The NFL's Greatest Draft Steals of All Time by Team
With the draft approaching, all the attention is on the first rounders, who are thought to be the future stars of the league.
The later rounders are thought to be the future backups.
Well, these are the guys who prove everybody wrong.
There is a steal for every team. You would be amazed to see how late some of today's stars and yesterday's legends were drafted.
San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana
Joe Montana: Round three, pick 82
Ah, Comeback Joe—one of football's greatest icons. With 40,000 career yards and a 92.3 QB rating, this is really a no-brainer.
This guy led the 49ers to four Super Bowl wins and has received numerous awards. He is in the Hall of Fame. He is arguably the greatest quarterback ever.
Not bad for a third rounder.
Chicago Bears: Richard Dent
Richard Dent: Round eight, pick 203
Richard Dent was one of the greatest defensive ends of all time. A four-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, he recorded nearly 140 sacks in his illustrious career.
He was drafted in a round so late it isn't even around anymore. He was drafted behind 200 other players and is considered one of the top 20 defensive ends ever.
Cincinnati Bengals: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
T.J. Houshmandzadeh: Round seven, pick 204
Cincinnati did not have a large selection, and I went with T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He has had a solid career, leading the NFL in receptions at one point. He also is a former Pro Bowler. Better than most seventh round picks.
Buffalo Bills: Andre Reed
Andre Reed: Round four, pick 86
If you look at the top of any NFL receiving records, odds are you are going to see this man's name there. Andre Reed is one of the top receivers of all time. He was named to seven Pro Bowls and had more than 10,000 receiving yards in his career.
If anyone has seen the historic "The Comeback," you know how good this guy is.
Denver Broncos: Shannon Sharpe
Shannon Sharpe: Round seven, pick 192
This was a close call between Sharpe and Terrell Davis, but I had to give it to the best receiving tight end. When he retired, he had the most career receiving touchdowns, yards, and receptions among tight ends.
Sharpe won three Super Bowls, was in eight Pro Bowls, and was a five-time All-Pro. He is arguably the best tight end ever.
Cleveland Browns: Earnest Byner
Earnest Byner: Round 10, pick 280
Even though the infamous "The Fumble" mars his career, he still is in the top 50 all-time in yards, attempts, and TDs. Not too shabby considering he was the 35th running back taken in the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Lynch
John Lynch: Round three, pick 82
John Lynch is one of the most feared tacklers at safety. A nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, he helped lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win. He had over 1,00 tackles, 26 picks, and half that many sacks.
Arizona Cardinals: Larry Wilson
Larry Wilson: Round seven, pick 74
Wilson is a Hall of Famer, and eight-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro. He has 52 career picks. He was ridiculously tough—he once made a pick with casts on both hands. All this for a seventh rounder.
San Diego Chargers: Dan Fouts
Dan Fouts: Round three, pick 84
I pick Dan Fouts over Rodney Harrison because Fouts is a quarterback, and quarterbacks are the most important. Fouts is a four-time All Pro and a six-time Pro Bowler.
Kansas City Chiefs: Joe Horn
Joe Horn: Round five, pick 135.
Joe Horn was a great pick. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and is the New Orleans Saints' top all-time receiver. He had 600 receptions, almost 9,000 yards, and 58 TDs.
Indianapolis Colts: Raymond Berry
Raymond Berry: Round 20, pick 232
Raymond Berry was one of the best Colt receivers of all time. A six-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro, he got 600 receptions, 9,000 yards, and 68 TDs—and this was in the '50s, when football was mostly running.
This is from a guy drafted in the 20TH ROUND!
Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach
Roger Staubach: Round 10, pick 129
Roger Staubach is a good Cowboy quarterback. Tony Romo is not. I would like to point this out to every nut job Texan who thinks Romo is good.
Besides that, Staubach is a six-time Pro Bowler and a Hall of Famer. He threw 153 TDs and 22,000 yards. He is arguably the best Cowboys QB ever.
Miami Dolphins: Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas: Round five, pick 154
Zach Thomas narrowly beats out Dan Marino for the sole reason that Marino was taken in the first round. Thomas is a seven-time Pro Bowler and a seven-time All-Pro. He has recorded more than 1,000 tackles. He is arguably the Dolphins' greatest linebacker.
Philadelphia Eagles: Seth Joyner
Seth Joyner: Round eight, pick 208
Seth Joyner was an absolute nightmare for offenses. Playing for the Eagles, he was a three-time Pro Bowler. He is one of nine people in the 20/20 club for interceptions and sacks.
Atlanta Falcons: Jamal Anderson
Jamal Anderson: Round seven, pick 201
We still do the Dirty Bird. Anderson rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four different years for a total of 5,000. He also is a former Pro Bowler.
New York Giants: Harry Carson
Harry Carson: Round four, pick 105.
Harry Carson was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is a nine-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro. He was second to LT in all-time Giants linebackers. That's pretty good for a fourth round pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew
Maurice Jones-Drew: Round two, Pick 60
The Jaguars do not have to much to choose from. Jones-Drew was late enough in the second round to be a steal. He already is a Pro Bowler and All-Pro. He will only get better.
New York Jets: Shonn Greene
Shonn Greene: Round three, pick 65
Wait...okay, now that you are done complaining about this, understand that it was either Greene or Laveranues Coles, and Shonn Greene could be the next dominating back in the league.
You saw what he did in the playoffs. Without him, the Jets had seemed to lose a lot of their offense.
Detroit Lions: Cory Schlesinger
Cory Schlesinger: Round six, pick 192.
Cory Schlesinger is one of the few good Lions draft picks. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and is probably the best Lions fullback.
Green Bay Packers: Bart Starr
Bart Starr: Round 17, pick 200.
The Packers are the best draft stealers in the NFL. Bart Starr is arguably the best Packers quarterback ever. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro and is a Hall of Famer. Plus, he knew when to actually retire.
Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith
Steve Smith: Round three, pick 77
The Steve Smith I'm referring to is the Panther, not the Giant. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro. For years he was the best receiver in the league. He was instrumental in the Panthers' Super Bowl run.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady
Tom Brady: Round six, pick 199.
Ahhh, Tom Brady—the pinnacle of draft steals. Originally drafted as a backup, he became a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. He has led the Patriots to become the most dominant team in the last decade.
Oakland Raiders: Art Shell
Art Shell: Round three, pick 80
An eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, Art Shell is one of the best tackles of all time. He is a Hall of Famer and has even coached the Raiders.
St. Louis Rams: Deacon Jones
Deacon Jones: Round 14, pick 186
Deacon Jones was one of the best defensive ends ever. He was an eight-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler. He is a Hall of Famer and recorded 174 sacks in his career in a time when the season was 14 games long. He once got 20 sacks in one season.
Baltimore Ravens: Adalius Thomas
Adalius Thomas: Round six, pick 186
The Ravens do not have too many choices, so I went with Adalius Thomas over Brandon Stokley. Thomas, a two-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro, helped the Ravens defense to be one of the stingiest ever.
Washington Redskins: Mark Schlereth
Mark Schlereth: Round 10, pick 263
Mark Schlereth was an excellent guard for the Redskins. He was a tw9time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion. He was a stud on their line for five years.
Another great pick from a round not even drafted from anymore.
New Orleans Saints: Lorenzo Neal
Lorenzo Neal: Round four, pick 89.
Lorenzo Neal is one of the greatest fullbacks ever. A four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, he blocked for a 1,000-yard running back 11 years in a row.
Seattle Seahawks: Steve Largent
Steve Largent: Round four, pick 117.
Even though Steve Largent was technically drafted by the Oilers, he was traded to the Seahawks for a seventh round pick, which made him even a bigger steal. A seven-time Pro Bowler, he was elected into the Hall of Fame—and Congress.
Pittsburgh Steelers: L.C. Greenwood
L.C. Greenwood: Round 10, pick 238
One of the Steel Curtain, Greenwood was a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. He has been nominated and probably will be in the Hall of Fame.
He is another pick from a round no longer drafted from. I really think that the draft should be lengthened.
Houston Texans: Domanick Davis
Domanick Davis: Round four, pick 101
The Texans have nobody. The closest thing to a steal they have is Davis, who is their all-time rushing leader. Even though he only had three seasons, all of them were around 1,000 yards.
Tennessee Titans: Ken Houston
Ken Houston: Round nine, pick 214
Ken Houston was one of the best safeties ever. A 12-time Pro Bowler, he was also in the Hall of Fame. He had 49 picks and 21 fumble recoveries in his career.
Minnesota Vikings: Matt Birk
Matt Birk: Round six, pick 173
We finish out our little samba of steals with a more recent star: Matt Birk. He is a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, and he was a stud on the Vikings' O-line.
This ends my list of top draft steals. Tell me your opinions!!!