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The Best NFL Draft Prospects of All-Time: Historical Grades by Shane P. Hallam

Best NFL Draft Picks All-Time

The question often pops up: Who are the best NFL Draft picks ever? Having been scouting and evaluating the NFL Draft since 2004, I have developed my own system for evaluation every year, but never really put grades together. So, this is the culmination of who I have graded as the best NFL Draft picks through my years of scouting the NFL Draft.

These are MY personal grades on players BEFORE they were drafted. It does not reflect where they were taken in the draft (though as expected, most were first round picks) or how their NFL careers have gone. It took some fanangling from the older years where I used a different grading system, but this is generally correct. I also converted players to our new position designations (i.e. iOL, EDGE, DL, etc) and transferred those grades  

Feel free to tweet me @ShanePHallam to give me your feedback on the best NFL Draft picks and what you disagree with or where I really went wrong with my pre-draft evaluations. Feel free to check out these NFL odds as well. You can check out my other NFL Draft work at Draft Countdown as well! I will try to update these each year as I evaluate the next NFL Drafts.

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QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL | EDGE | DL | LB | CB | S | K | P | LS

Highest Graded QBs ever (04-23)

1. Trevor Lawrence – 2021
2. Andrew Luck, 2012
3. Caleb Williams, 2024
4. Matthew Stafford, 2009
5. Joe Burrow – 2020
6. Matt Ryan – 2008
7. Matt Leinart – 2006
8. Jared Goff – 2016
9. Ben Roethlisberger – 2004
10. Robert Griffin – 2012
11. Eli Manning – 2004
12. Justin Fields – 2021
13. CJ Stroud – 2023
14. Bryce Young – 2023
15. Tua Tagovailoa – 2020
16. Deshaun Watson – 2017
17. Jameis Winston – 2015
18. Marcus Mariota – 2015
19. Mark Sanchez – 2009
20. Blaine Gabbert – 2011
21. Geno Smith – 2013
22. Jake Locker – 2011
23. Jimmy Clausen – 2010
24. Brady Quinn – 2007
25. Aaron Rodgers – 2005

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Highest Graded RBs ever (04-23)

1. Adrian Peterson – 2007
2. Reggie Bush – 2006
3. Bijan Robinson – 2023
4. Trent Richardson – 2012
5. Todd Gurley – 2015
6. Saquon Barkley – 2018
7. Jonathan Taylor – 2020
8. Ronnie Brown – 2005
9. Melvin Gordon – 2015
10. Ezekiel Elliott – 2016
11. Steven Jackson – 2004
12. Mark Ingram – 2011
13. Leonard Fournette – 2017
14. Cadillac Williams – 2005
15. CJ Spiller – 2010
16. Marshawn Lynch – 2007
17. Breece Hall – 2022
18. Darren McFadden – 2008
19. Eddie Lacy – 2013
20. DeAngelo Williams – 2006
21. Dalvin Cook – 2017
22. Travis Etienne – 2021
23. Alvin Kamara – 2017
24. Christian McCaffrey – 2017
25. Derrick Henry – 2016

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Highest Graded WRs ever (04-23)

1. Calvin Johnson – 2007
2. Larry Fitzgerald – 2004
3. AJ Green – 2011
4. Julio Jones – 2011
5. Marvin Harrison Jr. – 2024
6. Ja’Marr Chase – 2021
7. Sammy Watkins – 2014
8. Michael Crabtree – 2009
9. Dez Bryant – 2010
10. Amari Cooper – 2015
11. Mike Evans – 2014
12. Malik Nabers – 2024
13. DeAndre Hopkin – 2013
14. Kevin White – 2015
15. Jerry Jeudy – 2020
16. CeeDee Lamb – 2020
17. DJ Moore – 2018
18. Garrett Wilson – 2022
19. Demaryius Thomas – 2010
20. Jaxon Smith Njigba – 2023
21. Michael Floyd – 2012
22. Mike Williams – 2005
23. Dwayne Bowe – 2007
24. Braylon Edwards – 2005
25. Justin Blackmon – 2012

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Highest Graded TEs ever (04-23)

1. Kellen Winslow Jr. – 2004
2. Vernon Davis – 2006
3. Brock Bowers – 2024
4. Kyle Pitts – 2021
5. Greg Olsen – 2007
6. OJ Howard – 2017
7. Tyler Eifert – 2013
8. Noah Fant – 2019
9. TJ Hockenson – 2019
10. Eric Ebron – 2014
11. Jermaine Gresham – 2010
12. Heath Miller – 2005
13. Brandon Pettigrew – 2009
14. Marcedes Lewis – 2006
15. Evan Engram – 2017
16. Dustin Keller – 2008
17. Kyle Rudolph – 2011
18. Hunter Henry – 2016
19. David Njoku – 2017
20. Michael Mayer – 2023
21. Jimmy Graham – 2010
22. Irv Smith – 2019
23. Mark Andrews – 2018
24. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 2014
25. Dallas Goedert – 2018

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Highest Graded OTs ever (04-23)

1. Jake Long – 2008
2. Robert Gallery – 2004
3. Joe Thomas – 2007
4. D’Brickashaw Ferguson – 2006
5. Penei Sewell – 2021
6. Russell Okung – 2010
7. Jake Matthews – 2014
8. Tyron Smith – 2011
9. Mekhi Becton – 2020
10. Evan Neal – 2022
11. Matt Kalil – 2012
12. Andre Smith – 2009
13. Luke Joeckel – 2013
14. Tristan Wirfs – 2020
15. Alex Barron – 2005
16. Ikem Ekwonu – 2022
17. Eric Fisher – 2013
18. Levi Brown – 2007
19. Jedrick Wills – 2020
20. Eugene Monroe – 2009
21. Joe Alt – 2024
22. Lane Johnson – 2013
23. Trent Williams – 2010
24. Greg Robinson – 2014
25. Joe Staley – 2007

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Highest Graded iOLs ever (04-23)

1. Nick Mangold – 2006
2. Jonathan Cooper – 2013
3. Quinton Nelson – 2018
4. Chance Warmack – 2013
5. Mike Iupati – 2010
6. David DeCastro – 2012
7. Maurkice Pouncey – 2010
8. Peter Skoronski – 2023
9. Ben Grubbs – 2007
10. Alex Mack – 2009
11. Brandon Scherff – 2015
12. Ryan Kalil – 2007
13. Eric Wood – 2009
14. Kevin Zeitler – 2012
15. Mike Pouncey – 2011
16. Zion Johnson – 2022
17. Davin Joseph – 2006
18. Tyler Linderbaum – 2022
19. Vernon Carey – 2004
20. David Baas – 2005
21. Kenyon Green – 2022
22. Charles Spencer – 2005
23. Max Unger – 2009
24. Frank Ragnow – 2018
25. Ryan Kelly – 2016

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Highest Graded EDGE ever (04-23)

1. Mario Williams – 2006
2. Jadeveon Clowney – 2014
3. Will Anderson Jr. 2023
4. Myles Garrett – 2017
5. Von Miller – 2011
6. Chase Young – 2020
7. Joey Bosa – 2016
8. Nick Bosa – 2019
9. Chris Long – 2008
10. Micah Parsons – 2021
11. Khalil Mack – 2014
12. Kayvon Thibodeaux – 2022
13. Leonard Williams – 2015
14. Demarcus Ware – 2005
15. Will Smith – 2004
16. Tyson Jackson – 2009
17. Vernon Gholston – 2008
18. Montez Sweat – 2019
19. Jason Pierre-Paul – 2010
20. Melvin Ingram – 2012
21. Aidan Hutchinson – 2022
22. Aldon Smith – 2011
23. Derek Barnett – 2017
24. Barkevious Mingo – 2013
25. TJ Watt – 2017

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Highest Graded DL ever (04-23)

1. Ndamukong Suh – 2010
2. Gerald McCoy – 2010
3. Vita Vea – 2018
4. Haloti Ngata – 2006
5. Derrick Brown – 2020
6. BJ Raji – 2009
7. Dontari Poe – 2012
8. Star Lotulelei – 2013
9. Jalen Carter – 2023
10. Fletcher Cox – 2012
11. Jordan Davis – 2022
12. Glenn Dorsey – 2008
13. Sedrick Ellis – 2008
14. Quinnen Williams – 2019
15. Amobi Okoye – 2007
16. Marcell Dareus – 2011
17. Ed Oliver – 2019
18. Nick Fairley – 2011
19. Aaron Donald – 2014
20. Vince Wilfork – 2004
21. Travis Johnson – 2005
22. Jeffrey Simmons – 2019
23. Da’Ron Payne – 2018
24. Sheldon Richardson – 2013
25. Byron Murphy II – 2024

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Highest Graded LBs ever (04-23)

1. AJ Hawk – 2006
2. Aaron Curry – 2009
3. Luke Kuechly – 2012
4. Patrick Willis – 2007
5. Devin White – 2019
6. Derrick Johnson – 2005
7. Rolando McClain – 2010
8. Devin Bush – 2019
9. Manti Te’o – 2013
10. Isaiah Simmons – 2020
11. DJ Williams – 2004
12. Ernie Sims – 2006
13. Jarrad Davis – 2017
14. James Laurinaitis – 2009
15. Tremaine Edmunds – 2018
16. Jon Beason – 2007
17. Jerod Mayo – 2008
18. Karlos Dansby – 2004
19. Anthony Barr – 2014
20. Rashaan Evans – 2018
21. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – 2021
22. Dont’a Hightower – 2012
23. Paul Posluszny – 2007
24. Myles Jack – 2016
25. Reuben Foster – 2017

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Highest Graded CBs ever (04-23)

1. Patrick Peterson – 2011
2. Darelle Revis – 2007
3. Jalen Ramsey – 2016
4. Joe Haden – 2010
5. Denzel Ward – 2018
6. Aqib Talib – 2008
7. Dunta Robinson – 2004
8. Marshon Lattimore – 2017
9. Morris Claiborne – 2012
10. Jeff Okudah – 2020
11. Antonio Cromartie – 2006
12. Jonathan Joseph – 2006
13. Ahmad Gardner – 2022
14. Leon Hall – 2007
15. Patrick Surtain II – 2021
16. DeAngelo Hall – 2004
17. Derek Stingley Jr. – 2022
18. CJ Henderson – 2020
19. Pacman Jones – 2005
20. Quinyon Mitchell – 2024
21. Stephon Gilmore – 2012
22. Jaire Alexander – 2018
23. Christian Gonzalez – 2023
24. Prince Amukamara – 2011
25. Chris Gamble – 2004

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Highest Graded Safeties ever (04-23)

1. Sean Taylor – 2004
2. Eric Berry – 2010
3. Jamal Adams – 2017
4. Minkah Fitzpatrick – 2018
5. Earl Thomas – 2010
6. Derwin James – 2018
7. Donte Whitner – 2006
8. LaRon Landry – 2007
9. Michael Huff – 2006
10. Kyle Hamilton – 2022
11. Antrel Rolle – 2005
12. Malcolm Jenkins – 2009
13. Karl Joseph – 2016
14. Antoine Winfield Jr. – 2020
15. Reggie Nelson – 2007
16. Mark Barron – 2012
17. Micheal Griffin – 2007
18. Kenny Vaccaro – 2013
19. Thomas Davis – 2005
20. Landon Collins – 2015
21. Jabrill Peppers – 2017
22. Ha Ha Clinton Dix – 2014
23. Bob Sanders – 2004
24. Kenny Phillips – 2008
25. Eric Reid – 2013

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Highest Graded Kickers ever (04-23)

1. Mike Nugent – 2005
2. Roberto Aguayo – 2016
3. Nate Kaeding – 2004
4. Cade York – 2022
5. Evan McPherson – 2021
6. Stephen Gostowski – 2006
7. Alex Henery – 2011
8. Matt Gay – 2019
9. Jake Moody – 2023
10. Chris Boswell – 2014

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Highest Graded Punters ever (04-23)

1. Dustin Colquitt – 2005
2. Bryan Anger – 2012
3. Daniel Sepulveda – 2007
4. Zoltan Mesko – 2010
5. BJ Sander – 2004
6. Mitch Wishnowsky – 2019
7. Andy Lee – 2004
8. Tory Taylor – 2024
9. Matt Araiza – 2022
10. Adam Podlesh – 2007

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Highest Graded Long Snappers ever (04-23)

1. Joe Cardona – 2015
2. Thomas Fletcher – 2021
3. Blake Ferguson – 2020
4. Cameron Cheeseman – 2021
5. Cal Adomitis – 2022

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See more of the best NFL Draft picks in the future in our Mock Drafts

 

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