Best NFL Player Drafted from Picks 1 to 225

Best NFL Player Drafted from Picks 1 to 225

NFL

Best NFL Player Drafted from Picks 1 to 225

Here is the best player selected at each draft slot since the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970. Players who made a pro bowl are bolded, and those that were selected all-pro have a “+” after their name. Players in the Hall of Fame– or guys I project to be in the Hall of Fame when eligible are listed in all caps, and additional Hall of Famers (or likely Hall of Famers) are listed in brackets if they are not selected as the best in the slot. All research is from the draft finder search tools at Pro Football Reference.

What’s the earliest pick where no player has reached the Hall of Fame since the 1970 draft? #15

What’s the earliest pick that has produced no players ever selected to a Pro Bowl in that span? #123

Those are just some of the questions that come up when doing this. It was a fun exercise and I think informative of the top end value of these picks, which represent the top 2% (out of 48 possible players). Enjoy and let me know anything interesting you see.

#1 Peyton Manning, QB, 1998, IND+ [Bruce Smith, John Elway, Orlando Pace, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Earl Campbell, Lee Roy Selmon, Eli Manning?]

#2 Lawrence Taylor, LB, 1981, NYG+ [Marshall Faulk, Randy White, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Julius Peppers, Von Miller, Calvin Johnson]

#3 ANTHONY MUNOZ, OT, 1980, CIN+ [Barry Sanders, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Thomas, Cortez Kennedy]

#4 Walter Payton, RB, 1975, CHI+ [Chris Doleman, John Hannah, Derrick Thomas, Dan Hampton, Philip Rivers, Jonathan Ogden, Kenny Easley]

#5 Junior Seau, LB, 1990, SD+ [Deion Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mike Haynes, Patrick Peterson]

#6 WALTER JONES, OT, 1997, SEA+ [Tim Brown, James Lofton, John Riggins, Robert Brazile, Julio Jones, Torry Holt]

#7 CHAMP BAILEY, DB, 1999, WAS+ [Adrian Peterson]

#8 RONNIE LOTT, DB, 1981, SF+ [Willie Roaf, Mike Munchak]

#9 BRUCE MATTHEWS, OG, 1983, HOU+ [Brian Urlacher, Luke Kuechly]

#10 ROD WOODSON, DB, 1987, PIT+ [Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, Terrell Suggs]

#11 J.J. Watt, DT, 2012, HOU+ [Ben Roethlisberger, DeMarcus Ware, Michael Irvin, Patrick Willis]

#12 Warren Sapp, LB, 1995, TB+
#13 Aaron Donald, DT, 2014, STL+ [Franco Harris, Kellen Winslow]
#14 JIM KELLY, QB, 1983, BUF+ [Darrelle Revis]
#15 Derrick Johnson, LB, 2005, KC+
#16 Jerry Rice, WR, 1985, SF+ [Troy Polamalu]


#17 Emmitt Smith, RB, 1990, DAL+ [Steve Hutchinson]
#18 ART MONK, WR, 1980, WAS+
#19 RANDALL MCDANIEL, OG, 1988, MIN+ [Marvin Harrison]
#20 JACK YOUNGBLOOD, DE, 1971, LARm+
#21 Randy Moss, WR, 1998, MIN+
#22 Andre Rison, WR, 1989, IND+
#23 OZZIE NEWSOME, TE, 1978, CLE+
#24 AARON RODGERS, QB, 2005, GB+ [Ed Reed]

#25 Ted Washington, DT, 1991, SF+
#26 Ray Lewis, LB, 1996, BAL+ [Joe DeLamielleure, Alan Faneca]
#27 DAN MARINO, QB, 1983, MIA+
#28 DERRICK BROOKS, LB, 1995, TB+ [Darrell Green]
#29 Steve Wisniewski, OG, 1989, DAL+
#30 Reggie Wayne, WR, 2001, IND+
#31 Nolan Cromwell, DB, 1977, LARm+
#32 DREW BREES, QB, 2001, SD+

#33 Brett Favre, QB, 1991, ATL+ [Fred Dean, Isaac Bruce?]
#34 JACK HAM, LB, 1971, PIT+
#35 Charles Tillman, DB, 2003, CHI+
#36 Kevin Mawae, C, 1994, SEA+
#37 Randall Cunningham, QB, 1985, PHI+
#38 MIKE SINGLETARY, LB, 1981, CHI+
#39 Darryl Talley, LB, 1983, BUF
#40 MICHAEL STRAHAN, DE, 1993, NYG+ [Thurman Thomas]
#41 ANDRE TIPPETT, LB, 1982, NE+
#42 Rob Gronkowski, TE, 2010, NE+

#43 DAN DIERDORF, OT, 1971, STL+
#44 DERMONTTI DAWSON, C, 1988, PIT+
#45 Ricky Watters, RB, 1991, SF [Dave Casper]
#46 JACK LAMBERT, LB, 1974, PIT+ [Larry Allen]
#47 Bobby Wagner, LB, 2012, SEA+
#48 HOWIE LONG, DE, 1981, OAK+ [Dwight Stephenson]
#49 Roger Craig, RB, 1983, SF+
#50 Calais Campbell, DE, 2008, ARI+

#51 RICKEY JACKSON, LB, 1981, NO+
#52 Bob Golic, DT, 1979, NE
#53 MEL BLOUNT, DB, 1970, PIT+
#54 Anquan Boldin, WR, 2003, ARI
#55 Andrew Whitworth, OT, 2006, CIN+
#56 Osi Umenyiora, DE, 2003, NYG+
#57 Mark Stepnoski, C, 1989, DAL
#58 Lavonte David, LB, 2012, TB+
#59 AENEAS WILLIAMS, DB, 1991, PHO+


#60 Pat Swilling, LB, 1986, NO+
#61 BRIAN DAWKINS, DB, 1996, PHI+
#62 Tony Hill, WR, 1977, DAL
#63 Mo Lewis, LB, 1991, NYJ+
#64 DAN FOUTS, QB, 1973, SD+
#65 Frank Gore, RB, 2005, SF

#66 Ronde Barber, DB, 1997, TB+
#67 Ken Anderson, QB, 1971, CIN+
#68 Lance Briggs, LB, 2003, CHI+
#69 JASON WITTEN ,TE, 2003, DAL+ [Russ Grimm]
#70 Lawrence McCutcheon, RB, 1972, LARm+
#71 DeMarco Murray, RB, 2011, DAL+
#72 Henry Thomas, DT, 1987, MIN
#73 JASON TAYLOR, DE, 1997, MIA+
#74 WILL SHIELDS, OG, 1993, KAN+ [Curtis Martin, Steve Smith]
#75 Russell Wilson, QB, 2012, SEA

#76 Chris Chandler, QB, 1988, IND
#77 Jurrell Casey, DT, 2011, TEN
#78 Nat Moore, WR, 1974, MIA+
#79 Lyle Alzado, DE, 1971, DEN+
#80 Bill Romanowski, LB, 1988, SF
#81 Richie Incognito, OG, 2005, STL
#82 JOE MONTANA, QB, 1979, SF+ [John Stallworth]
#83 Jay Schroeder, QB, 1984, WAS 
#84 Charles Mann, DE, 1983, WAS
#85 Tony Tolbert, DE, 1989, DAL
#86 ANDRE REED, WR, 1985, BUF [Jackie Slater]
#87 Mike McKenzie, DB, 1999, GB
#88 Tom Jackson, LB, 1973, DEN+
#89 Terrell Owens, WR, 1996, SF+

#90 Matt Schaub, QB, 2004, ATL
#91 NaVorro Bowman, LB, 2010, SF+
#92 Hines Ward, WR, 1998, PIT
#93 Ken Ellis, DB, 1970, GB+
#94 Chris Hope, DB, 2002, PIT
#95 Jimmy Graham, TE, 2010, NO+
#96 CHARLES HALEY, LB, 1986, SF+
#97 Joel Hilgenberg, C, 1984, NO
#98 Rich Gannon, QB, 1987, NE+
#99 Joe Theismann, QB, 1971, MIA+
#100 Mark Bavaro, TE, 1985, NYG+
#101 Steve Wallace, OT, 1986, SF
#102 Kirk Cousins, QB, 2012, WAS
#103 Devonta Freeman, RB, 2014, ATL

#104 William Thomas, LB, 1991, PHI
#105 HARRY CARSON, LB, 1976, NYG
#106 Tom DeLeone, C, 1972, CIN
#107 Allan Ellis, DB, 1973, CHI
#108 Jahri Evans, OG, 2006, NO+
#109 Jon Runyan, OT, 1996, HOU
#110 Conrad Dobler, OG, 1972, STL
#111 Terrence McGee, DB, 2003, BUF
#112 Glover Quin, DB, 2009, HOU
#113 KEVIN GREENE, LB, 1985, LARm+
#114 Herschel Walker, RB, 1985, DAL

#115 Larry Centers, FB, 1990, PHO
#116 Steve Grogan, QB, 1975, NE
#117 STEVE LARGENT, WR, 1976, HOU+
#118 Mark Brunell, QB, 1993, GB
#119 Brandon Marshall, WR, 2006, DEN+
#120 Geno Atkins, DT, 2010, CIN+
#121 Michael Carter, DT, 1984, SF+
#122 Hardy Nickerson, LB, 1987, PIT+
#123 Domato Peko, DT, 2006, CIN
#124 Ben Coates, TE, 1991, NE+
#125 MIKE WEBSTER, C, 1974, PIT+
#126 JARED ALLEN, DE, 2004, KC+
#127 Ray Edwards, DE, 2006, MIN
#128 Larry Foote, LB, 2002, PIT
#129 Rob Burnett, DE, 1990, CLE
#130 Darren Sproles, RB, 2005, SD
#131 Aaron Brooks, QB, 1999, GB
#132 Dave Meggett, RB, 1989, NYG
#133 Kam Chancellor, DB, 2010, SEA

#134 Kyle Williams, DT, 2006, BUF
#135 Josh Sitton, OG, 2004, GB+
#136 Billy Shields, OT, 1975, SD
#137 Malik Jackson, DT, 2012, DEN
#138 Robert Mathis, DE, 2003, IND+
#139 Benji Olson, OG, 1998, TEN
#140 Terance Mathis, WR, 1990, NYJ
#141 Fred Miller, OT, 1996, STL
#142 Shane Lechler, P, 2000, OAK+
#143 Josh Norman, DB, 2012, CAR+
#144 Joe Klecko, DT, 1977, NYJ+
#145 Rodney Harrison, DB, 1994, SD+
#146 Trent Cole, DE, 2005, PHI
#147 Mel Gray, WR, 1971, STL+
#148 Ray Brown, DB, 1971, ATL
#149 Dorsey Levens, RB, 1994, GB
#150 Greg Lloyd, LB, 1987, PIT+

#151 Marvin Washington, DE, 1989, NYJ
#152 Bruce Laird, DB, 1972, BAL
#153 Dante Hall, WR, 2000, KC+
#154 Richard Sherman, DB, 2011, SEA+
#155 Michael Sinclair, DE, 1991, SEA
#156 Ed Newman, OG, 1973, MIA+
#157 Keith Bishop, OG, 1980, DEN
#158 Jay Novacek, TE, 1985, STL+
#159 Jake Scott, DB, 1970, MIA+
#160 David Diehl, OG, 2003, NYG
#161 Harold Carmichael, WR, 1971, PHI
#162 Kimo Von Oelhoffen, DE, 1994, CIN
#163 Lemar Parrish, DB, 1970, CIN+
#164 Dan Koppen, C, 2003, NE
#165 Tunch Ilkin, OT, 1980, PIT
#166 La’Roi Glover, DT, 1996, OAK+
#167 Reggie Roby, P, 1983, MIA+
#168 Max Montoya, OG, 1979, CIN
#169 Neil Rackers, K, 2000, CIN+
#170 Michael McCrary, DE, 1993, SEA
#171 Gary Anderson, K, 1982, BUF+

#172 Brandon Fusco, C, 2011, MIN
#173 Matt Birk, C, 1998, MIN
#174 Freddie Scott, WR, 1974, BAL
#175 Charlie Johnson, DT, 1977, PHI+
#176 Pat Haden, QB, 1975, LARm
#177 Dhani Jones, 2000, LB, NYG
#178 Perry Williams, 1983, DB, NYG
#179 Steve Jordan, TE, 1982, MIN
#180 Dave Szott, OG, 1990, KC+
#181 Greg Biekert, LB, 1993, LARd
#182 Lee Woodall, LB, 1994, SF
#183 Cody Risien, OT, 1979, CLE
#184 Daimon Shelton, FB, 1997, JAC
#185 Jeff Zgonina, DT, 1993, PIT
#186 Adalius Thomas, LB, 2000, BAL+
#187 Matt Hasselbeck, QB, 1998, GB
#188 Andy Lee, P, 2004, SF+
#189 Tom Banks, C, 1970, STL
#190 Ahtyba Rubin, DT, 2008, CLE
#191 Carl Hairston, DE, 1976, PHI
#192 SHANNON SHARPE, TE, 1990, DEN+

#193 Grady Jackson, DT, 1997, OAK
#194 Leonard Thompson, WR, 1975, DET
#195 Antonio Brown, WR, 2010, PIT+
#196 TERRELL DAVIS, RB, 1995, DEN+
#197 Gus Frerotte, QB, 1994, WAS
#198 Troy Brown, WR, 1993, NE
#199 Tom Brady, QB, 2000, NE+

#200 Chris Myers, OG, 2005, DEN
#201 Ray Brown, G, 1986, STL
#202 Earnest Jackson, RB, 1983, SD
#203 RICHARD DENT, DE, 1983, CHI+
#204 Rich Saul, C, 1970, LARm
#205 Eugene Daniel, DB, 1984, IND
#206 Kevin Gogan, G, 1987, DAL
#207 Jessie Armstead, LB, 1993, NYG+
#208 Seth Joyner, LB, 1986, PHI
#209 Chad Cota, DB, 1995, CAR
#210 Stan Walters, OT, 1972, CIN
#211 Kent Graham, QB, 1992, NYG
#212 Harry Galbreath, OG, 1988, MIA
#213 Donald Driver, WR, 1999, GB
#214 Blaine Bishop, DB, 1993, HOU
#215 Cortland Finnegan, 2006, TEN
#216 Captain Munnerlyn, DB, 2009, CAR
#217 Lyle Blackwood, DB, 1973, DEN
#218 Tom Nalen, C, 1994, DEN+
#219 Mark Bortz, OG, 1983, CHI
#220 Todd McNair, RB, 1989, KC
#221 Billy Ard, OG, 1981, NYG
#222 Trent Green, QB, 1993, SD
#223 Mark Clayton, WR, 1983, MIA
#224 Jay Ratliff, DT, 2005, DAL+
#225 Reuben Davis, DE, 1988, TB
#226 Steve Tasker, DB, 1985, HOU


#227 Brad Johnson, QB, 1992, MIN
#228 Kris Brown, K, 1997, PIT
#229 Jason Ferguson, DT, 1997, NYJ
#230 Adam Timmerman, G, 1995, GB
#231 Bruce Kozerski, C, 1984, CIN
#232 Julian Edelman, WR, 2009, NE
#233 Clyde Simmons, DE, 1986, PHI+
#234 Will Montgomery, G, 2006, CAR
#235 Mike Zordich, DB, 1988, SD
#236 Tom Pridemore, DB, 1978, ATL
#237 Todd McClure, C, 1999, ATL
#238 Raheem Brock, DE, 2002, PHI
#239 Jeff Cross, DE, 1988, MIA
#240 Shawn Jefferson, WR, 1991, HOU
#241 Terry Allen, RB, 1990, MIN
#242 Brett Keisel, DE, 2002, PIT
#243 Jason Fisk, DT, 1995, MIN
#244 Jay Leeuwenberg, OG, 1992, KC
#245 Dave Studdard, OT, 1979, BAL
#246 Charles Leno, OT, 2014, CHI
#247 Garry Cobb, LB, 1979, DAL
#248 Kyle Kosier, G, 2002, SF
#249 Dwight Clark, WR, 1979, SF+
#250 Scott Studwell, LB, 1977, MIN
#251 Scott Wells, G, 2004, GB
#252 Marques Colston, WR, 2006, NO
#253 Alfonso Boone, DT, 2000, DET
#254 Vai Sikahema, KR/RB, 1986, STL+
#255 Don Majkowski, QB, 1987, GB (sorry, Mike Golic)

 

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