Article discussing some of the greatest draft selections in the history of the NFL draft by displaying great NFL players selected in the later rounds.
Great NFL Players Drafted as Late Picks
Despite happening in the Spring, the NFL Draft is still one of the more popular events for professional football fans every where. Tons of attention every year is focused on who will be the number one pick overall. Some great players have come into the NFL as the top overall pick of the draft. Fans are always wondering what impact-player their team will get in the first round of the draft, sometimes they are pleased and sometimes they are massively disappointed. Interest in the draft shouldn't stop with the first or second round though, plenty of great players have been selected in the later rounds as well.
- Tom Brady - Quaterback - Sixth Round Pick
Possibly the greatest late round draft pick in NFL history, Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He set the record for most touchdown passes during a season, and won three Super Bowl Championships before he turned 30 years of age. All that, and 198 other players were picked ahead of him in the 2000 draft
- Terrell Davis - Running Back - Sixth Round Pick
Despite injuries cutting his career short, Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis will go down as one of the best late round picks ever. Davis had four consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons including leading the league in 1998 with over 2,000 yards. He also twice led the league in touchdowns scored twice, once in 1997 and again in 1998. He was an important part of both Super Bowl wins enjoyed by the Broncos in the 1990's and was on his way to a spot in the Hall of Fame before injuries sidelined him.
- Harold Jackson - Wide Receiver - Twelfth Round Pick
Harold Jackson was drafted out of Jackson State in 1968 by the Los Angeles Rams with their 12th round draft pick. To illustrate how late of a pick this was, the NFL Draft no longer has a 12th round. Jackson would go on to play 16 seasons in the NFL and at various times lead the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
- Shannon Sharpe - Tight End - Seventh Round Pick
A sure hall of famer, the Denver Broncos scored big in the 1990 NFL Draft when they used the 192nd pick overall to select tight end Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe would go on to put together a 14 year career and be an instrumental part of the 1990's Denver Broncos Super Bowl Championship teams. He put together three 1,000 yard receiving seasons and finished his career with over 10,000 yards receiving in all. Not too bad for a player that was passed on by other teams 191 times.
- Richard Dent - Eighth Round Pick
In 1983, the Chicago Bears used an 8th round draft pick on a defensive end from Tennessee State University. That pick of Richard Dent would develop into a future Super Bowl MVP and a legendary force to be reckoned with on the Chicago Bears defensive line throughout the 1980's and into the early 90's. He led the league in quarterback sacks as part of the great '85 Bears team that only lost one game on the way to their Super Bowl victory.
There are many more examples of late round draft picks that have developed into something truly special. Most of the attention is paid to the top picks, but some of the more solid players in the NFL come to us in the late rounds. In some ways, a team's ability to get quality players in the late rounds of the NFL Draft is far more important than their ability to select players in the first round when there are more high quality players available.