With the NFL Draft less than five weeks away the process for franchises selecting, up and coming talent from the colligate level is in full swing.
Many players throughout the years have slipped through the cracks and have become NFL starlets.
For many young men around the country the 2010 NFL Draft weekend will be somewhat of a disappointment.
Being undrafted is not the be all and all of a players career, and many players have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers.
Just check out the players on this list.
Here is the greatest offence of undrafted players of All-Time!
QB – Warren Moon, Washington
Team/year signed by - Houston Oilers, 1984
NFL Seasons - 17
Pro Bowls – 9
There is no greater way but to start the countdown with a good old fashioned quarterback controversy. While many will be in favour of Kurt Warner and will be screaming at their screens, Moon gets the nod.
Moon spent six years playing quarterback in the CFL for Edmonton Eskimos, before being signed with the Oilers in 1984. In his five years spent with the Eskimos, Moon won five consecutive Grey Cups.
In addition to his impressive statistics Moon gained all pro honours in 1990 after throwing 4,689 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. That year the Oilers quarterback tied Dan Marino's record with nine 300-yard games in a season.
Moon ranks in the top six of All-Time career, completions (3,988), attempts (6,823), yards (49,325) and touchdown passes (291).
HB – Priest Holmes, Texas
Team/year signed by – Baltimore Ravens, 1997
NFL Seasons - 10
Pro Bowls – 3
Signed by Baltimore in 1997 Priest Holmes didn’t feature for the Ravens until his second season in the NFL. Starting 13 games in 1998 Holmes ran for 1,008 yards at an average 4.2 yards per carry.
Battling injuries throughout his career was somewhat of the norm for Holmes who constantly faced adversity.
After a great 1998 season, Holmes struggled to remain healthy and was released after Baltimore’s 2000 Super Bowl XXV success.
Holmes signed for Kansas City in 2001 where he remained injury free for three spectacular years. During those three straight seasons Holmes earned All-Pro honors whilst running for over 1,400-plus yards, scoring 62 rushing touchdowns.
FB – Marion Motley, South Carolina State
Team/year signed by – Browns, 1946
NFL Seasons - 9
Pro Bowls – 1
Marion Motley joined Cleveland as a 26 year old rookie in 1946, spending eight successful years with the Ohio outfit.
At 6’1 232 pounds he was a striking figure and frightened defences with his abilities to run block, pass block, rush and receive the football.
In nine professional years Motley rushed for 4,720 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry! It wasn’t just Motley’s ability to gain nearly six yards a carry that struck fear in opponents defences.
His ability to become the greatest pass blocking fullback in NFL history helped protect fellow Hall of Famer, quarterback Otto Graham to nine divisional titles in nine years.
Motley was elected in to the Hall of Fame in 1968 and in 1994 was named to the NFL’s 75th anniversary All-Time Team.
WR – Rod Smith, Missouri Southern
Team signed by – Denver Broncos, 1995
NFL Seasons - 13
Pro Bowls – 3
Wide receiver Rod Smith spent 13 terrific seasons with the Denver Broncos before retiring from the NFL in 2006.
Smith amassed 849 catches, 11,389 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns which sets him as the All-Time leading receiver amongst undrafted wide outs.
Catching passing from legendary Broncos quarterback John Elway didn’t do Smith any harm, as the former Missouri Southern State receiver had eight 1000+ yards seasons, with two seasons recording 100 catches or more.
Smith started in Denver’s back to back Super Bowl winning campaigns (XXXII & XXXIII) and was elected to three pro bowls (2000, 2001 & 2005) whilst also having two All-Pro selections (2000, 2001).
WR – Wes Welker, Texas
Team signed by – San Diego Chargers, 2004
NFL Seasons – 6 (active)
Pro Bowls – 2
Wes Welker is the first of several active players that make the greatest undrafted team of All-Time.
Primarily a return specialist in his early days with the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins, Welker found his niche as he combined his size and explosiveness and translated that into becoming a devastating slot receiver.
Acquired from a trade, the New England Patriots gave the Dolphins a second and a seventh round draft picks in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Since his arrival Welker has posted three 100+ receptions and 1000+ yard seasons, being selected to two Pro Bowls.
In 2009 Welker had 123 catches in just 13 games and was on pace to beat Marvin Harrison’s record of 143 in 2002, if it wasn’t for injuries.
His 346 receptions in three seasons earn him a spot on the roster.
TE – Antonio Gates, Kent State
Team signed by – San Diego Chargers, 2003
NFL Seasons – 7 (active)
Pro Bowls – 6
Antonio Gates has proven to be one of best catching tight ends in the NFL since his arrival in 2003.
His six Pro Bowl selections in seven years reflect his 479 catches made, 6,223 receiving yards and 59 touchdown catches. Gates has also received three All-Pro honours, those coming in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
A former colligate basketball player, Gates used his skills from the court and has translated them to the gridiron to transform him into deadly threat from the tight end spot.
In 2008 he became the NFL tight end to catch 50 touchdown passes in the fewest games, and reach 5,000 yards in the second-fewest games (Kellen Winslow, 69 games).
LT - Joe Jacoby, Louisville
Team signed by – Washington Redskins, 1981
NFL Seasons - 13
Pro Bowls – 4
Joe Jacoby is undoubtedly one of the greatest offensive linemen to play the game and not be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Part of the ‘Hogs’, Jacoby was part of perhaps the greatest offensive line in National Football history.
Along with Jeff Bostic, Mark May, George Starke and Russ Grim, the ‘Hogs’ dominated defensive lines throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s. They were all part of a dynasty that won three Super Bowl rings and four divisional titles in their time in the nation’s capital.
LG – Brain Waters, North Texas
Team signed by – Kansas City Chiefs, 2000
NFL Seasons - 10
Pro Bowls – 4
A four times Pro Bowler and two times All-Pro selection, Brian Waters has enjoyed a stellar career for Kansas City.
Waters has helped pave the way for each of the top four individual single-season rushing performances in franchise history.
Running back Larry Johnson (1,789 yards in 2006 and 1,750 in 2005) and Priest Holmes (1,615 in 2002 and 1,555 in 2001) all benefited from Waters get run blocking abilities.
Waters also became the first offensive lineman to ever be named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. In 2004 the Chiefs dominated Atlanta in a 56-10 win in which the Chiefs registered an NFL-record eight rushing TDs.
C – Jim Langer, South Dakota State
Team signed by – Miami Dolphins, 1970
NFL Seasons - 12
Pro Bowls – 6
Jim Langer joined the Miami Dolphins in 1970 and developed into one of the finest centres to ever play the game.
Langer was named an All-Pro four times in straight seasons from 1972-1977 and was also picked for six Pro Bowls.
In 1972 Langer won a starting spot on Don Shula’s Dolphins team, which is the only team in NFL history to record an undefeated season.
A hardworking and compact strong blocker, Langer played in 141 consecutive games despite several injuries and unfortunately a knee injury in 1979 cost him his roster spot. The following season as he was traded to Minnesota.
Langer will be remembered as a Dolphin who played every snap in the 1972 perfection season.
RG – Larry Little, Bethune-Cookman
Team signed by – San Diego Chargers, 1967
NFL Seasons - 14
Pro Bowls – 5
Yet another All-Pro selection that made his name for the Miami Dolphins during the 1970’s, Larry Little was an influential run blocker who utilised his quick feet and long arms to make the sweep move a staple in the Dolphins run game.
Signing as a free agent with San Diego in 1967, Little was traded to Miami in 1969 and immediately made the right guard position his own.
Little played tackle in his early years at San Diego with reasonable success, but he found his true calling inside at guard.
Little was heralded by fans and pundits alike as one of the NFL’s elite run blockers paving a way for Miami’s three headed monster consisting of Mercury Morris, Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick who rushed for 2,960 yards, and NFL record at the time.
RT – Lou Groza, Ohio State
Team signed by – Cleveland Browns 1946
NFL Seasons - 21
Pro Bowls – 9
To many NFL fans Groza will be remembered as that offensive lineman who became a specialist place kicker for the Cleveland Browns during the 1960’s.
Groza is sometimes forgotten as a super solid pass blocker who along with Marion Motley helped keep Otto Graham upright to divisional success.
In 21 memorable years with the Browns Groza was selected to nine Pro Bowls and receive four First Team All-Pro selections.