It's always a benefit when a team's first-round draft pick meets those lofty expectations. And it's a real bonus when mid- to low-round selections exceed their expectations. This, of course, has been at the heart of NFL.com's voting platform to determine the best draft picks in NFL history.
Then there is the ultimate satisfaction of signing a player who was passed over entirely in the draft and seeing him become a productive pro. Talk about return on investment!
So, as the NFL celebrates 75 years of the draft by asking fans to vote on the 75 most valuable draft picks of all time, here's a look at the 75 best undrafted players of all time:
1. Kurt Warner, QB, Northern Iowa
Signed by: St. Louis Rams
First year: 1998
NFL seasons: 12
Pro Bowls: 4
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: In addition to being perhaps the greatest Cinderella story in NFL history, Warner is a two-time league MVP who has posted the three best single-game passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history.
2. Dick "Night Train" Lane, CB, Scottsbluff (Neb.) Junior College
Signed by: Los Angeles Rams
First year: 1952
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: 7
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Hall of Famer still owns rookie record for interceptions (14 in 1952) ... Had 68 career interceptions with three teams (Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions).
8. Lou (The Toe) Groza, OT/PK, Ohio State
Signed by: Cleveland Browns
First year: 1946
NFL seasons: 21
Pro Bowls: 9
All-Pro selections: 4
Notes: Groza doubled as an offensive tackle and kicker for 14 years on Cleveland's championship teams of the 1950s before becoming a kicking specialist in 1961 ... Hall of Famer played until he was 43 years old.