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Published: April 28, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.
Updated: April 29, 2014 at 06:36 p.m.

Top current NFL players who were draft steals

It's all well and good for a prospect selected at the top of the draft to turn into an NFL star -- that's expected. It's quite another for a player overlooked in the draft to develop into one of the game's finest performers. Here are the top draft steals among players currently in the NFL.

10 Photos Total

  • 10. Aaron Rodgers 10

    Paul Sancya

    10. Aaron Rodgers

    Draft: 2005, first-round pick
    Team: Green Bay Packers
    In the leadup to the 2005 NFL Draft, Rodgers was projected by many to be the No. 1 overall choice to the San Francisco 49ers. Instead, Rodgers experienced an awkward draft-day drop, eventually going 24th to the Packers. Turns out the California product went to the appropriate team. Given time to develop behind future Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre, Rodgers has become one of the game's top offensive talents, earning an MVP award and leading the Packers to a Super Bowl win. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • 9. Trent Cole 9

    Paul Spinelli / SPINP

    9. Trent Cole

    Draft: 2005, fifth-round pick
    Team: Philadelphia Eagles
    Cole -- the 146th overall selection out of Cincinnati -- went on to become a two-time Pro Bowl selection and record 79 career sacks. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)

  • 8. Richard Sherman 8

    Elaine Thompson

    8. Richard Sherman

    Draft: 2011, fifth-round pick
    Team: Seattle Seahawks
    Sherman -- the 154th overall selection out of Stanford -- is a key cog in the "Legion on Boom" defense of the Seahawks, which helped the team to an overwhelming win in Super Bowl XLVIII. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • 7. Asante Samuel 7

    Stephan Savoia

    7. Asante Samuel

    Draft: 2003, fourth-round pick
    Team: New England Patriots
    Samuel -- the 120th overall selection out of Central Florida -- was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He was part of two Patriots teams that won the Super Bowl, and third that went 18-0 before falling in Super Bowl XLII. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

  • 6. Jay Ratliff 6

    Tony Gutierrez

    6. Jay Ratliff

    Draft: 2005, seventh-round pick
    Team: Dallas Cowboys
    Ratliff -- the 224th overall selection out of Auburn -- is a four-time Pro Bowl selection after developing into one of the league's top defensive linemen during eight seasons with the Cowboys. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • 5. NaVorro Bowman 5

    Ric Tapia

    5. NaVorro Bowman

    Draft: 2010, third-round pick
    Team: San Francisco 49ers
    Bowman -- the 91st overall selection out of Penn State -- has enjoyed a stellar career so far with the 49ers, earning two Pro Bowl selections and three first-team All-Pro honors. (AP Photo/Ric Tapia)

  • 4. Russell Wilson 4

    Ben Liebenberg

    4. Russell Wilson

    Draft: 2012, third-round pick
    Team: Seattle Seahawks
    Wilson -- the 75th overall selection out of Wisconsin -- was part of a quarterback draft class that also included the top two selections in the draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. As Luck and RGIII secured most of the attention, Wilson was the first to win a Super Bowl. Wilson is also a two-time Pro Bowl selection. (AP Photo/Ben Liebenberg)

  • 3. Jimmy Graham 3

    John Bazemore

    3. Jimmy Graham

    Draft: 2010, third-round pick
    Team: New Orleans Saints
    Graham -- the 95th overall selection out of Miami (Fla.) -- played four years of college basketball for the Hurricanes before playing one season of football at the school. Talented yet unrefined, Graham spent his first season as a backup. Since then, he has posted two 1,000-yard receiving seasons and two Pro Bowl seasons while earning a reputation as the game's top tight end. (AP Foto/John Bazemore)

  • 2. Jared Allen 2

    G. Newman Lowrance

    2. Jared Allen

    Draft: 2004, fourth-round pick
    Team: Kansas City Chiefs
    Allen -- the 126th overall selection out of Idaho State -- is a two-time NFL sack leader, five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro. With 128.5 career sacks (12th all time) entering the 2014 season and longstanding notoriety as one of the game's top pass rushers, it's a safe bet Allen earns strong consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his career is over. (AP Photo/G. Newman Lowrance)

  • 1. Tom Brady 1

    Stephan Savoia

    1. Tom Brady

    Draft: 2000, sixth-round pick
    Team: New England Patriots
    Brady -- the 199th overall selection out of Michigan -- earns distinction as not only the top draft steal among players currently in the NFL, but as the all-time draft steal. Brady's emergence from obscure sixth-round pick to nine-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time league MVP helped the Patriots become one of the league's all-time great dynasties. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

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