Best-ever picks by NFL draft spot: Picks 17-20

CFB 24/7 is counting down the days to the start of the 2016 NFL Draft (April 28-30 on NFL Network) by picking the best selections ever made for the top 32 draft positions.

17. Emmitt Smith

Team:Dallas Cowboys
Year: 1990
College: Florida

Why we picked Smith: Sixteen teams passed on the eventual all-time leading rusher before the opportunistic Cowboys pounced at pick No. 17, thus adding the final piece of the famous trio that also included Pro Football Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. Given that Smith -- a 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- entered the league one year after Barry Sanders, it made for heated "greatest running back in the game" debates for nearly a decade.

Last five No. 17 picks:Arik Armstead (2015, 49ers), C.J. Mosley (2014, Ravens), Jarvis Jones (2013, Steelers), Dre Kirkpatrick (2012, Bengals), Nate Solder (2011, Patriots)

Who owns No. 17 pick this year?Falcons

Twitter vote for best No. 17 pick of past 20 years:

18. Art Monk

Team:Washington Redskins
Year: 1980
College: Syracuse

Why we picked Monk: Monk -- a 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- was Mr. Consistency on three RedskinsSuper Bowl-winning teams. While the quarterbacks and supporting casts changed throughout the Redskins' three Super Bowl-winning teams from 1982 to 1991, Monk was the one constant. Monk set then-NFL records for catches in a season (106), most consecutive games with at least one reception (164) and career receptions (820).

Last five No. 18 picks:Marcus Peters (2015, Chiefs), Calvin Pryor (2014, Jets), Eric Reid (2013, 49ers), Melvin Ingram (2012, Chargers), Corey Liuget (2011, Chargers)

Who owns No. 18 pick this year?Colts

Twitter vote for best No. 18 pick of past 20 years:

19. Randall McDaniel

Team:Minnesota Vikings
Year: 1988
College: Arizona State

Why we picked McDaniel: McDaniel -- a 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- was a stalwart along the offensive line for 14 NFL seasons. He earned 12 consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 1990-2001, and started in 202 consecutive games. In 1998, he anchored an offensive line that helped the Vikings score a then-record 556 points.

Last five No. 19 picks:Cameron Erving (2015, Browns), Ja'Wuan James (2014, Dolphins), Justin Pugh (2013, Giants), Shea McClellin (2012, Bears), Prince Amukamara (2011, Giants)

Who owns No. 19 pick this year?Bills

Twitter vote for best No. 19 pick of past 20 years:

20. Forrest Gregg

Team:Green Bay Packers
Year: 1956
College: SMU

Why we picked Gregg: Gregg anchored the offensive line for five Packers NFL championship teams. Gregg was a tough selection over the man who famously played in the entire 1979 playoffs, including Super Bowl XIV, with a broken leg, Jack Youngblood. Gregg -- a 1977 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- was a warrior in his own right, playing 15 NFL seasons as one of the best ever to play his position. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi called Gregg, the "best player I ever coached."

Others considered:Jack Youngblood, Steve Atwater

Last five No. 20 picks:Nelson Agholor (2015, Eagles), Brandin Cooks (2014, Saints), Kyle Long (2013, Bears), Kendall Wright (2012, Titans), Adrian Clayborn (2011, Buccaneers)

Who owns No. 20 pick this year?Jets

Twitter vote for best No. 20 pick of past 20 years:

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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