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LaChapelle
03-20-2010, 03:13 PM
Warner tops list of best undrafted players of all time
By Gil Brandt | NFL.com

It's always a benefit when a team's first-round draft pick meets those lofty expectations. And it's a real bonus when mid- to low-round selections exceed their expectations. This, of course, has been at the heart of NFL.com's voting platform to determine the best draft picks in NFL history.

Then there is the ultimate satisfaction of signing a player who was passed over entirely in the draft and seeing him become a productive pro. Talk about return on investment!

So, as the NFL celebrates 75 years of the draft by asking fans to vote on the 75 most valuable draft picks of all time, here's a look at the 75 best undrafted players of all time:

1. Kurt Warner, QB, Northern Iowa
Signed by: St. Louis Rams
First year: 1998
NFL seasons: 12
Pro Bowls: 4
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: In addition to being perhaps the greatest Cinderella story in NFL history, Warner is a two-time league MVP who has posted the three best single-game passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history.



2. Dick "Night Train" Lane, CB, Scottsbluff (Neb.) Junior College
Signed by: Los Angeles Rams
First year: 1952
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: 7
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Hall of Famer still owns rookie record for interceptions (14 in 1952) ... Had 68 career interceptions with three teams (Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions).

3. Emlen Tunnell, DB, Iowa
Signed by: New York Giants
First year: 1948
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: N/A
All-Pro selections: N/A
Notes: One of the great defensive backs in NFL history, second on the all-time list with 79 interceptions.

4. Warren Moon, QB, Washington
Signed by: Houston Oilers
First year: 1984
NFL seasons: 17
Pro Bowls: 9
All-Pro selections: 0
Notes: Hall of Famer ranks in the top six all-time for career attempts, completions, yards and TD passes.

5. Willie Brown, CB, Grambling
Signed by: Denver Broncos
First year: 1963
NFL seasons: 16
Pro Bowls: 9
All-Pro selections: 5
Notes: Starred for Oakland Raiders. ... Had 54 career interceptions and inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

6. Willie Wood, CB, USC
Signed by: Green Bay Packers
First year: 1960
NFL seasons: 12
Pro Bowls: 8
All-Pro selections: 5
Notes: Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame ... had an interception in Super Bowl I.

7. Joe Perry, RB, Compton (Calif.) Community College
Signed by: San Francisco 49ers
First year: 1948
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: 3
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: One of the most explosive inside runners in NFL history. Hall of Famer led NFL in rushing two seasons.

8. Lou (The Toe) Groza, OT/PK, Ohio State
Signed by: Cleveland Browns
First year: 1946
NFL seasons: 21
Pro Bowls: 9
All-Pro selections: 4
Notes: Groza doubled as an offensive tackle and kicker for 14 years on Cleveland's championship teams of the 1950s before becoming a kicking specialist in 1961 ... Hall of Famer played until he was 43 years old.

9. Cliff Harris, S, Ouachita Baptist
Signed by: Dallas Cowboys
First year: 1970
NFL seasons: 10
Pro Bowls: 6
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: One of the Cowboys' greatest success stories. Nickname was "Crash," and he was as tough as they come.

10. Cornell Green, DB, Utah State
Signed by: Dallas Cowboys
First year: 1962
NFL seasons: 13
Pro Bowls: 5
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Former college basketball player had 34 career interceptions.

11. Emmitt Thomas, CB, Bishop
Signed by: Kansas City Chiefs
NFL seasons: 13
First year: 1966
Pro Bowls: 5
All-Pro selections: 1
Notes: Had 58 career interceptions in a Hall of Fame career.



12. John Randle, DT, Texas A&I Kingsville
Signed by: Minnesota Vikings
NFL seasons: 14
First year: 1990
Pro Bowls: 7
All-Pro selections: 6
Notes: Randle, who was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year; had 137.5 career sacks in 219 games.

13. Antonio Gates, TE, Kent State
Signed by: San Diego Chargers
NFL seasons: 7 (active)
First year: 2003
Pro Bowls: 6
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Former college basketball player has 479 receptions for 6,223 yards and 59 TD catches in seven seasons.

14. Priest Holmes, RB, Texas
Signed by: Baltimore Ravens
NFL seasons: 10
First year: 1997
Pro Bowls: 3
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Holmes overcame major injuries in college and the NFL. Had three straight seasons of 1,400-plus yards, scored 86 career rushing touchdowns.

15. Brian Waters, C/G, North Texas
Signed by: Kansas City Chiefs
NFL seasons: 10
First year: 2000
Pro Bowls: 4
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: Played tight end in college and became one of the best interior linemen in NFL history.

16. Tony Romo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Signed by: Dallas Cowboys
NFL seasons: 6 (active)
First year: 2004
Pro Bowls: 3
All-Pro selections: 0
Notes: Romo's 95.6 career passing rating currently ranks fourth on the all-time list.

17. Coy Bacon, DL, Jackson State
Signed by: Los Angeles Rams
First year: 1968
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: 3
All-Pro selections: 0
Notes: Had 22 sacks in 1976 (before it was an official stat). Outstanding athlete with unbelievable size/speed combination.

18. Nate Newton, G/T, Florida A&M
Signed by: Dallas Cowboys
First year: 1986
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: 6
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: Amazing quickness and ability as a blocker for a man his size.

19. Dave Grayson, CB, Oregon
Signed by: Dallas Texans (AFL)
NFL seasons: 10
First year: 1961
Pro Bowls: 6
All-Pro selections: 4
Notes: Member of the AFL's all-time team, Grayson had 48 career interceptions playing for the Texans, Chiefs and Raiders.

20. Adam Vinatieri, PK, South Dakota State
Signed by: New England Patriots
NFL seasons: 14 (active)
First year: 1996
Pro Bowls: 2
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: Four Super Bowl rings -- and the game-winning field goal in two of those championships -- to go along with 338 career field goals.

21. Larry Little, G/T, Bethune-Cookman
Signed by: San Diego Chargers
First year: 1967
NFL seasons: 14
Pro Bowls: 5
All-Pro selections: 5
Notes: The leader of Miami's great offensive line of the 1970s.

22. Jeff Saturday, C, North Carolina
Signed by: Indianapolis Colts
NFL seasons: 10 (active)
First year: 1999
Pro Bowls: 4
All-Pro selections: 2
Notes: Has been the anchor for Colts offensive line that protects Peyton Manning; part of Super Bowl XLI champions.

23. Donnie Shell, CB, South Carolina State
Signed by: Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL seasons: 14
First year: 1974
Pro Bowls: 5
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Part of the Steel Curtain defense that helped Pittsburgh win four Super Bowls in the '70s. Played in 19 playoff games.

24. Deron Cherry, DB, Rutgers
Signed by: Kansas City Chiefs
First year: 1981
NFL seasons: 11
Pro Bowls: 6
All-Pro selections: 3
Notes: Always had great ball skills, finishing with 50 career interceptions; currently minority owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

25. Jim Langer, C, South Dakota State
Signed by: Miami Dolphins
First year: 1970
NFL seasons: 12
Pro Bowls: 6
All-Pro selections: 4
Notes: One of three Hall of Fame offensive linemen from Dolphins' Super Bowl teams of the '70s ... Played every offensive snap in 1972 perfect season

26-75 at link(not copy and paste friendly)

http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000d5d816fb4f0&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

Count Zarth
03-20-2010, 03:14 PM
My fingers were poised to lay into that dirty old bastard if he didn't include Priest.

DA_T_84
03-20-2010, 03:19 PM
4 Chiefs in the top 25. Good stuff.

Sully
03-20-2010, 03:20 PM
I never make the cool lists.

CrazyPhuD
03-20-2010, 03:23 PM
Sorry this list is BS without Scalon, Shay, and Haynes. That's 1,2,3 right there!

chiefforlife
03-20-2010, 03:26 PM
Rod Smith should be in the top 25, easy.

LaChapelle
03-20-2010, 03:28 PM
4 Chiefs in the top 25. Good stuff.

5(#11,15,19,24)Including Priest

DA_T_84
03-20-2010, 03:35 PM
5(#11,15,19,24)Including Priest

Ah, I missed Grayson at 19. Pretty cool!

penchief
03-20-2010, 04:23 PM
Brian Waters ahead of Deron Cherry? Not to mention Nate Newton, Donnie Shell, Larry Little, and Jim Langer? Really?

I realize that the cowboys were the team that signed him out of college but I think Gil is overvaluing Waters just a little bit.