NFL Draft Countdown
2021 NFL Draft

7 Best Draft Picks Ever Made In The NFL

Now that the 2022 Draft is over, we want to take a walk down memory lane. 


So, today we are going to look at the biggest bargains the draft has ever seen. You will notice that there are lots of very successful players missing from this list. This is because lots of the players we know and love were Top 3 picks in their draft. 


We are shining a light on the players who were underestimated on Draft day and left the teams that didn’t pick them full of regret. 


You will also notice that there aren’t many new players on this list, this is because they haven’t had a chance to make their mark yet. 

#7 Russell Wilson (2012)

We said there aren’t many recent picks on this list. In fact, the only pick from the last 20 years on this list is Russell Wilson. 




Well, it’s quite simple – Wilson was picked 75th overall in 2012. That’s the third round. 

There is only one other quarterback since they fixed the Draft, that was picked after 70 that went on to do incredible things with their career. He is, of course, on this list two. 


We have no doubt that when he retires, Russel Wilson will be much higher up this list. 

#6 – Bart Starr (1956) 

You won’t believe this, but Bart Starr was picked 200th in the 1956 Draft. Back then the Draft wasn’t quite as it is today. But, we still think that it was a crime to leave Bart Starr until the 17th Round! 


Starr went on to be the starting quarterback of one of the most successful NFL teams of all time. With the Green Bay Packers, Starr won the NFL championship in 1961 and 1962. The team also won the first two Super Bowls (1967 and 1968). 


Starr was named MVP in both of those matches. 

#5 – Roger Staubach (1969) 

Another iconic player of the past who got a raw deal in the Draft was Roger Staubach – who was picked 122nd overall! 


On one level, this is still a bit of a shock because Staubach did win the Heisman Trophy in college. However, he did 4 years of service with the U.S Navy before entering the Draft. 


Staubach took the Cowboys to the Super Bowl 5 times, won it twice, and was named the MVP once. Interestingly, Staubach was the first of only 4 Heisman winners to be named Super Bowl MVP. 


In 1963, he was named Sporting News Player of the Year.  

#4 – Jerry Rice (1985) 

Jerry Rice was picked 16th overall in his Draft. Compared to some of the others on this list, that’s really early. But, in our humble opinion, Jerry Rice should have been a first overall pick and we will not hear anything else. 


Rice is one of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game. 


He won 3 Super Bowls, he won Offensive Player of the Year twice, he was called up to the Pro Bowl 10 times, and he led the league in touchdowns n 6 different years. 


The 15 teams that passed over Rice made a huge mistake. 

#3 – Joe Montana (1979) 

It’s almost laughable to think that Joe Montana was picked 82nd overall in the Draft. However, Montana was given middling reviews from scouts based on his college performances. It really must take a lot of confidence and nerve to come back in the way that Montana did. 


Montana was picked by the 49ers and he played with them for 15 years before spending his final season with the Chiefs. 


Montana won 4 Super Bowls, 3 Super Bowl MVP titles, 2 Regular Season MVP titles, and was called up to the Pro Bowl 8 times. 

#2- Brett Favre (1991) 

Favre was drafted 33rd overall (the 1st pick in the second round) by the Atlanta Falcons.


Favre only won the Super Bowl once, but he broke a huge number of NFL records. Most notably the first NFL quarterback to obtain 70,000 yards, 10,000 passes, 6,000 completions, 500 touchdowns, 200 wins, and victories over all 32 teams. Those are all separate records. 


Favre was called up to the Pro Bowl 11 times. Favre had 321 consecutive starts from 1992 to 2010 – a league record that still stands and may never be broken. Between 1995-1997, Favre was named regular season MVP three years in a row. 

#1 – Tom Brady (2000) 

Finally, we come to the biggest Draft bargain of all time – Tom Brady. 


Brady was picked 199th overall by the New England Patriots. But he was very nearly not picked at all – the coaching staff had huge arguments over this choice. 


Brady went on to win 6 Super Bowls with the Patriots, was named Super Bowl MVP 4 times and was named MVP of the regular season 3 times. 


He won another Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021, he was named MVP of that match again too. Overall, he has been called up to the Pro Bowl 15 times. You can find the NFL lines on Brady winning another Super Bowl here. 


Brady has broken nearly every record in the NFL, and after a 30-day retirement, has announced he plans to play a few more seasons. 


Related posts

What to Expect from Justin Fields

Shane Hallam

Super Bowl LVI: Ranking The Field


2021 NFL Draft Pronunciation Guide

Scott Wright