The Draft’s Mistakes

The NFL Draft will soon be upon us, and for many franchises, the draft is viewed as make or break. After looking over many a mock draft, I always wonder how well the players taken below Round One will do. So below, I have constructed the best starting lineup I can from players that were basically overlooked. In doing so, I am relying heavily on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, with a mixture of other Hall of Famers, Hall of Fame nominees, and Pro Bowlers thrown in to fill out the team.  The listings are position – name (round, year), with U=Undrafted.

QB – Johnny Unitas (9, 1955) [Warren Moon (U, 1978)]
RB – Terrell Davis (6, 1995)
RB – Curtis Martin (3, 1995)
WR – Raymond Berry (20, 1954)
WR – Cris Carter (4, 1987)
TE – Shannon Sharpe (7, 1990)
T – Max Montoya (7, 1979)
T – Roosevelt Brown (27, 1953)
G – Conrad Dobler (5. 1972)
G – Russ Grimm (3, 1981)
C – Mike Webster (5, 1974)
DE – Deacon Jones (14, 1961)
DE – Richard Dent (8, 1983)
DT – John Randle (U, 1990)
DT – Pat Williams (U, 1997)
MLB – Gary Reasons (4, 1984)
OLB – Kevin Greene (5, 1985)
OLB – Harry Carson (4, 1976)
CB – Night Train Lane (U, 1952)
CB – Mel Blount (3, 1970)
SS – Larry Wilson (7, 1960)
FS – Ken Houston (9, 1967)
PK – Adam Vinatieri (U, 1996)
P – Jeff Feagles (U, 1988)

The draft does matter, clearly, because it took a lot of work to pull this team together. Nonetheless, bargains exist, and they always have. One final note: Don’t draft a kicker/punter. Too many of the best ever have gone undrafted. The value just is not there.

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8 Comments on “The Draft’s Mistakes”

  1. Drafting a kicker in the first round is like drafting a closer in the first round of a fantasy baseball draft. Too much turnover at this position, and always bargains to be had. (See? I just had to turn this back around to baseball, didn’t I?) Your point is well-taken, Bill

  2. sportsphd Says:

    Agree entirely, and I will never fault a person for turning a discussion back to baseball. Want to talk politics? Barack Obama is a White Sox fan. Want to talk music? Steve Perry is a Giants fan and is angry that the Dodgers are allowed to play “Don’t Stop Believin'” at Dodger Stadium. Baseball is always a good default topic of conversation.

  3. verdun2 Says:

    And Bart Starr went in the 15th round. Who’d a thunk it?
    BTW Wannta know why the Steelers never won anything prior to the 1970s? Unitas was drafted by Pittsburgh and cut before the season. The Colts picked him up playing semi-pro ball. Ouch.

  4. Millsy Says:

    This year’s coming draft may be interesting in that Zoltan Mesko (punter from Michigan) could see a draft slot above the range you have in your post here. I’m very curious to see what happens with him, as he is definitely a cut above the rest (I’ve been able to watch him here in Ann Arbor).

    In the end, I agree with you. I don’t feel like booting the ball really far is a rare skill, though, and perhaps some teams should check out the movie “The Replacements”. (Side Note: I’d also advise them to fast forward through most of the actual acting.)

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