The NFL draft just concluded recently and every NFL fan is eager to see how their picks turn out. There is no doubt some of the high picks wont pan out and some of the late picks will turn into stars. With this in mind, here are five of the best draft pick steals in the history of the NFL.
1. Johnny Unitas
Unitas, who is without a doubt one of the best quarterbacks of all time and was the face of the Baltimore Colts, was also one of the most intelligent draft picks ever. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers (who probably wish they would have kept him), in the ninth round of the 1955 draft. The guy not only went on to become one of the best, but held the record for most consecutive games with a TD pass until that was finally broken by Drew Brees a few years ago.
2. Bart Starr
Who would have guessed that only a year after a huge draft steal like Unitas was taken, another QB would follow in similar footsteps. In the 17th round of the 1956 NFL draft, the Packers took Bart Starr. Starr went on to win more accolades than almost any other quarterback as he was the QB of all five of Vince Lombardi’s Super Bowl titles with the Packers and was also the MVP of the first ever two Super Bowls.
3. Joe Montana
Yes, arguably the best quarterback in NFL history was a late round draft pick. While only a third round pick (so not quite as far back as Starr and Unitas), this is still the textbook definition of a steal. Even though he had a ton of success in college with Notre Dame, he somehow slipped into the third round. After becoming a four time Super Bowl champion and winning three Super Bowl MVP awards, you can be sure that the teams that passed him by are kicking themselves for that one.
4. Deacon Jones
Jones, who was one of the most devastating and talented pass rushers of all time, was actually drafted in the 14th round of the 1961 draft. In addition to coining the term “sack”, Jones terrorized quarterbacks for years as the leader of the Rams “Fearsome Foursome”. While the league didn’t keep sack statistics back then, you could be sure his number would be among the highest of all time, no doubt.
5. Tom Brady
You all knew he would be here, and there is no way we could leave him out of this article. The fact that Tom Brady was taken in the sixth round of the NFL draft (199th overall), is still mind boggling to NFL fans. This is one of those prime examples of the fact that the NFL Draft scouting process isn’t an exact science. Brady has won four Super Bowls and been to 11 Pro Bowls in his career and will surely go down as one of the clear best quarterbacks in football history.