Player Profile: LB Chris Draft

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To be a winning team you need a mix of all star talent, core veteran athletes, and up-and-coming rookies to fill the previous two in a year after year cycle. Chris Draft is an 11 year veteran linebacker who is entering into the third year of a three year contract with the Rams. This is his Player Profile.

He was born Christopher Michael Draft on February 26, 1976 in Anaheim, California. He went to Valencia High in Placentia, CA, where he was a High School All American in both football and baseball. During his prep school football career he played as running back as well as defensive linebacker. Next he attended Stanford University where he started 3 out of his 4 years as inside linebacker. During his college career he accumulated 316 tackles, 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. He also earned a degree in Economics.

His NFL career began in an inglorious fashion playing in only one game for the Chicago Bears in 1998 and then 7 games in 1999 for the 49ers. There are no real stats to speak of during those first 2 years. It wasn’t until 2000, when he moved to The Falcons that he really began what has been a productive career. That season he played in 13 games, started in 8 games, and contributed with 67 tackles and a sack. Drafts total football earning in 2000 was $363k.

Draft played for the Falcons four more years with his salary, playing time, and stats increasing every year. In 2001 he earning $423k, played in 13 games, started 10, and contributed 72 tackles. His 2002 numbers include $568k, played in 15 games, started in 5, earned 97 tackles, and realized 3.5 sacks. In 2003 he had a career year earning $1.9M, playing all 16 games and starting in all 16 games (he has accomplished this twice in his career so far).

He also carried out 126 tackles and 2 sacks (that stat varies according to source). In 2005 Draft moved to the Panthers where he had two great years. In 2006 he again played in 16 games, started 16 games, produced 109 tackles, and had 5.5 sacks. (Draft earned $810k in 2006.)

Draft’s stats for the 2007-2008 seasons with the Rams were pretty ordinary. He played 28 out of 32 games and contributed a total of 80 tackles (earnings of approx $4.2M). And although it is imperative he bring his stats back up to historical levels, Draft brings a lot of intangibles to the team.

11 years of solid effort and productivity as linebacker, years of national and community service off the field, and in 2007 he was recognized with 2007 NFL Alumni “Spirit Award” 2006 Man of the Year. Chris Draft, veteran and leader, is the exact type of core player the Rams need to get the franchise successful once again.


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