2016- San Francisco 49ers select Offensive Guard, Joshua Garnett (Stanford)
NFL.com Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein said it all when re-assessing the selection of Garnett for the Niners in a 2019 recap piece:
"“He simply hasn’t provided the 49ers with much value, and he’s currently recovering from finger surgery.” —Lance Zierlein, NFL.com"
In summation, he gave the pick an “F” looking back on it.
Injuries seemed to have plagued Garnett in the NFL though they weren’t an issue dating back to his collegiate days at Stanford. Garnett was the starting left guard for the Cardinal playing in 14 games and winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior offensive lineman.
Garnett had 11 starts in 2016 but since then has appeared in only seven games and has dealt with nagging knee injuries and toe injuries. He was cut by the Niners on August 31, 2019, and he will look to resurrect his career with Detroit Lions whom he signed with on February 3, 2020.
2015- Detroit Lions select Offensive Guard, Laken Tomlinson (Duke)
The Lions held the rights to Tomlinson in 2015 and 2016 and he totaled 24 starts over two seasons but found himself in a battle with rookie Graham Glasgow for the starting left guard spot heading into the 2017 season.
As rumors swirled that he was a likely cut candidate as training camp was winding down, Tomlinson was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2019 fifth-round selection.
Tomlinson became a free agent after the 2018 season but inked a three-year $18 million extension with the Niners. Over his three seasons there he has started 47 out of 48 games for the Niners and was the starting left guard for the Super Bowl runners up in 2019.
The greatest player ever drafted at pick #28 is a toss-up between linebacker Derrick Brooks and defensive back Darrell Green. Both players had HOF careers with the teams that drafted them in the Tampa Bay Bucs and Washington Redskins.
The Ravens have never selected at 28 in the draft but they have had some success in that neighborhood. In 1996, they drafted some guy named Ray Lewis at 26 and he had a pretty decent career. Ben Grubbs was selected in 2007 at 29 and had a very solid career with the Ravens while Jimmy Smith was picked at 27 in 2011 and is still with the team today.
Overall the past five seasons of #28 overall picks haven’t yielded the best results. Let’s hope the Baltimore Ravens have what it takes to break that trend when Commissioner Roger Goodell trots to his washing machine to announce the selection next Thursday night.