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All-Time NFL Draft (since merger)

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If you haven't checked out Pro-Football-Reference.com lately you should as it isn't the completely useless site it used to be. This is a site that until recently didn't even have QB Ratings but now it has all kinds of neat features such as a searchable draft database. With the help of this I decided to do a quicky project for the blog by putting together an All-Time NFL Draft.

 

Now this isn't some all-time fantasy draft I'm doing but rather I'm selecting who in my opinion were the best players ever at each selection of the draft (i.e. Who is the best #1 pick of all-time?). To keep my sanity I'm only doing this since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger and I stopped at 30 picks although I might do another entry for more picks. Along with who I picked as the best player at each selection I also listed three "honorable mention" picks at each selection just to give you an idea of how many good players (or very average players for that matter with some of them) were taken at each selection. I originally thought of doing it based on who were truly the best draft picks for the team that originally drafted each player but that was going to be way too time consuming so I took the easy way out and just picked purely based on the player's career, regardless of where they had their most success.

 

1. Baltimore Colts (traded to Denver) - John Elway, QB, Stanford 1983

Honorable Mention: Eric Campbell (1978), Bruce Smith (1985), Peyton Manning (1998)

 

2. N.Y. Giants – Lawrence Taylor, LB, North Carolina 1981

Honorable Mention: Tony Dorsett (1977), Eric Dickerson (1983), Marshall Faulk (1994)

 

3. Detroit – Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State 1989

Honorable Mention: Anthony Munoz (1980), Cortez Kennedy (1990), Chris Samuels (2000)

 

4. Chicago – Walter Payton, RB, Jackson State 1975

Honorable Mention: John Hannah (1973), Dan Hampton (1979), Jonathan Ogden (1996)

 

5. Atlanta – Deion Sanders, CB, Florida State 1989

Honorable Mention: Mike Haynes (1976), Junior Seau (1990), LaDanian Tomlinson (2001)

 

6. L.A. Raiders – Tim Brown, WR, Notre Dame 1988

Honorable Mention: James Lofton (1978), Walter Jones (1997), Torry Holt (1999)

 

7. Washington – Champ Bailey, CB, Georgia 1999

Honorable Mention: Phil Simms (1979), Sterling Sharpe (1988), Troy Vincent (1992)

 

8. San Francisco – Ronnie Lott, DB, USC 1981

Honorable Mention: Mike Munchak (1982), Willie Roaf (1993), Roy Williams (2002)

 

9. Houston Oilers – Bruce Matthews, G, USC 1983

Honorable Mention: Terry McDaniel (1988), Richmond Webb (1990), Brian Urlacher (2000)

 

10. Pittsburgh – Rod Woodson, DB, Purdue 1987

Honorable Mention: Marcus Allen (1982), Jerome Bettis (1993), Willie Anderson (1996)

 

11. Dallas – Michael Irvin, WR, Miami 1988

Honorable Mention: Dennis Harrah (1975), Wilber Marshall (1984), Dwight Freeney (2002)

 

12. Tampa Bay – Warren Sapp, DT, Miami 1995

Honorable Mention: Clay Matthews (1978), Jim Lachey (1985), Warrick Dunn (1997)

 

13. Kansas City – Tony Gonzalez, TE, California 1997

Honorable Mention: Franco Harris (1972), Mike Kenn (1978), Kellen Winslow (1979)

 

14. Buffalo – Jim Kelly, QB, Miami 1983

Honorable Mention: Randy Gradishar (1974), John Jefferson (1978), Ruben Brown (1995)

 

15. Denver – Dennis Smith, S, USC 1981

Honorable Mention: Isaac Curtis (1973), John L Williams (1986), Anthony Miller (1988)

 

16. San Francisco – Jerry Rice, WR, Mississippi Valley State 1985

Honorable Mention: Raymond Clayborn (1977), Luis Sharpe (1982), Troy Polamalu (2003)

 

17. Dallas – Emmitt Smith, RB, Florida 1990

Honorable Mention: Louis Wright (1975), Damien Woody (1999), Steve Hutchinson (2001)

 

18. Washington – Art Monk, WR, Syracuse 1980

Honorable Mention: Willie Gault (1983), Alfred Williams (1991), Eddie Kennison (1996)

 

19. Indianapolis – Marvin Harrison, WR, Syracuse 1996

Honorable Mention: Joey Browner (1983), Randall McDaniel (1988), Casey Hampton (2001)

 

20. L.A. Rams – Jack Youngblood, DE, Florida 1971

Honorable Mention: Mike Quick (1982), Will Wolford (1986), Steve Atwater (1989)

 

21. Minnesota – Randy Moss, WR, Marshall 1998

Honorable Mention: Lynn Swan (1974), John Alt (1984), Jerry Gray (1985)

 

22. Indianapolis – Andre Rison, WR, Michigan State 1988

Honorable Mention: Jack Reynolds (1970), Hanford Dixon (1981), Harris Barton (1987)

 

23. Cleveland – Ozzie Newsome, TE, Alabama 1978

Honorable Mention: Ray Guy (1973), Bruce Armstrong (1987), Ty Law (1995)

 

24. Baltimore Ravens – Ed Reed, S, Miami 2002

Honorable Mention: Raymond Chester (1970), James Brooks (1981), Eric Moulds (1996)

 

25. San Francisco – Ted Washington, DT, Louisville 1991

Honorable Mention: Stanley Morgan (1977), Bobby Butler (1981), Chris Hovan (2000)

 

26. Baltimore Ravens – Ray Lewis, LB, Miami 1996

Honorable Mention: Joe DeLamielleure (1973), Kent Hill (1979), Alan Faneca (1998)

 

27. Miami – Dan Marino, QB, Pittsburgh 1983

Honorable Mention: Reggie McKenzie (1972), Neal Anderson (1986), Larry Johnson (2003)

 

28. Tampa Bay – Derrick Brooks, LB, Florida State 1995

Honorable Mention: Guy Morris (1973), Darrell Green (1983), Trevor Pryce (1997)

 

29. Dallas (traded to L.A. Raiders) – Steve Wisniewski, G, Penn State 1989

Honorable Mention: Tommy Casanova (1972), Joe Cribbs (1980), Chris Spielman (1988)

 

30. Philadelphia – Eric Allen, CB, Arizona State 1988

Honorable Mention: Greg Pruitt (1973), Louie Kelcher (1975), Patrick Kerney (1999)

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OMG Pete Fiutak at collegefootballnews.com plagiarized me! Okay not really (and not like this was an original idea I had) but he did his own All-Time Draft today as well, with most of the same picks as me. Brian Urlacher over Bruce Matthews at #9 is a complete joke though. There goes a possible entry for me though as they also included the worst picks as well. I might still do picks 31-60.

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