What a difference three years can make

Some draft classes that look stellar on draft day look dismal years later. Others that look like a bust lay the groundwork for future success. That's why teams often say it's best to wait three years before grading a draft class. With that in mind, Scouts Inc. went back and reviewed the 2005 draft. We graded every team's draft class and then compared it to an average grade given immediately following the 2005 draft from five major Web sites -- Yahoo! Sports, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News and ESPN.

Five teams (Arizona, Carolina, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota) were given at least a two-letter grade difference, while eight others (Denver, Houston, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia,
San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis) had a one-letter grade difference.

Who knew the 10th overall pick, wide receiver Mike Williams, was going to be a bust in Detroit, or that fifth-round pick defensive end Trent Cole was going to be a Pro Bowler? These twists of fate are what make the draft worth watching, but they also are why it's tough to tell how good a team did on draft day until three years later.

15 quick hits about the 2005 NFL draft class

Derek Anderson (grade out of college: 73), who was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round, is the highest-rated quarterback in this class today. The Ravens waived him, and a day later the Browns claimed him. He was in the 2007 Pro Bowl, and the Ravens are still struggling to find a quarterback.

• 12 Pro Bowlers came out of the 2005 draft: LB Shawne Merriman (Chargers, current grade: 93), DE DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys, current grade: 93), WR Braylon Edwards (Browns, current grade: 88), OT Jammal Brown (Saints, current grade: 87), G Logan Mankins (Patriots, current grade: 87), LB Lofa Tatupu (Seahawks, current grade: 87), RB Frank Gore (49ers, current grade: 84), DE Trent Cole (Eagles, current grade: 79), RB Marion Barber (Cowboys, grade: 77), QB Derek Anderson (Browns, grade: 74), KR Justin Miller (Jets, current grade: 65), KR Jerome Mathis (Texans, current grade: 56).

• Only three running backs were drafted in Round 1, and Auburn had two running backs drafted in the top five -- Ronnie Brown (Dolphins) and Carnell Williams (Buccaneers).

Adrian McPherson (current grade: 40) was the 10th quarterback taken in the 2005 draft and now is the backup for the Grand Rapids Rampage in the AFL.

• After the 49ers decided to take QB Alex Smith (grade out of college: 98) over QB Aaron Rodgers (grade out of college: 99) first overall, Rodgers dropped to 24th overall and was picked by the Packers.

• Falcons LB Michael Boley (fifth round, current grade: 85) is the highest-rated player drafted on Day 2.

• Two of the seven players Cincinnati drafted (WR Chris Henry and LB Odell Thurman) have been suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell for personal conduct reasons.

• DT Jay Ratliff (Cowboys, current grade: 65) is the highest-rated player drafted in the seventh round.

• Maurice Clarett (released by Denver) was the ninth running back drafted in 2005. He has more arrests than rushing yards in the NFL.

• DT Anttaj Hawthorne (Oakland, grade out of college: 89), from Wisconsin is the highest-rated player out of college who is no longer in the NFL.

• The Lions drafted a wide receiver in the first round for the third year in a row. Their pick, Mike Williams (current grade: 52), now plays in Tennessee.

• Fifty-three of the 255 players drafted are no longer in the league.

• Tampa Bay, Seattle, Indianapolis and Green Bay drafted the most players (four) who are no longer in the NFL.

• Only five teams' entire draft class remains in the NFL (Tennessee, N.Y. Giants, Miami, Houston and Baltimore).

• No team has all its drafted players from 2005.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.