draftwarroomBeyond the glitz and glamour of the NFL Draft, teams around the league are getting ready to begin a long hard grind (the all encompassing scrutiny that every player taken off the board involves), as the gutsiest and toughest decisions are made during the latter rounds. No risk, no reward. Through relentless scouting, and above all, a genuine feel for the game of football, the draft is where- behind the scenes management is tested and trusted.  As first round talent has been glorified during these past few months through various media sources and the so called “insider knowledge” from our favorite people at ESPN; we all know that the true stories we are interested in hearing, are for now “unknowns”, the guys that will defeat the odds and emerge to stardom. The past plays testament, to stories of all kinds; as mistakes and examples of stars and busts are born during these uncertain times. Examples that come to mind: Brett Favre (Falcons, Round 2, Pick 33, 1991) Tom Brady (Patriots, Round 6, Pick 199,  2000), Matt Hasselbeck (Packers, Round 6, Pick 186, 1998).  These guys above and below prove: that no matter where you are selected- the true test is the test of time.


To this day, the 49ers may be knocking themselves regarding passing up Aaron Rodgers. Lord knows how many Super Bowls they would have in the Bay; without taking years to figure out QB Alex Smith. 


Sure to be drama every year… 

Notable steals in NFL Draft History:

Jason Taylor (Dolphins, 3rd Round, 73 overall, 1997)

Matt Birk (Vikings, 6th Round, 173 overall, 1998)

Hines Ward (Steelers, 3rd Round, 92 overall, 1998)

Donald Driver (Packers, 7th Round, 219 overall, 1999)

Joey Porter (Steelers, 3rd Round, 73 overall, 1999)

Marc Bulger (Saints, 5th Round, 168 overall, 2000)

Adalius Thomas (Ravens, 6th Round, 186 overall, 2000)

Steve Smith (Panthers, 3rd Round, 74 overall, 2001)

Brian Westbrook (Eagles, 3rd Round, 91st overall, 2002) 

Lance Briggs (Bears, 3rd Round, 68 overall, 2003)

Cato June (Colts, 6th Round, 198 overall, 2003)

Jared Allen (Chiefs, 4th Round, 126 overall, 2004)

Shaun Philips (Chargers, 4th Round, 98 overall, 2004)

Justin Tuck (Giants, 3rd Round, 74 overall, 2005)

Frank Gore (49ers, 3rd Round, 65 overall, 2005)

Marques Colston (Saints, 7th Round, 252 overall, 2006)

Derelle Revis (Jets, 1st Round, 14 overall, 2007)

Jamall Charles (Chiefs, 3rd Round, 73 overall, 2008)

Peyton Hillis (Broncos, 7th Round, 227 overall, 2008)



[For a more complete guide see the NFL’s take here]