Top 8 Draft-Day Steals of the 21st Century

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Top 8 Draft-Day Steals of the 21st Century

Four current and former Patriots make the list, while many other teams send me hate-mail.

8. Adalius Thomas - LB - New England

The 6th round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, A.D. has made a name for himself with his athleticism and play-making.

7. Robert Mathis - DE - Indianapolis

A 5th round pick out of Alabama A&M, the slender Mathis has been a force for the Indy front seven, taking pressure off of Freeney and Co. on passing downs.

6. Dan Koppen - C - New England

The Patriots 5th round pick in 2003 has blossomed into a Pro-Bowl center. His line calls kept Tom Brady clean for 18/19 games last year.

5. Steve Smith - WR - Carolina

A 3rd round pick of the Panthers, when healthy, Smith has been a player that commands a double team on every down.

4. Asante Samuel - CB - New England

The 120th pick by the Patriots in the fourth round of 2003, Samuel broke out in 2006 with a league high 10 picks, and followed it up with a Pro-Bowl season in 2007.

3. Jared Allen - DE - Kansas City

The Chiefs second 4th round pick in 2004 has been terrorizing QB's ever since. After resolving off the field issues last season, the Pro-Bowl DE became a franchise player in 2007.

2. Antonio Gates - TE - San Diego

No football? No problem. The Chargers didn't even waste a pick to get Gates, who played basketball in college. Now that is efficiency for an elite tight end.

1. Tom Brady - QB - New England

198 players were better than this guy? I thank Mo Lewis every night for knocking Drew Bledsoe out of the game, and onto the bench.

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