Everyone knows that the NFL draft is not an exact science as teams hit and miss with picks up and down the draft.
With their first-round pick each year, teams are usually looking for a player to step in and help them either revive their sagging franchise or take them to the next step in winning the Super Bowl.
Some teams such as Pittsburgh and New England seem to add top talent every year in the first round making them competitive every year. Others such as the Jaguars and Cardinals have had trouble making the right choice with their top picks.
But even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, right?
So who have been the best picks each team has made in the first round since 2000? Take a look here to find out and feel free to debate.
Buffalo took a chance drafting McGahee with the 23rd pick in the 2003 draft after the Miami running back suffered a horrific knee injury in the 2002 National Championship game.
McGahee sat out his rookie season in Buffalo before putting up three solid years with his best effort coming in 2004, rushing for over 1,000 yards and scoring 13 times.
McGahee has continued a good career with Baltimore and Denver but Buffalo can't feel bad picking him when they did.
The Dolphins held the first overall pick in 2008 and chose to use it on left tackle Jake Long out of Michigan. Good choice.
Long has been one of the best left tackles in the game since he arrived in Miami. While Matt Ryan was drafted two picks later and could have answered the struggles at the QB position that have continued to plague Miami, Long has proven to be the sure bet he was projected to be.
New England has hit on a number of their first round picks recently, especially on defense. Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, and Jerod Mayo have been stellar for the Patriots. But the player who truly anchored that defense during the 2000's was Seymour.
Seymour was the sixth overall pick out of Georgia in 2001 and played all over on the Patriots three man front before being traded to Oakland prior to the 2009 season. Seymour has been named to seven Pro Bowls and recorded 54.5 sacks over his 11 year career.
The Jets made a great move trading with the Panthers to move up to the 14th spot in 2007 to take Pitt cornerback Darelle Revis.
Revis has since become the best cover corner in the game, shutting down the opponent's best receiver on a regular basis.
Revis has made four Pro Bowl appearances and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
One of the better lower first round picks of the decade, Reed was the 24th pick in 2002 by the Ravens.
Reed has been one of the league's premier play makers on defense picking off 57 passes and forcing 11 fumbles during his career. Reed has returned six of those INTs for TDs and racked up an amazing 1,463 yards on INT returns, an average of 25 yards per return!
Reed was recognized as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 after intercepting nine passes and forcing three fumbles.
For a team that has been pretty bad recently, Cincy has done a pretty good job with their first round picks since 2000. Picks such as Justin Smith, Carson Palmer, Levi Jones, Jonathan Joseph, and Leon Hall have been standouts during their time as Bengals.
The best pick they have made however is A.J. Green in 2011.
Needing to replace not one but two aging diva receivers, the Bengals made Green their first pick, fourth overall.
Green has had an amazing rookie season going over 1,000 yards and becoming a downfield threat for fellow rookie QB Andy Dalton.
Many thought that the Browns would select QB Brady Quinn with the third overall pick in 2007. While Cleveland was in need of a quarterback, they made the right choice bypassing Quinn (for the moment), and selecting LT Joe Thomas from Wisconsin.
Thomas, the Outland Trophy winner as a senior, stepped in as a starter from day one in Cleveland and has not missed a game since while being named to the Pro Bowl in each of his five seasons.
The Steelers have been one of the better teams in the NFL in hitting on their first round picks since 2000. A long list of good choices by the team has laid the foundation for Pittsburgh to be a threat to make the Super Bowl in any given year.
Ben Roethlisberger is at the top of that list as he is the biggest difference maker on the team, giving them a chance to win any game.
Big Ben doesn't wow people with his stats, but has a toughness that few QBs have. The Miami (Ohio) product has led Pittsburgh to three Super Bowl appearances, winning two.
Deciding between Mario Williams and Andre Johnson as a better first round pick was tough, so I looked at the situation going into the 2006 draft.
The Texans had the first pick that year and GM Charley Casserly had the agonizing choice of taking Williams or the Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush out of USC.
Casserly went with Williams prompting some to cry conspiracy, saying the NFL wanted Bush, the most explosive player in the draft, to end up in New Orleans to help the city in its recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
I would say Casserly just made the right pick as Williams has proved to be one of the better pass rushers in the league.
For a team that has enjoyed a historic run of success in the 2000's, the Colts have not done a great job with their first round picks.
One clear exception to that trend is Dwight Freeney. Freeney has terrorized NFL quarterbacks racking up over 100 sacks in his career.
The Syracuse DE has been to seven Pro Bowls and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.
The Jaguars have been one of the worst teams in deciding what to do with their first round picks. Numerous busts dot the selections they have made including Matt Jones, R. Jay Soward, and Reggie Williams at WR alone.
They have however done a good job at picking DTs and I couldn't decide between John Henderson (2002) and Marcus Stroud (2001) as who was the better pick. The pair was the foundation of a stout run defense during their time in Jacksonville and rarely was one of them mentioned without the other.
So I declare a tie here. The only time I will let myself do this.
I will admit I did not know much about Johnson when he was drafted out of East Carolina in 2008. The Titans saw something they liked, probably his blazing speed, as they took him with the 24th pick in 2008.
After a rookie season in which he went over 1,200 yards, Johnson absolutely exploded with a single season record of 2,509 yards from scrimmage in earning the Offensive Player of the Year Award.
Even after a slow start to the 2011 season, Johnson rushed for 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his four year career.
After a poor start to the decade, Denver has made some nice picks the past three years.
While many people would argue that Tim Tebow deserves to be considered the best recent pick by the Broncos, I feel the Denver defense has had more to do with their surprise turnaround this season. Von Miller has had a great rookie season racking up 11.5 sacks.
But I will go with another offensive player as the Broncos top first round pick: Ryan Clady.
Since being drafted in 2008, Clady has been rock solid as the left tackle, not missing a game in his career and being named to the Pro Bowl in both of his first two seasons.
The Chiefs have invested heavily in their defense using six first round picks on that side of the ball since 2000. While they have had limited success even while having multiple top 5 picks, they did make the right choice in taking Eric Berry in 2010.
Berry stepped in and became a playmaker in the Chiefs secondary in his first year making 92 tackles and intercepting four passes, returning one for a TD.
Unfortunately Berry tore his ACL in the first game this year, ending his season. A return to health by the former Tennessee Volunteer is a key to Kansas City's hopes of returning to the playoffs in 2012.
For as much grief as Al Davis took for his recent top draft picks, and there were a couple of bad ones to be sure, Davis did make a few good ones during the 2000's.
Rolando McClain, Darren McFadden, Michael Huff, and even Sebastian Janikowski have been worth the picks invested in them.
The best pick the Raiders have made though is Nnamdi Asomugha as the 31st pick the year after losing the Super Bowl to the Bucs.
Asomugha developed into the best overall cornerback in the game during his eight years with Oakland, routinely shutting down one side of the field to the opponent's passing game. Outside of the 2006 season, where he picked off eight passes, Asomugha never had more than one in any season with Oakland. Teams were clearly afraid to challenge his coverage.
The Chargers came into the 2001 draft holding the first overall pick and everyone had Michael Vick as the consensus top player available. The Atlanta Falcons gave up their fifth overall pick, two other draft picks and WR Tim Dwight to move up and take Vick.
The Chargers then took TCU running back LaDanian Tomlinson with the fifth pick obtained from Atlanta and never looked back.
Tomlinson embarked on a Hall of Fame career by becoming a dual threat as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. LT is currently fifth all time in rushing yards with 13,684 and ranks 55th with 624 catches, grabbing an amazing 100 passes in 2003. With 162 TDs in his career, Tomlinson is third only trailing Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.
Clearly the Chargers were happy with the deal that let them pick one of the best running backs the league has ever seen.
Dallas has had limited success with their top picks in the last decade, but they landed a superstar in DeMarcus Ware out of Troy State in 2005.
Ware has been the player offensive coordinators fear since his arrival in Big D. His 98 sacks are the most in the league since 2005 and he has recorded at least 11 sacks in every year excluding his rookie season.
Ware's propensity for the big play is not just limited to sacking the QB as he has forced 27 fumbles and even intercepted a pass that he returned for a TD.
This was a close call between Pierre-Paul and Hakeem Nicks, with no real competition coming from drafts earlier in the decade. Both players are just scratching the surface of their potential, but I went with JPP due to his ability to make game changing plays on both defense and special teams.
After playing mainly behind Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora as a rookie in 2010, Pierre-Paul has exploded this year sacking opposing quarterbacks 15.5 times and has managed 81 tackles from his DE spot.
The thought that Pierre-Paul was too raw coming out of South Florida has been proven entirely wrong.
For a team that has made multiple NFC Championship Game appearances the last decade, the Eagles have had trouble finding top talent in the first round.
Corey Simon and Lito Sheppard were decent picks but they were the best until Philadelphia took Maclin with the 19th pick in 2009.
Maclin has been viewed as more of a second receiver to DeSean Jackson due to Jackson's big play ability, but Maclin has been more consistent and less of a headache.
I would say that Maclin is the better player, and the best first round pick of the Eagles since Donovan McNabb.
The Redskins have made some pretty good first round picks of late with the team taking Ryan Kerrigan, Sean Taylor, LaRon Landry, and Brian Orakpo on the defensive side of the ball.
Orakpo has been the best of those players as opposing quarterbacks have been "Orakpoed" 28.5 times in the former Texas Longhorn's three seasons in Washington.
Kerrigan and Orakpo have given the Redskins a threat coming off of both edges of the defense, a luxury most NFL teams don't have.
If not for the selection of Urlacher in 2000, this slide would be either Tommie Harris or Cedric Benson. Not a ringing endorsement of the Bears front office work.
No one will say the Bears made the wrong choice taking Urlacher after a collegiate career at New Mexico that saw Urlacher see time at linebacker, safety, wide receiver, and as a return man.
Urlacher's versatility has made him the perfect fit in Lovie Smith's Tampa-2 defense. The eight time Pro Bowler has won both the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
A horrible run of high first round picks mainly attributable to this man ended with the selection of Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson with the second pick in 2007.
Johnson's combination of size (6'5" and 235 lbs.) and blazing speed has been a nightmare for defensive backs around the league as he consistently draws double and even triple teams to slow him.
Megatron has turned in his best season yet in 2011, finishing the regular season with 1,681 yards and catching 16 TD passes while leading the Lions to their first playoff appearance since 1999.
Unlike the Steelers who have picked a number of star players in the first round to keep them atop the league standings every year, the Packers have had a few busts along the way to becoming the best team in the NFL.
Green Bay did however, take advantage of the 49ers decision to take Alex Smith first overall in 2005 and then watch Rodgers fall another 23 spots into their laps.
After playing sparingly his first three years while watching and learning from Brett Favre, Rodgers took over the reins from the legend in 2008 and threw for over 4,000 yards that year and two of the three following seasons, falling just 78 yards short in 2010.
Peterson was considered an injury risk entering the 2007 NFL draft due to missing significant time in both his sophomore and junior seasons at Oklahoma.
Minnesota took a chance on him with the seventh pick that year and Peterson has rewarded them with no less than 1,298 rushing yards in a full season and scoring at least 10 TDs as well.
Peterson's career total of 6,752 rushing yards in just five years puts him on pace to end up in the top five all time. Don't be surprised if he ends up challenging Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing record.
After a tumultuous 2007 season in which saw the Falcons try to recover from the loss of Michael Vick and seeing their head coach Bobby Petrino resign after just 13 games with the team, Atlanta was a team looking for a new direction.
With Joey Harrington starting 10 games at QB and Chris Redman and Byron Leftwich also getting starts, it was clear that a new signal caller was needed.
Enter Matt Ryan, who was taken with the third pick in 2008. Ryan has been the steadying influence the team was looking for, leading the Falcons to the playoffs three times in his four seasons and helping fellow first round pick Roddy White reach his full potential.
Getting a long term solution at QB was a great move for the Falcons.
Although Julius Pepper was a great pick back in 2002, the decision to take Cam Newton with the top pick last year was even better.
Many wondered if Newton would have the maturity needed to succeed as a pro, but he has proven all the doubters wrong as he has had an incredible rookie season. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner broke Peyton Manning's rookie passing yardage record with 4,051 yards while rushing for 14 TDs.
Newton took over for Jimmy Clausen who led the Panthers to a two win season in 2010 and has led Carolina to six wins in their first 15 games.
The future looks bright in Charlotte, especially if the Panthers surround Newton with more talented players on offense.
The Saints have done an average job at best at acquiring talent in the first round of the draft. A few decent contributors here and there have been highlighted by Will Smith, the DE from Ohio State.
Smith has been steady for New Orleans picking up 61.5 sacks over the course of his career, with a season best of 13 in 2009.
I guess you don't always have to get first round picks right to be a Super Bowl contender. Signing the right free agents and picking quality players later in the draft is effective as well.
Tampa Bay has not really done well with their first round selections since 2000, picking up only a few marginal starters along the way.
In a close call between Davin Joseph and Aqib Talib, I will give a slight edge to Talib. The fourth year CB out of Kansas has been solid for the Bucs even if he isn't considered a lock down type corner.
Talib has a lot to prove both on and off the field if he wants to take over for Ronde Barber as a consistent team leader. But I think his talent warrants the Bucs giving him every chance.
This one was easy. The combination of busts and average players the Cardinals have taken in the first round beside Fitzgerald has been poor to say the least.
Fitz has been stellar no matter who has been throwing him the ball, but reached the level of being the best WR in the league with Kurt Warner as his QB, going over 1,400 yards and ten TDs in four different seasons.
Everything Fitzgerald has done in the regular season has paled in comparison to what he did in the 2008 playoffs as he caught 30 passes for 546 yards and seven TDs in leading the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl appearance. That alone makes him the best pick the Cardinals have ever made.
Willis burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2007, recording an obscene 174 tackles as a rookie. While he hasn't quite reached that kind of total again, much of that is due to the 49ers talent level on defense being better than it was when Willis arrived.
Willis's amazing rookie season netted him the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award and a spot in the Pro Bowl. He has made the Pro Bowl every year since.
Willis has taken over as the best MLB in the NFL from Ray Lewis and looks to be the standard bearer at the position for years to come.
Alexander had a great career in Seattle even though it may have been cut short a bit due to overuse by the Seahawks as he carried the ball over 350 times in consecutive seasons.
He did produce some pretty prolific seasons however, going over 1,100 yards in five straight seasons and topping out with a crazy 1,880 yards, tenth best in NFL history, and 28 total TDs in winning the NFL MVP Award in 2005.
After that season he never regained the same form and lasted two more seasons in Seattle before finishing his career by playing four games in Washington in 2008.
Jackson has been the ultimate workhorse since being taken with the 24th pick in 2004. After sharing time with Marshall Faulk in his rookie season, Jackson has been good for over 1,000 rushing yards every year after that.
Jackson's consistent excellence on bad Rams teams for years may be the legacy of his career, but he put up huge numbers in a couple of different seasons.
In 2009, he lead the NFC in rushing yards with 1,416. But his best year was in 2006, when Jackson went off as he ran for 1,528 yards and caught an amazing 90 passes for an additional 806 yards.
If St. Louis wants to help keep pressure off of Sam Bradford, they will need to think about drafting a replacement for Jackson sometime soon.