Reviewing the Biggest Steal and Bust in Every NFL Team's Draft History

Marcus MosherFeatured Columnist IApril 24, 2017

Reviewing the Biggest Steal and Bust in Every NFL Team's Draft History

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    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    The NFL draft is one of the most exciting times of the year for fans. It's a time for hope and optimism for every team. But not every pick pans out the way we'd expect. Some picks shock us in a good way, while others greatly disappoint.  

    Following is a list of the biggest draft steal and bust for every NFL franchise. Before we get to the list, here is what qualifies as a draft steal and what qualifies as a draft bust. A steal must have been selected after the second round and exceeded the expectations of a player who typically goes in that round. A bust must have been drafted in the first round and never made a Pro Bowl in their career.

    While it's not hard to find a steal and a bust for every team, some of the selections were incredibly tough decisions. Here is the biggest steal and bust for every NFL team.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Carson Palmer
    Carson PalmerChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: DB Aeneas Williams 

    Aeneas Williams was drafted in the third round (59th overall) by the Cardinals in the 1991 NFL draft. Williams played 10 seasons for the Cardinals and 14 total in his NFL career as he went on to make eight Pro Bowls. He was also able to add 55 interceptions and three All-Pro selections to his Hall of Fame career. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Matt Leinart

    After winning the Heisman trophy and a national championship at USC in 2004, Matt Leinart was selected by the Cardinals with the 10th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft.

    Leinart struggled to stay healthy early, and it eventually led to Kurt Warner's replacing him by 2007. Leinart started only 17 games in his four-year career with the Cardinals, winning just seven. He finished his career with a disappointing 70.2 passer rating to go along with 15 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Jamaal Anderson
    Jamaal AndersonScott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: C Jeff Van Note 

    Van Note was an 11th-round pick (262nd overall) for the Falcons in the 1969 draft, and he played his entire career in Atlanta—18 seasons, the most in franchise history. After starting 226 games and making the Pro Bowl six times in his career, he was inducted into the Falcons' Ring of Honor in 2006.


    Biggest Bust: DE Jamaal Anderson

    Anderson was selected by the Falcons with the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft to help shore up the team's pass rush. But Anderson failed to do so, tallying only 4.5 sacks in 47 career starts for Atlanta. Anderson bounced around the league after his four-year stint with the Falcons, but his career was over following the 2012 season. 

Baltimore Ravens

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    Kyle Boller
    Kyle BollerAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: OLB Adalius Thomas 

    The Ravens have only been in existence since 1996, so the number of "steals" for the team is limited. However, the choice here is obvious. Adalius Thomas was a sixth-round pick (186th overall) by the Ravens in the 2000 draft. Thomas ended his career with the Patriots, but he played seven seasons in Baltimore, making the Pro Bowl twice. His best season came in 2006 when he was voted to the All-Pro team after an 11-sack season. He started 74 career games for the Ravens. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Kyle Boller

    The Ravens have only drafted two first-round quarterbacks in the team's existence: Joe Flacco and Kyle Boller. Boller was the 19th overall pick in the 2003 draft and went on to start 42 games for the Ravens. He won only 20 of those starts in Baltimore and completed 56.9 percent of his passes. His last season in Baltimore was in 2007, the year before the team drafted Joe Flacco. Boller finished his career with just a 69.5 passer rating. 

Buffalo Bills

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    Andre Reed
    Andre ReedAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: WR Andre Reed

    Andre Reed was a fourth-round pick (86th overall) by the Bills in the 1985 draft after 12 receivers were picked before him, including Jerry Rice. Reed went on to become the franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, making seven Pro Bowls. Reed played 15 seasons in Buffalo, catching 941 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. He finished his career with the Redskins in 2000 and retired after the season. Reed was eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. 


    Biggest Bust: DE Aaron Maybin 

    Maybin was the 11th overall pick by the Bills in the 2009 NFL draft, and his career quickly ended soon after just two short years in Buffalo. Maybin failed to register a single sack in 27 career games with the Bills. He was released after the 2010 season and played with the Jets for two more seasons before retiring. 

Carolina Panthers

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    Steve Smith
    Steve SmithAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: WR Steve Smith

    The Carolina Panthers picked Smith in the third round (74th overall) out of Utah in the 2001 NFL draft. He started his career off as a returner and eventually became a full-time receiver by the 2002 season. Smith retired this year after a 16-year career in the NFL, 13 with the Carolina Panthers.

    He is the team's all-time leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns. Smith finished his career with 14,731 receiving yards with 1,031 catches. Smith scored 100 total career touchdowns including 11 postseason scores. 


    Biggest Bust: CB Rashard Anderson

    Anderson was drafted by the Panthers with the 23rd overall selection in the 2000 draft out of Jackson State. He only played two seasons in the NFL, starting just nine games. Anderson battled addiction off the field and was suspended for the entire 2002 season. After being reinstated two years later, Anderson's career as a player was over. 

Chicago Bears

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    Cade McNown
    Cade McNownJEFF KOWALSKY/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: DE Richard Dent

    The Bears selected defensive end Richard Dent in the eighth round (203rd) of the 1983 draft, and he went on to be one of the best defensive ends in Bears history. His best season came in 1985 when he led the league with 17 sacks. Dent was one of the best players on one of the best defenses in the NFL. His career lasted 15 total years, 12 with the Bears. Dent was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 after his 137.5-sack career. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Cade McNown

    The 1999 NFL draft produced three of the biggest busts in NFL history, one of whom included Bears selection Cade McNown from UCLA (12th overall). McNown played in just 25 career games, winning three of his 15 starts.

    McNown finished his career with a 54.6 completion percentage with a 67.7 passer rating. He bounced around the league after being traded by the Bears, but he never threw a pass for the Dolphins or the 49ers, the two teams that traded for him. 

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Akili Smith
    Akili SmithJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: DT Geno Atkins

    Atkins was the 12th defensive tackle selected in the 2010 draft and was taken in the fourth round (120th overall) by the Bengals. In his short seven-year career so far, Atkins has made the Pro Bowl five times and has been selected to the All-Pro team twice. He has a career 52 sacks, and at just 29 years old, he still has a lot of time to add to that total. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Akili Smith

    The Bengals selected Akili Smith with the third overall pick in the 1999 draft out of Oregon. The Smith era in Cincinnati seemed doomed from the start, as Smith sat out training camp in a contract dispute. He eventually found the field in his rookie season, starting four games and winning only one contest.

    His career lasted just four years with only 17 starts, all in Cincinnati. He won three of his starts, had a 46.6 percent completion percentage and threw only five touchdowns his entire career. Smith was released in 2003 after the team selected Carson Palmer to replace him. 

Cleveland Browns

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    Tim Couch
    Tim CouchBrian Bahr/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: QB Brian Sipe

    The Browns selected one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history when they selected Brian Sipe out of San Diego State in the 13th round (330th overall) in the 1972 draft. He spent his entire 10-year career in Cleveland, starting 112 games.

    His best season occurred in 1980 when he led the team to an 11-5 record and was a first-team All-Pro selection. Sipe threw for 30 touchdowns and 4,132 yards that season and was a top-three quarterback. Sipe finished his career in 1983 with a winning record as a starting quarterback (57-55). 


    Biggest Bust: QB Tim Couch

    There were numerous names considered here, from Brady Quinn and Johnny Manziel to Justin Gilbert and Phil Taylor. However, Tim Couch gets the nod, as the team selected him No. 1 overall in 1999 and he lasted only five years in the NFL. 

    What makes the Couch selection even more painful is noting the quarterbacks who were selected after Couch. The Eagles picked Donavan McNabb at No. 2, and the Vikings selected Daunte Culpepper at No. 11. Couch started 59 games with the Browns, winning just 22 with a 75.1 passer rating. 

Dallas Cowboys

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    Roger Staubach
    Roger StaubachAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: QB Roger Staubach

    It's possible that Dak Prescott could end up as the biggest steal in franchise history, but that honor belongs to Roger Staubach for the time being. The Cowboys selected Staubach in the 10th round (129th pick) of the 1964 NFL draft. Staubach was a star at Navy, but he had a five-year military commitment that he had to fulfill before he could play in the NFL. 

    Staubach led the Cowboys to four Super Bowl appearances, winning in 1971 and 1977. Although his NFL career didn't begin until age 27, he was still selected to six Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. 


    Biggest Bust: LB Bobby Carpenter

    In Bill Parcells' final year in Dallas, the Cowboys selected former Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter with the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft. Carpenter just wasn't physical enough for the NFL as he was engulfed by guards and was eaten up in the run game. Carpenter started only three games for the Cowboys in his career, tallying just 72 tackles in 58 games. Carpenter's greatest feat in the NFL was intercepting Tony Romo and returning it for a touchdown to help the Lions beat the Cowboys in 2011. 

Denver Broncos

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    Shannon Sharpe
    Shannon SharpeMARK LEFFINGWELL/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: TE Shannon Sharpe

    The decision as to who is the biggest draft steal for the Denver Broncos is difficult. The choice comes down to Terrell Davis or Shannon Sharpe. As great as Davis was, Sharpe played more seasons for the team, and the Broncos were able to replace most of Davis' production when he was injured and after he retired.  

    Sharpe was a seventh-round pick (No. 192) in 1990. He fell because of concerns that he wasn't big enough to play tight end in the NFL. Sharpe went on to catch 675 passes for 8,439 yards and 62 touchdowns for the Broncos as one of the most dynamic tight ends in NFL history. Sharpe won three Super Bowls in his career—two with Denver and one with Baltimore. Sharpe was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. 


    Biggest Bust: DE Jarvis Moss

    Not only did the Broncos select Jarvis Moss in the first round, but they also traded a third- and a sixth-round selection to do so. The Broncos used the 17th overall pick on Moss, and he totaled just 3.5 sacks in 34 games for them. Moss started just one game in his Denver career before being released in 2010. Moss' last game came in 2011. 

Detroit Lions

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    Charles Rogers
    Charles RogersAl Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: QB Rodney Peete

    The Lions haven't had a rich draft history, but one of the team's best selections was quarterback Rodney Peete, a sixth-round pick (No. 141) out of USC. He started only 47 games for the Lions, but he went on to have a 15-year career, playing for six different teams. 

    Peete wasn't an elite quarterback, but he was a capable one, and that's impressive for a sixth-round pick. Peete won 21 of his 47 starts for the Lions but had a below-average touchdowns-interception ratio of 38-49. Another option was linebacker Joe Schmidt, who the team selected in the seventh round in 1953. Schmidt went on to make the Hall of Fame in 1973. 


    Biggest Bust: WR Charles Rogers

    In the 2003 draft, the Lions selected Charles Rogers with the second overall pick. He was chosen one pick before the Texans selected Andre Johnson. Rogers played only three seasons in the NFL, suiting up in just 15 games.

    Rogers caught just 36 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns in his NFL career. He struggled with substance abuse throughout his career in both college and in the NFL. Rogers was just 24 when he played his last NFL game. 

Green Bay Packers

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    Tony Mandarich
    Tony MandarichGeorge Rose/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: QB Bart Starr 

    The Packers have a long and historic draft history, but their greatest steal in their franchise history occurred in the 17th round (200th pick) of the 1956 NFL draft. In that draft, the Packers selected Bart Starr from Alabama, and he went on to have a Hall of Fame career. Starr won five championships with the Packers and enjoyed a 16-year career, all with the Packers.

    Starr was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977 after starting 157 games with the Packers, winning 94 of his starts. 


    Biggest Bust: OT Tony Mandarich

    Tony Mandarich is one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, partially because of the hype that surrounded him predraft and partially because of the eventual careers of the players that were picked after him. Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders and Derrick Thomas were selected after Mandarich, and all went on to have Hall of Fame careers.

    Mandarich was the second overall pick in the 1989 draft. He started just 31 games for the Packers and played just six seasons in the NFL.  

Houston Texans

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    David Carr
    David CarrLisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: TE Owen Daniels 

    The Texans have only had 15 drafts in their franchise's history, so the pickings are slim. But the biggest steal in Houston's short NFL existence is Owen Daniels. The team selected Daniels in the fourth round (the 98th pick) of the 2006 NFL draft. 

    He played eight seasons with the Texans, starting 96 games. Daniels made the Pro Bowl twice in his career. He played 10 total years in the NFL before retiring after the 2015 season in which he won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos. 


    Biggest Bust: QB David Carr

    With the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft, the Texans used their first-ever selection on quarterback David Carr from Fresno State. Carr was never given a fair chance to survive in the NFL after being sacked 76 times in his rookie season. He lasted just five seasons in Houston, winning just 22 of his 75 starts. He caught on as a backup in the NFL and did play 10 seasons in the NFL. 

    Carr was a bust in Houston, but it wasn't completely his fault. He was the franchise's first quarterback and played on an expansion team that wasn't ready to compete.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Robert Mathis
    Robert MathisJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: DE Robert Mathis

    Robert Mathis was selected in the fifth round by the Colts in the 2003 draft. Mathis played in 192 games for the Colts and recorded a franchise-record 123 sacks. Mathis is also known for his ability to force fumbles as he was sacking the quarterback. He has the most strip-sacks in NFL history (47) and has forced a total of 54 fumbles in his career. Mathis is a five-time Pro Bowler and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2013. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Art Schlichter

    The Colts selected Art Schlichter with the fourth overall pick in the 1982 draft. After playing in just three games as a rookie, Schlichter was suspended for the 1983 season for gambling and went on to start only six games for the Colts, losing every one. Schlichter threw three touchdown passes in his career to go along with 11 interceptions. He was out of the league after the 1985 season. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Blaine Gabbert
    Blaine GabbertJeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: QB David Garrard

    The Jaguars haven't had much success as a franchise in their relatively short existence in the NFL. They've had even less success in the draft. But their biggest steal was a fourth-round quarterback from East Carolina. David Garrard was selected in the 2002 draft (108th pick) and led the Jaguars to the playoffs in 2007, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round 31-29. 

    Garrard started 76 games for the Jaguars, winning 39 of them. He had a career passer rating of 85.8 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Blaine Gabbert

    In their short NFL existence, the Jaguars have had numerous busts high in the first round. From Luke Joeckel to Justin Blackmon to possibly Blake Bortles, the Jaguars are no strangers to missing in the first round. But their biggest bust was Blaine Gabbert, who they selected at No. 10 overall in the 2011 draft. To make matters worse, the Jaguars traded an extra second-round pick to move up to select Gabbert to replace Garrard.

    He was a massive failure in Jacksonville, winning just five of his 27 starts. He wasn't able to stay healthy in Jacksonville and has since bounced around the league as a backup quarterback.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Will Shields
    Will ShieldsDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: OG Will Shields

    As one of the older franchises in NFL history, the Chiefs have quite a list of candidates who could be considered draft steals. Bobby Bell, Otis Taylor and Jared Allen were all considered for this spot, but Will Shields gets the nod.

    Shields was selected in the third round by the Chiefs in the 1993 draft. He went on to make the Pro Bowl 12 years in a row and was a two-time All-Pro selection. He played every game in his NFL career, starting 223 straight. Shields was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 as one of the best guards of all time. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Todd Blackledge

    Blackledge, the seventh overall pick in the historic 1983 draft, is an infamous name in Kansas City. Not only was he a massive bust, but the team passed on Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.

    Blackledge only started 24 games in Kansas City and was out of the league after seven seasons. He finished his career as a backup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Los Angeles Rams

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    Lawrence Phillips
    Lawrence PhillipsAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: DE Deacon Jones

    Anytime you select a player in the 14th round of a draft who coined the term "sack," that player is going to be considered a steal.

    While sacks were not an official stat during Deacon Jones' career, he's known as one of the best pass-rushers in NFL history. According to John Turney, a member of the Pro Football Researchers Association (h/t the New York Times' John Branch), he had 173.5 sacks in his career. 

    Jones' career spanned 14 seasons, 11 with the Rams. He made the Pro Bowl eight times and was selected to the All-Pro team five times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.


    Biggest Bust: RB Lawrence Phillips 

    Running back Lawrence Phillips in the only choice. The Rams selected him with the sixth overall selection in 1996; he was kicked off the team in 1997.

    Phillips rushed for 1,265 yards in two seasons with the Rams, averaging 3.4 yards per carry. He was serving a long prison sentence before killing himself in 2016. He was also charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing a cellmate in 2015.

Los Angeles Chargers

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    Ryan Leaf
    Ryan LeafStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: QB Dan Fouts 

    The Chargers selected Dan Fouts with the 64th overall selection in the third round of the 1973 draft. He was the sixth quarterback selected that year, but none were better. Despite winning just three playoff games in his career, Fouts was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

    He made the Pro Bowl five straight seasons from 1979 to 1983 and made another in 1985. Running the famous "Air Coryell" offense, Fouts was one of the best quarterbacks of the '80s.


    Biggest Bust: QB Ryan Leaf

    Leaf is mostly known for being the second overall choice in the 1998 draft, just one pick behind all-time great Peyton Manning. He is considered one of the biggest busts in draft history, winning just four games in his career.

    Leaf struggled with accuracy, completing just 48.4 percent of his passes as well as numerous other problems off the field. He lasted just two years with the Chargers.

Miami Dolphins

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    Zach Thomas
    Zach ThomasAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: LB Zach Thomas

    Mark Clayton could have gotten the nod here, but linebacker Zach Thomas is a bigger steal for the Dolphins. Thomas was selected in the fifth round during the 1996 draft out of Texas Tech, falling due to his lack of height (5'11").  

    He went on to start 182 games in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl seven times and was an All-Pro selection five times. Thomas totaled 1,100 tackles to go along with 20.5 sacks and 17 interceptions. He was one of the best linebackers in the early part of the 21st century.

    He isn't in the NFL Hall of Fame yet, but that should happen in the next few years.


    Biggest Bust: DE Dion Jordan

    The Dolphins selected Dion Jordan with the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, and they traded up to do so. Jordan started just one game in Miami before being released earlier this year.

    He was suspended for the entire 2015 season after a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy and has yet to play a game following the suspension.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Troy Williamson
    Troy WilliamsonAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: C Matt Birk 

    The Vikings selected Harvard's Matt Birk with the 173rd overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft. He started 187 career games, 123 of which came with Minnesota. He was one of the best centers in football in the mid-2000s, a stretch where the team had one of the NFL's top offenses.

    In 2012, his last season, he won a Super Bowl as the starting center for the Ravens. Birk has an outside shot at making the Hall of Fame.


    Biggest Bust: WR Troy Williamson 

    After trading Randy Moss to Oakland, the Vikings were looking to immediately replace him in the 2005 draft, using the seventh overall pick on South Carolina's Troy Williamson.

    While he had great speed coming out of college, his thin frame and suspect hands caused him to flame out in the NFL. Williams started just 22 games for the Vikings and lasted five years in the NFL. He finished his career with 1,131 receiving yards on 87 catches.

New England Patriots

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    Tom Brady
    Tom BradyAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: QB Tom Brady

    The biggest steal in NFL history is still playing in the league today. By now, everyone knows the story of Tom Brady, the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. Six quarterbacks were selected ahead of him, and they combined to win three playoff games throughout their careers. Brady is at 25 and counting. 

    Brady is arguably the best quarterback to ever play the game. He has won five Super Bowls, more than any other quarterback. He's been the MVP of the league twice and has been selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times.


    Biggest Bust: DE Kenneth Sims

    The Patriots used the first overall section in the 1982 draft on defensive end Kenneth Sims from Texas. While Sims played eight seasons with the Patriots, he never lived up to the first overall selection, only registering 17 sacks in 74 games.

    New England released Sims after he was arrested for cocaine possession.

New Orleans Saints

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    Marques Colston
    Marques ColstonAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: WR Marques Colston

    Not many seventh-round picks play in the NFL, and even fewer go on to start in their rookie season. Marques Colston did that and more during his 10-year career in New Orleans.

    Undersized to play tight end but oversized to play as a traditional receiver, the Saints used Colston in the slot to create mismatches for defenses in the middle of the field. While he hasn't officially retired, he hasn't played since the end of 2015.

    Colston is the Saints' career leader in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.


    Biggest Bust: DT Johnathan Sullivan

    The Saints had two first-round picks in the 2003 draft (17th and the 18th overall), but in order to shore up their suspect defense, they traded up to No. 6 to select Johnathan Sullivan out of Georgia.

    Sullivan played just 36 games with the team before being traded to the Patriots. He never appeared in a game after the trade. Sullivan finished his career with a measly 1.5 sacks and 56 total tackles.

New York Giants

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    Harry Carson
    Harry CarsonGeorge Gojkovich/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: LB Harry Carson

    In 1976, the Giants selected a small-school linebacker (South Carolina State) in the fourth round named Harry Carson. He went on to have a stellar 13-year career, all with the Giants.

    He started 166 games for the team and was one of the best linebackers in the league from 1978 to 1987. Carson made nine Pro Bowl rosters in his career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.


    Biggest Bust: QB Dave Brown

    The Giants were in such desperate need of a quarterback that they selected Brown in the first round of the 1992 supplemental draft. He started 53 games in his career in New York, winning only 23.

    Brown lasted six years with the Giants and finished his last four years with the Cardinals.

New York Jets

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    Vernon Gholston
    Vernon GholstonJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: DT Joe Klecko

    Klecko was a sixth-round pick by the Jets in the 1997 draft, and he had an impressive career in New York. He made four Pro Bowls and twice was an All-Pro.

    Klecko was a key figure in the Jets defense, starting at both 3-4 defensive end and nose tackle. While he never made the Hall of Fame, Klecko was one of the best defensive tackles in the league from 1981 to 1985.

    He started 131 career games for the Jets.


    Biggest Bust: DE Vernon Gholston

    The Jets have had their fair share of draft busts over the years, but none were bigger than Vernon Gholston.

    They used the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft to select Gholston from Ohio State. He was a pass-rushing specialist coming out, yet he failed to register a single sack in his three-year NFL career.

    Gholston left the league with just 16 career tackles.

Oakland Raiders

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    Bo Jackson
    Bo JacksonMike Powell/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: RB Bo Jackson

    The Raiders have one of the longest lists of draft steals, as they've selected multiple Hall of Fame players outside of the first two rounds. Players such as Greg Biekert, Cliff Branch and Rod Martin all could have made this list, but Jackson was one of the most exciting running backs of all time when he was on the field.

    Jackson was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round of the 1987 draft after opting to play baseball once the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him in 1986 (first overall).

    Jackson played just 38 games for the Raiders, but he averaged 5.4 yards per attempt in his career and provided numerous highlights. He finished his career with 2,782 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. 


    Biggest Bust: QB JaMarcus Russell 

    After being the first selection in the 2007 draft, Russell went on to start only 25 games in his career and was out of the league after the 2009 season.

    Russell struggled with his weight off the field and accuracy on it. He finished his career with a 52.1 completion percentage with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Harold Carmichael
    Harold CarmichaelAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: WR Harold Carmichael 

    The Eagles took 6'8", 225-pound Harold Carmichael, one of the first hybrid receivers in the NFL, in the seventh round of the 1971 draft. He started his career as a tight end but was eventually moved to receiver.

    Carmichael went on to start 160 games for the Eagles, catching 79 touchdowns in 13 seasons with the team. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times in his career. He is one of the more underrated steals of all time as he was on the 1970s All-Decade team, yet he isn't in the Hall of Fame.


    Biggest Bust: OT Kevin Allen 

    In 1985, the Eagles selected offensive tackle Kevin Allen from Indiana in the first round with the ninth overall selection. As a rookie, he played in all 16 games, starting four.

    However, Allen was arrested for rape in 1986 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released in 1990 after serving 33 months and proceeded to try to get back into football.

    He bounced around the league but never appeared in another NFL game.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Antonio Brown
    Antonio BrownAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: WR Antonio Brown

    The Steelers have a long, rich history of selecting Hall of Fame players after the first few rounds of the draft. Names such as John Stallworth, Mike Webster, Hines Ward and Mel Blount were all taken after the first two rounds. 

    But their biggest steal is a player who is on the active roster today: Antonio Brown. The Steelers selected Brown in the sixth round (195th overall) in the 2010 draft. The plan was for Brown to compete for a job on special teams as a returner, but by 2013, he was the team's best receiver. 

    Brown has played seven seasons in the NFL, and he's already a five-time Pro Bowl selection and has been a first-team All-Pro selection in his last three seasons. By the time his career is over, Brown has a chance to be the receiving leader in every major category for the Steelers.


    Biggest Bust: OLB Huey Richardson 

    Huey Richardson was a first-round pick by the Steelers in 1991, and he managed to do something we haven't seen often: He played 16 games in his career and never managed to record a single tackle, let alone a sack.

    Richardson was traded in 1992 by new head coach Bill Cowher for a seventh-round pick.

San Francisco 49ers

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    A.J. Jenkins
    A.J. JenkinsAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: QB Joe Montana 

    It's not difficult to build the case for Joe Montana, the 82nd pick in the 1979 draft, as the greatest steal in 49ers history.

    After starting only eight games in his first two seasons in the NFL, Montana made his first Pro Bowl in 1981, throwing for 3,565 yards and 19 touchdowns. Montana led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl win that year as well.

    Montana went on to win three more Super Bowls with the 49ers, making the Pro Bowl eight times, and he was a two-time MVP. He's arguably the best quarterback in NFL history and one of the greatest draft steals ever. 


    Biggest Bust: WR A.J. Jenkins

    The 49ers have busted on a few first-round picks at receiver over the past 15 seasons, but none disappointed more than A.J. Jenkins. The team selected Jenkins with the 30th overall selection in the 2012 draft, and he was quickly traded after his rookie season.

    He never caught a pass for the team after playing in just three games. Jenkins, still just 27, hasn't played in an NFL game since the end of 2014.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Brian Bosworth
    Brian BosworthOwen C. Shaw/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: QB Russell Wilson

    While Russell Wilson is still in the prime of his career, he is the biggest steal in franchise history. He was a third-round pick by the Seahawks in the 2012 draft and was selected to back up Matt Flynn, but he quickly beat him out and has started every game since being drafted.

    Wilson led the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances, winning in 2013. He has a career 99.6 passer rating and is 56-23-1 in his 80-game career. 


    Biggest Bust: LB Brian Bosworth

    Brian Bosworth was one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

    After a historic college career at Oklahoma, Bosworth was selected in the first round of the 1987 supplemental draft. His most famous moment was getting blasted by Bo Jackson on Monday Night Football.

    After major shoulder injuries, Bosworth's career lasted only 24 games after he was hyped up as one of the best defenders to ever enter the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Ronde Barber
    Ronde BarberAl Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Biggest Steal: CB Ronde Barber

    Barber was a third-round pick by the Buccaneers in 1997 and went on to enjoy a 16-year career, all with Tampa Bay. He started 232 games for the Buccaneers and is the franchise leader in interceptions with 47.

    Barber made the Pro Bowl five times during his career and racked up 1,028 tackles and 28 sacks.


    Biggest Bust: RB Bo Jackson

    Bo Jackson is the only player to make this list twice, as he was a steal for the Raiders but a massive bust for the Buccaneers.

    Jackson was selected with the first overall pick in the 1986 draft, but he opted to play baseball instead. Interestingly, Jackson was ruled ineligible for his senior season at Auburn after taking a flight with the Buccaneers.

    Jackson told ESPN (h/t Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times): "I think it was all a plot now, just to get me ineligible from baseball because they saw the season I was having and they thought they were going to lose me to baseball. [Like] 'If we declare him ineligible, then we've got him.'"

    Jackson never played a game for the Buccaneers. He returned to the NFL the following year when he was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round.

Tennessee Titans

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    Jake Locker
    Jake LockerAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: CB Cortland Finnegan

    Not many seventh-round picks last long in the NFL, and few go on to start. Cortland Finnegan, drafted in 2006, was one of the exceptions.

    Finnegan played 10 seasons in the NFL and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2008 for the Titans. He was one of the toughest cornerbacks in the league, tallying 542 career tackles to go along with 18 interceptions.


    Biggest Bust: QB Jake Locker

    The Titans spent the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft on quarterback Jake Locker from Washington, but he was never able to live up to that pick, starting only 23 games for the franchise.

    Locker struggled with accuracy in college, and it was never corrected in the NFL. He finished his career in Tennessee with a 57.5 completion percentage and won only nine of his 23 starts.

Washington Redskins

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    Heath Shuler
    Heath ShulerAssociated Press

    Biggest Steal: LB Chris Hanburger

    Hanburger was an 18th-round selection in the 1965 draft, and he spent his entire 14-year career with the Washington Redskins. He started 149 games for the Redskins and was named to the Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Hanburger was also selected to the All-Pro team four times during his career. 


    Biggest Bust: QB Heath Shuler 

    Heath Shuler was the third overall selection in the 1994 draft as the Redskins passed on Trent Dilfer and Willie McGinest. His career started out rocky, as he held out before training camp.

    Seventh-round pick Gus Frerotte beat him out for the starting job. Shuler finished his career with the Redskins after starting only 13 games and went on to have a career 54.3 passer rating.