlanta Falcons!
CB Tim Wansley - 7th round pick that was a big part of the dominating Tampa defense that won the Superbowl.
SS Jermaine Phillips - 5th round pick for Tampa that took over for the legendary John Lynch.
S Terreal Bierria - Started several games for Seattle until legal troubles took over.
CB Jamie Henderson - 4th round pick by the Jets.
On a side note, there are at least 3-4 reserves from that team that made it to the NFL also. These guys just weren't NFL impact players like the ones above. Feel free to correct my mistakes or add to this post!
It's pretty hard to believe that 11 defensive players from the 2000 teams went on to become high draft picks in the NFL, win a ton of combined Pro Bowl selections, multiple superbowls, rookie of the year awards; and most of them are still starting in the NFL today. No wonder Donnan got canned!