With the 2012 NFL Draft just weeks away, we're looking at the some of the greatest draft picks in league history.
Where better to begin than at the end? The seventh round of the draft isn't generally where fans look for the NFL's stars of the future, but it has produced some of the game's greats, including some top offensive linemen, a pair of dynamic wide receivers, one of the all-time great kickers and even a Hall of Fame tight end.
But who was the best seventh-round selection ever? Check out the bios of the 10 candidates below and cast your vote at our Facebook page.
Gary Anderson: Anderson ranked among the pre-eminent kickers during an amazing 23-year career in which he scored a then-record 2,434 points. By the time he hung up his cleats in 2004, Anderson had made more field goals than anyone in NFL history (he was later surpassed by Morten Andersen). In 1998, Anderson made history by becoming the first NFL kicker to have a "perfect" season, by making all 35 of his field goal attempts and all 59 of his extra point tries. Not too bad for a guy who grew up in South Africa dreaming of a career in professional soccer.
Marques Colston: Before making his mark with the New Orleans Saints, Colston never spent a lot of time in the spotlight. He turned down a chance to play collegiately at Missouri in favor of Hofstra. After being drafted as a supplemental compensatory pick, Colston earned the chance to start in Week 1 of his rookie season when Donté Stallworth was traded. In the six seasons since, Colston has become one of the NFL's most productive wideouts, averaging more than 1,000 receiving yards per year. At just 28 years old, Colston's best years could still be in front of him.
Donald Driver: Plenty of track and field athletes have found their way to the National Football League, but few of them are as accomplished as Driver. With a high jump mark of 7 feet, 6 inches, Driver could have qualified for the 2000 Olympics, but instead decided to take his talents to Green Bay. It turned out to be a pretty good decision. During his 13-year career (all with the Packers), Driver has been named to three Pro Bowls. He currently ranks sixth among active receivers in catches (735) and seventh among active wideouts in receiving yards (10,060).
T.J. Houshmandzadeh: Houshmandzadeh proved in 2007 that he was more than just a guy with a hard to pronounce name when he finished the season tied for the league lead in receptions (112, also a Bengals franchise record) and earned an invite to the Pro Bowl. Lest you think he was a one-year wonder, Houshmandzadeh made up one half of a dynamic receiving duo in Cincinnati (with his former Oregon State teammate Chad Johnson) and between 2004 and 2009, he averaged 87 catches per season -- all while being one of the NFL's most sure-handed receivers.
Brock Marion: By the end of his third season in the NFL, Marion already had a pair of Super Bowl rings to his credit with the Dallas Cowboys. Even though he began to make a name for himself as a big-hitting, ball-hawking safety in Dallas, it was in Miami where he really excelled. In six seasons with the Dolphins, Marion snagged 20 interceptions, averaged 62 tackles a year and made three trips to the Pro Bowl. He was also electric with the ball in his hands, leading the league in kick return yards (1,524) during the 1999 season and topping the NFL league in interception return yards (227) in 2001.
Eric Martin: The Saints have had success finding receivers in the seventh round of the draft. That's exactly where they found Martin, who had a stellar college career at LSU before going on to a remarkable NFL career -- despite being the 27th wideout selected in 1985. During Martin's nine seasons with the Saints (he also played one season with the Chiefs), he vaulted to the front of the franchise's record books and still stands as New Orleans' all-time leader in receptions (532) and receiving yards (7,854) while being tied for second (with fellow seventh-rounder Colston) in touchdown catches (48).
Michael McCrary: It's hard to imagine an undersized defensive lineman being drafted in the seventh round then going on to be one of the NFL's most feared pass rushers, but that was McCrary's story. After three uneventful seasons to begin his career, McCrary found his stride by logging 13.5 sacks in 1996 -- second-most in the league that season. From there, he took his act to Baltimore and became a key piece of the Ravens' dominating defense. From 1996 to 1999, McCrary averaged 12 sacks per season and landed in a pair of Pro Bowls.
Tom Nalen: Despite a solid college career on Boston College's offensive line, Nalen still lasted until the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft. It proved to be a great pick for the Broncos with Nalen spending his entire 15-year career in a Denver uniform while anchoring an offensive line that opened holes for six different 1,000-yard rushers and helped lead the team to back-to-back Super Bowl titles. By the time Nalen retired in 2009, he had been named to five Pro Bowls, was a three-time All-Pro selection and was picked for the Broncos' 50th Anniversary Team.
Shannon Sharpe: Sharpe began his career in the shadow of his older brother (former Packers star Sterling Sharpe), but stood on his own as one of the league's greatest tight ends by the time he retired after the 2003 season. In the interim, Sharpe set records for receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end (Tony Gonzalez would later break his records). If that wasn't enough, Sharpe played on three Super Bowl championship teams, was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was a member of both the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and the Broncos' 50th Anniversary Team. Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Adam Timmerman: There probably aren't many offensive linemen in the NFL that ran the high hurdles in high school. Then again, Timmerman stood out from a lot of offensive linemen in the NFL. In his first four seasons, he helped the Packers to a pair of Super Bowls, winning one. Later, he took his talents to St. Louis where he played in two more Super Bowls, including the Rams' thrilling victory over the Tennessee Titans. And while he may not have drawn the same level of attention as teammates like Orlando Pace or Kyle Turley, Timmerman did just fine with two Pro Bowl appearances and a spot in the St. Louis Rams' 10th Anniversary Team.