Greatest Player Drafted  

 

Published: April 16, 2015 at 06:10 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2015 at 02:40 p.m.

Most valuable draft pick of all time for each NFL team

With assistance from NFL history savant Elliot Harrison (follow him on Twitter @HarrisonNFL), we have determined the greatest draft selections for all 32 NFL teams.

We took into account where in the draft the players were selected and the sum of their accomplishments in the NFL. While most are Pro Football Hall of Famers, some were very low-round draft choices who emerged to become stars.

32 Photos Total

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1960" target="new">1960 NFL Draft</a>, seventh round, No. 74 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Utah
<br>Wilson -- who played for the St. Louis Cardinals well before the team's move to Arizona -- was the 10th defensive back taken in the 1960 draft, and the only other future Pro Football Hall of Famer in that draft (Ron Mix) went to play in the rival American Football League. Wilson made the safety blitz famous and was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=232" target="new">a 1978 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> It always stuck with me that former Packers great Jerry Kramer said in his book "Instant Replay" that Wilson was the best player in the league. Imagine that: An All-Pro on the greatest team in NFL history saying a safety -- a SAFETY -- on the Cardinals, of all teams, was the top-flight player in the league. 32

    NFL

    Arizona Cardinals: Larry Wilson

    Draft: 1960 NFL Draft, seventh round, No. 74 overall
    College: Utah
    Wilson -- who played for the St. Louis Cardinals well before the team's move to Arizona -- was the 10th defensive back taken in the 1960 draft, and the only other future Pro Football Hall of Famer in that draft (Ron Mix) went to play in the rival American Football League. Wilson made the safety blitz famous and was a 1978 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: It always stuck with me that former Packers great Jerry Kramer said in his book "Instant Replay" that Wilson was the best player in the league. Imagine that: An All-Pro on the greatest team in NFL history saying a safety -- a SAFETY -- on the Cardinals, of all teams, was the top-flight player in the league.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1969" target="new">1969 NFL Draft</a>, 11th round, No. 262 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Kentucky
<br>Van Note played 18 seasons in Atlanta, earning five Pro Bowl selections during his tenure with the team. Van Note played in 246 games during his career, missing just four games in his nearly two decades toiling in the trenches.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> It would be <i>oh so easy</i> to take Deion Sanders here. But think about it ... if we're talking draft value, then how do you go wrong with an 11th-round pick who played 18 years? 31

    NFL

    Atlanta Falcons: Jeff Van Note

    Draft: 1969 NFL Draft, 11th round, No. 262 overall
    College: Kentucky
    Van Note played 18 seasons in Atlanta, earning five Pro Bowl selections during his tenure with the team. Van Note played in 246 games during his career, missing just four games in his nearly two decades toiling in the trenches.

    Elliot's take: It would be oh so easy to take Deion Sanders here. But think about it ... if we're talking draft value, then how do you go wrong with an 11th-round pick who played 18 years?

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1996" target="new">1996 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 26 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Miami (Fla.)
<br>Taken 22 slots after Jonathan Ogden, Lewis was the second of two first-round picks for the Ravens in their first season in Baltimore. Lewis became the face of the franchise, earning 13 Pro Bowl selections. He helped the Ravens win two Super Bowls, and was named MVP of the Super Bowl XXXV win. Ogden, of course, paved a Hall of Fame career of his own. 30

    Four Seam Images

    Baltimore Ravens: Ray Lewis

    Draft: 1996 NFL Draft, first round, No. 26 overall
    College: Miami (Fla.)
    Taken 22 slots after Jonathan Ogden, Lewis was the second of two first-round picks for the Ravens in their first season in Baltimore. Lewis became the face of the franchise, earning 13 Pro Bowl selections. He helped the Ravens win two Super Bowls, and was named MVP of the Super Bowl XXXV win. Ogden, of course, paved a Hall of Fame career of his own.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1988" target="new">1988 NFL Draft</a>, second round, No. 40 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Oklahoma State
<br>Thomas was the NFL's MVP in 1991 and led the league in total yards from scrimmage a record four consecutive seasons. Thomas was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=253" target="new">a 2007 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> To this day, I think Thurman Thomas is one of the most underrated running backs ever to play in the NFL. The guy led the league in yards from scrimmage four straight seasons ... and, of course, the Bills made four consecutive Super Bowls. They couldn't have done it without him. 29

    Al Messerschmidt Archive

    Buffalo Bills: Thurman Thomas

    Draft: 1988 NFL Draft, second round, No. 40 overall
    College: Oklahoma State
    Thomas was the NFL's MVP in 1991 and led the league in total yards from scrimmage a record four consecutive seasons. Thomas was a 2007 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: To this day, I think Thurman Thomas is one of the most underrated running backs ever to play in the NFL. The guy led the league in yards from scrimmage four straight seasons ... and, of course, the Bills made four consecutive Super Bowls. They couldn't have done it without him.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=2001" target="new">2001 NFL Draft</a>, third round, No. 74 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Utah
<br>Smith played 13 seasons for the Panthers, helping the franchise make its only Super Bowl appearance in the 2003 campaign. He also led the NFL in receiving yards (1,563) in 2005. 28

    CHARLES REX ARBOGAST

    Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith

    Draft: 2001 NFL Draft, third round, No. 74 overall
    College: Utah
    Smith played 13 seasons for the Panthers, helping the franchise make its only Super Bowl appearance in the 2003 campaign. He also led the NFL in receiving yards (1,563) in 2005.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1975" target="new">1975 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 4 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Jackson State
<br>The dominant running back of his era, Payton was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, retired as NFL's all-time rushing-yardage leader and was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=174" target="new">a 1993 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 27

    Vernon Biever

    Chicago Bears: Walter Payton

    Draft: 1975 NFL Draft, first round, No. 4 overall
    College: Jackson State
    The dominant running back of his era, Payton was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, retired as NFL's all-time rushing-yardage leader and was a 1993 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1980" target="new">1980 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 3 overall
<br><b>College:</b> USC
<br>Considered a risky pick when the Bengals selected him third overall in 1980, all Munoz did was earn 11 Pro Bowl selections, help the team advance to two Super Bowls, become one of the greatest offensive linemen in league history and <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=158" target="_blank">get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame</a> in 1998. 
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> While agreeing with the Munoz selection, long-time Bengals fans surely will recall the exploits of Ken Riley. "The Rattler" intercepted 65 passes and was named an All-Pro four times. Safe to say Riley had a pretty doggone good career for a sixth-round pick. 26

    NFL

    Cincinnati Bengals: Anthony Munoz

    Draft: 1980 NFL Draft, first round, No. 3 overall
    College: USC
    Considered a risky pick when the Bengals selected him third overall in 1980, all Munoz did was earn 11 Pro Bowl selections, help the team advance to two Super Bowls, become one of the greatest offensive linemen in league history and get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

    Elliot's take: While agreeing with the Munoz selection, long-time Bengals fans surely will recall the exploits of Ken Riley. "The Rattler" intercepted 65 passes and was named an All-Pro four times. Safe to say Riley had a pretty doggone good career for a sixth-round pick.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1957" target="new">1957 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 6 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Syracuse
<br>Brown established himself as <a href="/videos/cleveland-browns/09000d5d81bdf98e/Top-100-Jim-Brown" target="new">one of the game's greatest-ever players</a> by leading the NFL in rushing yardage in eight of his nine seasons in the league, being a three-time NFL MVP and becoming <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=33" target="new">a 1971 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 25

    Pro Football Hall of Fame

    Cleveland Browns: Jim Brown

    Draft: 1957 NFL Draft, first round, No. 6 overall
    College: Syracuse
    Brown established himself as one of the game's greatest-ever players by leading the NFL in rushing yardage in eight of his nine seasons in the league, being a three-time NFL MVP and becoming a 1971 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1964" target="new">1964 NFL Draft</a>, 10th round, No. 129 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Navy
<br>Staubach played in five Super Bowls with the Cowboys, winning two and earning game MVP honors in Super Bowl VI. The player affectionately called "Captain America" was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=201" target="new">a 1985 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Given the fact that Staubach is the Cowboys' greatest offensive player ever -- Bob Lilly holds that distinction on the other side of the ball -- and that he was taken in the 10th round as a "future," this was the right choice. Dallas did have to wait five seasons before seeing him suit up, as Staubach owed four years to the Navy upon graduation. 24

    Uncredited

    Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach

    Draft: 1964 NFL Draft, 10th round, No. 129 overall
    College: Navy
    Staubach played in five Super Bowls with the Cowboys, winning two and earning game MVP honors in Super Bowl VI. The player affectionately called "Captain America" was a 1985 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: Given the fact that Staubach is the Cowboys' greatest offensive player ever -- Bob Lilly holds that distinction on the other side of the ball -- and that he was taken in the 10th round as a "future," this was the right choice. Dallas did have to wait five seasons before seeing him suit up, as Staubach owed four years to the Navy upon graduation.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1990" target="new">1990 NFL Draft</a>, seventh round, No. 192 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Savannah State
<br>At the time of his retirement, Sharpe was the career record holder for tight ends in receptions (815), yards (10,060) and TDs (62). <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=279" target="new">The 2011 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was also a three-time Super Bowl winner, twice with the Broncos and once with the Ravens. 23

    Kevin Terrell

    Denver Broncos: Shannon Sharpe

    Draft: 1990 NFL Draft, seventh round, No. 192 overall
    College: Savannah State
    At the time of his retirement, Sharpe was the career record holder for tight ends in receptions (815), yards (10,060) and TDs (62). The 2011 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was also a three-time Super Bowl winner, twice with the Broncos and once with the Ravens.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1989" target="new">1989 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 3 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Oklahoma State
<br>Sanders was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, a four-time NFL rushing champion and <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=187" target="new">a 2004 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sanders also put together a 2000-yard season in 1997 and averaged just under 5 yards per carry over his career. 22

    Detroit Lions: Barry Sanders

    Draft: 1989 NFL Draft, first round, No. 3 overall
    College: Oklahoma State
    Sanders was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, a four-time NFL rushing champion and a 2004 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sanders also put together a 2000-yard season in 1997 and averaged just under 5 yards per carry over his career.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1956" target="new">1956 NFL Draft</a>, 17th round, No. 200 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Alabama
<br>Starr led the Packers to five NFL championships in a seven-year span during the 1960s, including winning the first two Super Bowls (Starr was MVP in each game). The <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=200" target="new">1977 inductee</a> in the Pro Football Hall of Fame also scored one of <a href="/videos/green-bay-packers/09000d5d8206bc95/Starr-s-QB-sneak" target="new">the NFL's most famous touchdowns</a>.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Only two Hall of Famers were taken in the 17th round. Starr did not pique the NFL's interest when he came out of Alabama -- even his own team overlooked him for a few years. Yet, the arrival of Vince Lombardi in 1959 changed that ... Starr became the best Packers QB ever (over Brett Favre and, for now, Aaron Rodgers). 21

    Vernon Biever

    Green Bay Packers: Bart Starr

    Draft: 1956 NFL Draft, 17th round, No. 200 overall
    College: Alabama
    Starr led the Packers to five NFL championships in a seven-year span during the 1960s, including winning the first two Super Bowls (Starr was MVP in each game). The 1977 inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame also scored one of the NFL's most famous touchdowns.

    Elliot's take: Only two Hall of Famers were taken in the 17th round. Starr did not pique the NFL's interest when he came out of Alabama -- even his own team overlooked him for a few years. Yet, the arrival of Vince Lombardi in 1959 changed that ... Starr became the best Packers QB ever (over Brett Favre and, for now, Aaron Rodgers).

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=2011" target="new">2011 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 11 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Wisconsin
<br>With just four NFL seasons under his belt, Watt has already established himself as the league's most dominant defensive presence. Watt is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner (2012 and 2014) and is the first player in NFL history to have 20 or more sacks in multiple seasons.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Thought Andre Johnson made a lot of sense here, although he and Watt were both expected to be valuable commodities as first-round picks. I still think Johnson is the top player in Texans history, but it is getting a wee bit tougher to say that with the way Watt's career is going. 20

    Aaron M. Sprecher

    Houston Texans: J.J. Watt

    Draft: 2011 NFL Draft, first round, No. 11 overall
    College: Wisconsin
    With just four NFL seasons under his belt, Watt has already established himself as the league's most dominant defensive presence. Watt is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner (2012 and 2014) and is the first player in NFL history to have 20 or more sacks in multiple seasons.

    Elliot's take: Thought Andre Johnson made a lot of sense here, although he and Watt were both expected to be valuable commodities as first-round picks. I still think Johnson is the top player in Texans history, but it is getting a wee bit tougher to say that with the way Watt's career is going.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1954" target="new">1954 NFL Draft</a>, 20th round, No. 232 overall
<br><b>College:</b> SMU
<br>Berry -- who played for the Baltimore Colts long before the franchise shifted cities -- was a major contributor to the title-winning teams in 1958 and '59. Berry finished his career with a then-NFL record 631 catches for 9,275 yards and 68 TDs. He was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=25" target="new">a 1973 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> You consistently hear about what kind of route runner a wide receiver is coming out of college. The whole concept of precision route running emanated from Berry, who had it down to a science. He was Cris Carter before Cris Carter. 19

    DB

    Indianapolis Colts: Raymond Berry

    Draft: 1954 NFL Draft, 20th round, No. 232 overall
    College: SMU
    Berry -- who played for the Baltimore Colts long before the franchise shifted cities -- was a major contributor to the title-winning teams in 1958 and '59. Berry finished his career with a then-NFL record 631 catches for 9,275 yards and 68 TDs. He was a 1973 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: You consistently hear about what kind of route runner a wide receiver is coming out of college. The whole concept of precision route running emanated from Berry, who had it down to a science. He was Cris Carter before Cris Carter.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1998" target="new">1998 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 9 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Florida
<br>Taylor spent 11 seasons with Jacksonville, going over 1,000 yards rushing in seven and finishing as the franchise's all-time leading rusher (11,271 yards).
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> When you think about great players that are forgotten too soon, Taylor should be at the top of the list. An explosive running back who couldn't shake the injury bug, Taylor shook those issues off enough to rush for more than 11,000 yards. 18

    MARK HUMPHREY

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Fred Taylor

    Draft: 1998 NFL Draft, first round, No. 9 overall
    College: Florida
    Taylor spent 11 seasons with Jacksonville, going over 1,000 yards rushing in seven and finishing as the franchise's all-time leading rusher (11,271 yards).

    Elliot's take: When you think about great players that are forgotten too soon, Taylor should be at the top of the list. An explosive running back who couldn't shake the injury bug, Taylor shook those issues off enough to rush for more than 11,000 yards.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1997" target="new">1997 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 13 overall
<br><b>College:</b> California
<br>Gonzalez emerged as arguably the greatest tight end in league history, earning 14 Pro Bowl selections and retiring as the NFL's record-holder for tight ends in TD receptions (111) and receiving yards (15,127). The ultra-durable Gonzalez missed just two games during a 17-year career. 17

    JULIE JACOBSON

    Kansas City Chiefs: Tony Gonzalez

    Draft: 1997 NFL Draft, first round, No. 13 overall
    College: California
    Gonzalez emerged as arguably the greatest tight end in league history, earning 14 Pro Bowl selections and retiring as the NFL's record-holder for tight ends in TD receptions (111) and receiving yards (15,127). The ultra-durable Gonzalez missed just two games during a 17-year career.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1983" target="new">1983 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 27 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Pittsburgh
<br>Marino was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, the league's MVP in 1984 and <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=238" target="new">a 2005 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, Marino held most significant career passing records.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Marino is another pretty easy pick. To think five quarterbacks went ahead of him in 1983 is mind boggling. That said, Jake Scott, who was MVP of Super Bowl VII and intercepted 49 passes in his career, was quite the value pick in the seventh round of the 1970 draft. 16

    Anonymous

    Miami Dolphins: Dan Marino

    Draft: 1983 NFL Draft, first round, No. 27 overall
    College: Pittsburgh
    Marino was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, the league's MVP in 1984 and a 2005 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, Marino held most significant career passing records.

    Elliot's take: Marino is another pretty easy pick. To think five quarterbacks went ahead of him in 1983 is mind boggling. That said, Jake Scott, who was MVP of Super Bowl VII and intercepted 49 passes in his career, was quite the value pick in the seventh round of the 1970 draft.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1998" target="new">1998 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 21 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Marshall
<br>Moss dropped in the first round of the 1998 draft, but the Vikings pounced and prevailed as a result. With an NFL-leading 17 TDs, Moss took the NFL by storm in '98 as the Vikings' offense scored a then-NFL record 556 points. Moss later set a single-season NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> A lot of teams passed on Randy Moss ... and many teams passed on Fran Tarkenton in 1961, too. The Vikings' all-time leading passer went in the third round. Longtime linebacker Scott Studwell went in the ninth round in 1977. 15

    MICHAEL CONROY

    Minnesota Vikings: Randy Moss

    Draft: 1998 NFL Draft, first round, No. 21 overall
    College: Marshall
    Moss dropped in the first round of the 1998 draft, but the Vikings pounced and prevailed as a result. With an NFL-leading 17 TDs, Moss took the NFL by storm in '98 as the Vikings' offense scored a then-NFL record 556 points. Moss later set a single-season NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007.

    Elliot's take: A lot of teams passed on Randy Moss ... and many teams passed on Fran Tarkenton in 1961, too. The Vikings' all-time leading passer went in the third round. Longtime linebacker Scott Studwell went in the ninth round in 1977.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=2000" target="new">2000 NFL Draft</a>, sixth round, No. 199 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Michigan
<br>Brady emerged from draft afterthought to <a href="/news/story/0ap3000000467997/article/tom-bradys-legacy-the-greatest-quarterback-in-nfl-history" target="new">arguably the greatest quarterback</a> in league history. He has led the Patriots to six Super Bowls, winning four and earning game MVP honors in three of those victories. 14

    Winslow Townson

    New England Patriots: Tom Brady

    Draft: 2000 NFL Draft, sixth round, No. 199 overall
    College: Michigan
    Brady emerged from draft afterthought to arguably the greatest quarterback in league history. He has led the Patriots to six Super Bowls, winning four and earning game MVP honors in three of those victories.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1981" target="new">1981 NFL Draft</a>, second round, No. 51 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Pittsburgh
<br>Jackson finished his career with 128 sacks and earned six Pro Bowl selections. He was a member of the 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX-winning team and <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=289" target="new">a 2010 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Rickey Jackson was quite simply one of the best defensive players of the 1980s, and didn't really slow much as a 30-something in the 1990s. Truly an explosive pass rusher. 13

    Anonymous

    New Orleans Saints: Rickey Jackson

    Draft: 1981 NFL Draft, second round, No. 51 overall
    College: Pittsburgh
    Jackson finished his career with 128 sacks and earned six Pro Bowl selections. He was a member of the 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX-winning team and a 2010 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: Rickey Jackson was quite simply one of the best defensive players of the 1980s, and didn't really slow much as a 30-something in the 1990s. Truly an explosive pass rusher.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1953" target="new">1953 NFL Draft</a>, 27th round, No. 321 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Morgan State
<br>Brown was a 13-year starter on the offensive line for the Giants, earning nine Pro Bowl nods in that span. A member of the Giants' 1956 championship team, Brown was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=35" target="new">a 1975 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Some old-timers consider Brown to be at the top of the list among Giants players. While considered one of the truly dominant offensive tackles of his era (along with Jim Parker), it's hard to imagine how he was taken in the 27th round. Or, I guess, that there were, in fact, 27 rounds in the NFL draft. 12

    JOHN ROONEY

    New York Giants: Roosevelt Brown

    Draft: 1953 NFL Draft, 27th round, No. 321 overall
    College: Morgan State
    Brown was a 13-year starter on the offensive line for the Giants, earning nine Pro Bowl nods in that span. A member of the Giants' 1956 championship team, Brown was a 1975 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: Some old-timers consider Brown to be at the top of the list among Giants players. While considered one of the truly dominant offensive tackles of his era (along with Jim Parker), it's hard to imagine how he was taken in the 27th round. Or, I guess, that there were, in fact, 27 rounds in the NFL draft.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=2007" target="new">2007 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 14 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Pittsburgh
<br>Revis has built a reputation as the league's top shutdown cornerback, to such an extent that he earned the nickname "Revis Island." Revis is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was a huge part of the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX-winning team. 11

    Kathy Willens

    New York Jets: Darrelle Revis

    Draft: 2007 NFL Draft, first round, No. 14 overall
    College: Pittsburgh
    Revis has built a reputation as the league's top shutdown cornerback, to such an extent that he earned the nickname "Revis Island." Revis is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was a huge part of the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX-winning team.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1968" target="new">1968 NFL Draft</a>, third round, No. 80 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Maryland-Eastern Shore
<br>Shell was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a member of two Super Bowl-winning Raiders teams (Super Bowl XI and Super Bowl XV) and <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=193" target="new">a 1989 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> Truthfully, there are so many Raiders to consider for this list ... Fred Biletnikoff (second round), Lester Hayes (fifth round) or Super Bowl MVP Rod Martin (12th round), but to get one of the five best left tackles in history in the third round is tough to beat. 10

    NFL

    Oakland Raiders: Art Shell

    Draft: 1968 NFL Draft, third round, No. 80 overall
    College: Maryland-Eastern Shore
    Shell was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a member of two Super Bowl-winning Raiders teams (Super Bowl XI and Super Bowl XV) and a 1989 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: Truthfully, there are so many Raiders to consider for this list ... Fred Biletnikoff (second round), Lester Hayes (fifth round) or Super Bowl MVP Rod Martin (12th round), but to get one of the five best left tackles in history in the third round is tough to beat.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1971" target="new">1971 NFL Draft</a>, seventh round, No. 161 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Southern
<br>The 19th receiver selected in the 1971 draft played 13 seasons for the Eagles and finished his career as the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. The four-time Pro Bowl receiver was a member of the Eagles team that advanced to Super Bowl XV.
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<b>Elliot's take:</b> At one time, Carmichael held the NFL record for passes caught in consecutive games. At 6-foot-8, he was a mismatch for the 1970s corner, while having the skills of any Pro Bowl wide receiver. 9

    Gene Puskar

    Philadelphia Eagles: Harold Carmichael

    Draft: 1971 NFL Draft, seventh round, No. 161 overall
    College: Southern
    The 19th receiver selected in the 1971 draft played 13 seasons for the Eagles and finished his career as the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. The four-time Pro Bowl receiver was a member of the Eagles team that advanced to Super Bowl XV.

    Elliot's take: At one time, Carmichael held the NFL record for passes caught in consecutive games. At 6-foot-8, he was a mismatch for the 1970s corner, while having the skills of any Pro Bowl wide receiver.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1974" target="new">1974 NFL Draft</a>, fifth round, No. 125 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Wisconsin
<br>Webster was the fourth of <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/history/general/draft/1974.aspx" target="new">four future Hall of Famers</a> the Steelers selected in the 1974 draft. Webster played in every game for 10 consecutive seasons (1976-1985) and was a four-time Super Bowl winner with the Steelers. 8

    NFL

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Webster

    Draft: 1974 NFL Draft, fifth round, No. 125 overall
    College: Wisconsin
    Webster was the fourth of four future Hall of Famers the Steelers selected in the 1974 draft. Webster played in every game for 10 consecutive seasons (1976-1985) and was a four-time Super Bowl winner with the Steelers.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1973" target="new">1973 NFL Draft</a>, third round, No. 64 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Oregon
<br>While directing one of <a href="/videos/nfl-films-presents/09000d5d8114b417/Top-Ten-Receiving-Corps-Air-Coryell" target="new">the most explosive offenses</a> in league history -- <a href="/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d8074cb4e/Top-Ten-Nicknames-Air-Coryell" target="new">"Air Coryell"</a> -- Fouts was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, the 1982 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and a <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=71" target="new">1993 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 7

    David Durochik

    San Diego Chargers: Dan Fouts

    Draft: 1973 NFL Draft, third round, No. 64 overall
    College: Oregon
    While directing one of the most explosive offenses in league history -- "Air Coryell" -- Fouts was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, the 1982 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and a 1993 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=2011" target="new">2011 NFL Draft</a>, fifth round, No. 154 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Stanford
<br>The Seahawks put together their <a href="/superbowl/story/0ap2000000320002/article/legion-of-booms-tight-bond-fuels-seahawks-dominant-defense" target="new">famed "Legion of Boom"</a> secondary by securing one of the game's top shutdown cornerbacks late in the 2011 draft. <a href="/videos/nfl-films-sound-efx/0ap2000000285239/Sound-FX-Richard-Sherman" target="new">Sherman's gift</a> <a href="/videos/nfl-network-gameday/0ap2000000321894/Sherman-s-best-sights-and-sounds" target="new">for gab</a> thrust him squarely into the spotlight, where he's performed with aplomb.
<br><br>
<b>Elliot's take:</b> Sure, Richard Sherman hasn't played very long, but he has been flat-out brilliant the last three years. Getting a guy in the fifth round who cuts the football field in half? Come on! 6

    Bill Kostroun

    Seattle Seahawks: Richard Sherman

    Draft: 2011 NFL Draft, fifth round, No. 154 overall
    College: Stanford
    The Seahawks put together their famed "Legion of Boom" secondary by securing one of the game's top shutdown cornerbacks late in the 2011 draft. Sherman's gift for gab thrust him squarely into the spotlight, where he's performed with aplomb.

    Elliot's take: Sure, Richard Sherman hasn't played very long, but he has been flat-out brilliant the last three years. Getting a guy in the fifth round who cuts the football field in half? Come on!

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1979" target="new">1979 NFL Draft</a>, third round, No. 82 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Notre Dame
<br>Montana built a legacy as one of the game's greatest-ever quarterbacks by winning four Super Bowls with the 49ers, and earning game MVP honors in three of those victories. Montana was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=154" target="new">a 2000 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
<br><br>
<b>Elliot's take:</b> Former Cowboys personnel czar -- and current NFL Media analyst -- Gil Brandt said Tom Landry would have selected Joe Montana before the 49ers, but felt the Cowboys were already too stacked at QB with Roger Staubach and Danny White. So even though Montana was next on Dallas' draft board, the team took tight end Doug Cosbie. 5

    Anonymous

    San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana

    Draft: 1979 NFL Draft, third round, No. 82 overall
    College: Notre Dame
    Montana built a legacy as one of the game's greatest-ever quarterbacks by winning four Super Bowls with the 49ers, and earning game MVP honors in three of those victories. Montana was a 2000 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: Former Cowboys personnel czar -- and current NFL Media analyst -- Gil Brandt said Tom Landry would have selected Joe Montana before the 49ers, but felt the Cowboys were already too stacked at QB with Roger Staubach and Danny White. So even though Montana was next on Dallas' draft board, the team took tight end Doug Cosbie.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1961" target="new">1961 NFL Draft</a>, 14th round, No. 186 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Mississippi Valley State
<br>Jones -- who played for the Los Angeles Rams long before the franchise moved to St. Louis -- specialized in quarterback sacks while playing on <a href="/videos/a-football-life/0ap2000000078750/A-Football-Life-Rush-men" target="new">one of the greatest defensive fronts</a> in league history, <a href="/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d8074cd10/Top-Ten-Nicknames-Fearsome-Foursome" target="new">the "Fearsome Foursome."</a> Jones was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=108" target="new">a 1980 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 4

    NFL

    St. Louis Rams: Deacon Jones

    Draft: 1961 NFL Draft, 14th round, No. 186 overall
    College: Mississippi Valley State
    Jones -- who played for the Los Angeles Rams long before the franchise moved to St. Louis -- specialized in quarterback sacks while playing on one of the greatest defensive fronts in league history, the "Fearsome Foursome." Jones was a 1980 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1993" target="new">1993 NFL Draft</a>, third round, No. 82 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Stanford
<br>Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection in his 15-year career. Eleven of those seasons were spent with Tampa Bay, before he closed out his career in Denver. Lynch was a member of the Buccaneers when the team throttled the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
<br><br>
<b>Elliot's take:</b> A lot of people don't realize that Lynch was drafted to be a linebacker. He didn't work out so well there early in his career, but he sure as heck hit like one, despite playing safety. 3

    David Durochik

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Lynch

    Draft: 1993 NFL Draft, third round, No. 82 overall
    College: Stanford
    Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection in his 15-year career. Eleven of those seasons were spent with Tampa Bay, before he closed out his career in Denver. Lynch was a member of the Buccaneers when the team throttled the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

    Elliot's take: A lot of people don't realize that Lynch was drafted to be a linebacker. He didn't work out so well there early in his career, but he sure as heck hit like one, despite playing safety.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1983" target="new">1983 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 9 overall
<br><b>College:</b> USC
<br>Matthews played more games (296) for the Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans than any other positional player at the time of his retirement. He also played at every position along the offensive line and played in a record-tying 14 consecutive  Pro Bowls. He was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=264" target="new">a 2007 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
<br><br>
<b>Elliot's take:</b> Houston was absolutely the worst team in the league in 1983. Awful. The Oilers won all of one game in 1982, and then all of two games in 1983. They simply had to get the Matthews pick right. They did. 2

    F. Carter Smith

    Tennessee Titans: Bruce Matthews

    Draft: 1983 NFL Draft, first round, No. 9 overall
    College: USC
    Matthews played more games (296) for the Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans than any other positional player at the time of his retirement. He also played at every position along the offensive line and played in a record-tying 14 consecutive Pro Bowls. He was a 2007 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: Houston was absolutely the worst team in the league in 1983. Awful. The Oilers won all of one game in 1982, and then all of two games in 1983. They simply had to get the Matthews pick right. They did.

  • <b>Draft:</b> <a href="/draft/history/fulldraft?season=1983" target="new">1983 NFL Draft</a>, first round, No. 28 overall
<br><b>College:</b> Texas A&M-Kingsville
<br>Known as one of the NFL's fastest players for most of his 20-year NFL career, Green was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of two Super Bowl-winning Redskins teams. Green was <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=273" target="new">a 2008 inductee</a> into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
<br><br>
<b>Elliot's take:</b> The last pick of the first round in 1983 (right after Marino), Green wasn't a household name. (How many corners do you know from Texas A&M-Kingsville?) Having cover skills and running a 4.2 helped in that area. 1

    Paul Spinelli

    Washington Redskins: Darrell Green

    Draft: 1983 NFL Draft, first round, No. 28 overall
    College: Texas A&M-Kingsville
    Known as one of the NFL's fastest players for most of his 20-year NFL career, Green was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of two Super Bowl-winning Redskins teams. Green was a 2008 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Elliot's take: The last pick of the first round in 1983 (right after Marino), Green wasn't a household name. (How many corners do you know from Texas A&M-Kingsville?) Having cover skills and running a 4.2 helped in that area.