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  • We wrap up All-Time Draft week by slicing and dicing the draft for insight on NFL dynasties, Hall of Fame cases, the best active players, how each position broke down and more
By Mark Mravic
July 20, 2017

Dynasties

A reader asked which single-season team had the most players in The MMQB All-Time NFL Draft. The winner: the 1971 Cowboys team that won Super Bowl VI, with 11. The players (in draft order):

1971 Cowboys drafted
Roger Staubach, QB
Bob Lilly, DT
Forrest Gregg, T
Lance Alworth, WR
Mike Ditka, TE
Herb Adderley, CB
Mel Renfro, S
Rayfield Wright, T
Bob Hayes, WR
Cliff Harris, S
Chuck Howley, LB

It should be noted that Forrest Gregg, who signed with the Cowboys after 14 years in Green Bay, played in only six games that ’71 season and did not play in the Super Bowl. He retired after that year, leaving the ’72 Cowboys with 10 of our All-Time Draft players—though Herb Adderley, Lance Alworth and Mike Ditka all played diminished roles in ’72 and retired after the season.

While the Packers teams of 1961 and 1963 also had 10 players in our draft, the more impressive 10-player team was also a bit of a surprise: The 1968-71 Chiefs had 10 players in our draft who played together for four full seasons. It was enlightening to see the respect our 12 GMs had for the powerhouse Kansas City squads of the late ’60s/early ’70s, and for the AFL in general. The Canton seniors committee might want to have another look at Otis Taylor, Ed Budde and Johnny Robinson.

Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier
Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated

1968-71 Chiefs drafted
Willie Lanier, LB
Jan Stenerud, K
Bobby Bell, LB
Curley Culp, DT
Buck Buchanan, DT
Emmitt Thomas, CB
Otis Taylor, WR
Ed Budde, G
Jerrel Wilson, P
Johnny Robinson, S

But the most sustained dynasty in our draft is the ’70s Steelers. Nine Pittsburgh players—most of the core of the four-time Super Bowl champions—were drafted who played together for eight straight seasons from 1974 to ’81. Of that group, only one—Donnie Shell—is not in the Hall of Fame. Lynn Swann, a Hall of Famer from those teams, was a somewhat surprising omission from the All-Time Draft.

1974-81 Steelers drafted
Joe Greene, DT
Jack Lambert, LB
Jack Ham, LB
Terry Bradshaw, QB
Mel Blount, CB
Mike Webster, C
Donnie Shell, S
Franco Harris, RB
John Stallworth, WR

Pittsburgh’s AFC arch-nemeses, the Raiders, had nine players from their 1977 team taken in our draft. Lester Hayes was a rookie that year. He, Jack Tatum and Cliff Branch are not in the Hall of Fame.

1977 Raiders drafted
Ray Guy, P
Ted Hendricks, LB
Gene Upshaw, G
Art Shell, T
Willie Brown, CB
Dave Casper, TE
Lester Hayes, CB
Jack Tatum, S
Cliff Branch, WR

Among other generational teams, the 1950-52 Browns also showed well, with seven players: Otto Graham, Marion Motley, Len Ford, Mac Speedie, Lou Groza, Bill Willis and Horace Gillom. All but Gillom and Ford had played together since the Browns’ inaugural season of 1946 in the AAFC. Gillom joined Cleveland in ’47, Ford in 1950. All but Speedie played multiple positions for at least part of their playing careers.

The 1958 and 1961 Colts also had seven players each in our draft; of those Johnny Unitas, Gino Marchetti, Lenny Moore, Raymond Berry, Jim Parker and Art Donovan were on both teams. Big Daddy Lipscomb played on the ’58 team; Joe Perry was on the ’61 squad. John Mackey didn’t join the Colts until ’63, by which point Donovan and Perry had gone.

• THE MMQB ALL-TIME DRAFT: The draft 1-300, team-by-team rosters, player bios, matchups, galleries and more.

Other team-related notes from the All-Time Draft:

• The greatest game? On October 25, 1970, the Cowboys hosted the Chiefs. Nineteen players from our draft were on the two teams (though Roger Staubach was backing up Craig Morton at the time). Bob Hayes caught an 89-yard touchdown pass. Jan Stenerud kicked three field goals. Dallas won, 27–16.

• More recent teams with a significant number of drafted players include the 1997 49ers, who had Bryant Young, Chris Doleman, Terrell Owens, Gary Anderson, Kevin Greene and Rod Woodson. Honorable mention to the 2000 Redskins, with Darrell Green, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Champ Bailey.

The Jets had 14 players selected in the All-Time Draft, but only three—Joe Klecko, Darrelle Revis and Kevin Mawae—spent significant time with the team. Most people might barely remember these guys even being Jets: Ronnie Lott, Art Monk, Wilber Marshall, Steve Atwater, Ty Law, Brett Favre, Alan Faneca, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Ed Reed.

The Raiders went through three different RBs from 1990 to ’92, all of whom were selected in the All-Time Draft: Bo Jackson, Roger Craig and Eric Dickerson.

• The team that has gone the longest since having someone in our draft play for them is the Jaguars. It was John Carney, who played eight games for Jacksonville in 2007. He was also the only Jags player in this draft.

• What about the Patriots’ “dynasty?” Well, New England had eight players from 2000 to the present selected—Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis, Ty Law, Adam Vinatieri, Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau—but only four of them at most played together in any given season. The two constants, of course, are Brady and Bill Belichick.

Rob Gronkowski.
Jeff Haynes/Sports Illustrated

A Fan’s Team:

Reader Shawn Griffin took it upon himself to do a “supplemental” draft at the end of reach round, building his own roster as if he’d been picking 13th and taking a player who was still available at that point. Here’s what his team looks like:

MMQB All Time Draft: Team Griffin by The MMQB on Scribd

Drafted, Not in the Hall (eligible players)

We talked above about several AFL-era Chiefs players who aren’t in Canton but were selected in this draft. Here’s the full list of non-Hall of Famers chosen in the All-Time Draft, among those who were eligible through the 2017 vote:

Otis Taylor in Super Bowl I.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated

Draft Pos., Player, Pos
131. Jerry Kramer, G
132. Otis Taylor, WR
141. Lester Hayes, CB
144. George Webster, LB
154. Jack Tatum, S
167. Jerome Brown, DT
168. Al Wistert, T
169. Ed Sprinkle, DE
170. Mac Speedie, WR
174. Cliff Harris, S
184. Steve Tasker, SP
185. Randy Gradishar, LB
186. Joe Klecko, DT
189. Bryant Young, DT
190. John Lynch, S
192. Maxie Baughan, LB
194. Cliff Branch, WR
195. Gene Lipscomb, DT
196. Tom Jackson, LB
198. Donnie Shell, S
199. Willie Buchanon, CB
200. Cornelius Bennett, LB
205. Alan Faneca, G
207. Roger Craig, RB
210. Chuck Howley, LB
211. Cookie Gilchrist, RB
214. Ed Budde, G
215. Albert Lewis, CB
218. Tommy Nobis, LB
219. Ty Law, CB
220. Jacob Green, DE
222. Terrell Owens, WR
227. Joey Browner, S
232. Bo Jackson, RB
235. Hardy Brown, LB
237. Steve Gleason, SP
238. Howard Mudd, G
242. Robert Brazile, LB
243. Jerrel Wilson, P
247. Leroy Butler, S
248. Jason Hanson, K
249. Brian Dawkins, S
250. Reggie Roby, P
251. Don Cockroft, K/P
254. Bobby Dillon, S
255. Kevin Mawae, C
256. John Jefferson, WR
257. Tombstone Jackson, DE
259. Tommy Davis, K/P
263. Steve Atwater, S
264. Gary Anderson, K
269. Mike Kenn, T
271. Pat Williams, DT
272. Ray Childress, T
273. Bob Kuechenberg, G
274. John Carney, K
276. Rodney Harrison, S
277. Matt Stover, K
278. Johnny Robinson, S
279. Neil Smith, DE
280. Gary Johnson, DT
281. Nick Lowery, K
287. Wilber Marshall, LB
288. Willie Galimore, RB
289. Horace Gillom, P
291. Billy (White Shoes) Johnson, SP
292. Russ Washington, T
293. Nolan Cromwell, S
296. Sean Landeta, P
299. Isaac Bruce, WR

• THE ALL-SNUB TEAM: Our star-studded roster of players passed over in the All-Time Draft includes Bart Starr, Adrian Peterson, James Harrison and more.

In the Hall, Not Drafted

On the other side of the coin are the Hall of Famers passed over by the 12 GMs across 300 picks in the All-Time Draft. Here’s a look. (Parentheses: Year of induction)

Fran Tarkenton.
Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated

Quarterback
Sid Luckman (1965)
Bob Waterfield (1965)
Bobby Layne (1967)
Y.A. Tittle (1971)
Norm Van Brocklin (1971)
Bart Starr (1977)
George Blanda (1981)
Sonny Jurgensen (1983)
Joe Namath (1985)
Fran Tarkenton (1986)
Len Dawson (1987)
Bob Griese (1990)
Dan Fouts (1993)
Jim Kelly (2002)
Steve Young (2005)
Warren Moon (2006)
Ken Stabler (2016)
Kurt Warner (2017)

Running Back
Red Grange (1963)
Johnny Blood (1963)
Dutch Clark (1963)
Clarke Hinkle (1964)
Paddy Driscoll (1965)
Bill Dudley (1966)
Joe Guyon (1966)
Arnie Herber (1966)
Ken Strong (1967)
Charley Trippi (1968)
Cliff Battles (1968)
Ollie Matson (1972)
Ace Parker (1972)
Tony Canadeo (1974)
Frank Gifford (1977)
Tuffy Leemans (1978)
Doak Walker (1986)
John Riggins (1992)
Leroy Kelly (1994)
Fritz Pollard (2005)
Benny Friedman (2005)
Thurman Thomas (2007)
Floyd Little (2010)
Curtis Martin (2012)
Jerome Bettis (2015)
Terrell Davis (2017)

Tight End
Jackie Smith (1994)

End/Wide Receiver
Wayne Millner (1968)
Elroy Hirsch (1968)
Tom Fears (1970)
Pete Pihos (1970)
Bill Hewitt (1971)
Dante Lavelli (1975)
Red Badgro (1981)
Don Maynard (1987)
Charley Taylor (1984)
Fred Biletnikoff (1988)
Tommy McDonald (1998)
Lynn Swann (2001)

Center
George Trafton (1964)
Alex Wojciechowicz (1968)
Frank Gatski (1985)

Guard
Mike Michalske (1964)
George Musso (1982)
Larry Little (1993)
Mike Munchak (2001)

Tackle
Pete Henry (1963)
Cal Hubbard (1963)
Link Lyman (1964)
Ed Healey (1964)
Steve Owen (1966)
Joe Stydahar (1967)
Turk Edwards (1969)

Defensive Tackle
Henry Jordan (1995)

Linebacker
Bill George (1974)
Sam Huff (1982)
Nick Buoniconti (2001)

Coach
George Allen (2002)
Guy Chamberlain (1965)
Jimmy Conzelman (1964)
Weeb Ewbank (1978)
Ray Flaherty (1976)
Sid Gillman (1983)
Bud Grant (1994)
George Halas (1963)
Greasy Neale (1969)
Steve Owen (1966)
Bill Parcells (2013)
Hank Stram (2003)

Active Players Drafted

A look at the active players taken—just 22 out of 300, leaving out Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, Antonio Brown and Eric Berry, among others. (Parentheses indicate overall draft position/round.)

1. Tom Brady (9/1)
2. J.J. Watt (57/5)
3. Joe Thomas (69/6)
4. Aaron Rodgers (89/8)
5. Von Miller (101/9)
6. Rob Gronkowski (103/9)
7. Julio Jones (139/12)
8. Devin Hester (173/15)
9. Luke Kuechly (175/15)
10. Larry Fitzgerald (201/17)
11. Jason Witten (213/18)
12. Richard Sherman (221/19)
13. Zack Martin (223/19)
14. Shane Lechler (246/21)
15. Travis Frederick (258/22)
16. Adam Vinatieri (261/22)
17. Johnny Hekker (266/23)
18. Justin Tucker (270/23)
19. Greg Olsen (282/24)
20. Patrick Peterson (284/24)
21. Andy Lee (285/24)
22. Darren Sproles (297/25)

• PETER KING ON THE ALL-TIME DRAFT: Introducing the Project | Reader Reaction

Drafted Players, By Position

Finally, a raw breakdown of the draft by position. There are more players than the rosters would seem to allow at various spots because of the wild-card selections. Several players appear twice because they would fill multiple positions on a team.

Parens indicate overall draft position/round

Quarterbacks
1. Johnny Unitas (3/1)
2. Tom Brady (9/1)
3. Otto Graham (10/1)
4. Joe Montana (11/1)
5. John Elway (12/1)
6. Roger Staubach (13/2)
7. Peyton Manning (20/2)
8. Terry Bradshaw (52/5)
9. Aaron Rodgers (89/8)
10. Brett Favre (110/10)
11. Dan Marino (115/10)
12. Troy Aikman (234/20)

Running Backs
1. Jim Brown (6/1)
2. Walter Payton (18/2)
3. Gale Sayers (21/2)
4. Barry Sanders (22/2)
5. O.J. Simpson (23/2)
6. Lenny Moore (24/2)
7. Earl Campbell (46/4)
8. Jim Thorpe (47/4)
9. Marion Motley (48/4)
10. Marshall Faulk (65/6)
11. LaDainian Tomlinson (87/8)
12. Jim Taylor (92/8)
13. Joe Perry (100/9)
14. Eric Dickerson (122/11)
15. Marcus Allen (151/13)
16. Emmitt Smith (152/13)
17. John Henry Johnson (161/14)
18. Bronko Nagurski (206/18)
19. Roger Craig (207/18)
20. Cookie Gilchrist (211/18)
21. Hugh McElhenny (217/19)
22. Franco Harris (225/19)
23. Bo Jackson (232/20)
24. Larry Csonka (241/21)
25. George McAfee (265/23)
26. Willie Galimore (288/24)
27. Tony Dorsett (290/25)
28. Darren Sproles (297/25)
29. Bobby Mitchell (298/25)
30. Steve Van Buren (300/25)

Receivers
1. Don Hutson (8/1)
2. Jerry Rice (17/2)
3. Paul Warfield (49/5)
4. Calvin Johnson (55/5)
5. Raymond Berry (56/5)
6. Lance Alworth (63/6)
7. Otis Taylor (132/11)
8. Randy Moss (138/12)
9. Julio Jones (139/12)
10. Art Monk (143/12)
11. Steve Largent (153/13)
12. Bob Hayes (155/13)
13. Mac Speedie (170/15)
14. Cliff Branch (194/17)
15. Larry Fitzgerald (201/17)
16. Terrell Owens (222/19)
17. Marvin Harrison (233/20)
18. Charlie Joiner (244/21)
19. John Stallworth (252/21)
20. Andre Reed (253/22)
21. John Jefferson (256/22)
22. Chris Carter (262/22)
23. Michael Irvin (267/23)
24. James Lofton (283/24)
25. Tim Brown (286/24)
26. Isaac Bruce  (299/25)

Tight Ends
1. Kellen Winslow (16/2)
2. Mike Ditka (82/7)
3. John Mackey (84/7)
4. Rob Gronkowski (103/9)
5. Tony Gonzalez (113/10)
6. Dave Casper (134/12)
7. Charlie Sanders (140/12)
8. Ozzie Newsome (179/15)
9. Antonio Gates (183/16)
10. Jason Witten (213/18)
11. Shannon Sharpe (229/20)
12. Greg Olsen (282/24)

Tackles
1. Anthony Munoz (5/1)
2. Forrest Gregg (61/6)
3. Jim Parker (62/6)
4. Jonathan Ogden (66/6)
5. Walter Jones (67/6)
6. Ron Mix (68/6)
7. Joe Thomas (69/6)
8. Roosevelt Brown (71/6)
9. Willie Roaf (72/6)
10. Art Shell (75/7)
11. Bob Brown (83/7)
12. Orlando Pace (91/8)
13. Gary Zimmerman (93/8)
14. Jackie Slater (118/10)
15. Rayfield Wright (126/11)
16. Dan Dierdorf (133/12)
17. Ron Yary (158/14)
18. Bob St. Clair (159/14)
19. Mike McCormack (166/14)
20. Al Wistert (168/14)
21. Lou Groza (176/15)
22. Lou Creekmur (240/20)
23. Mike Kenn (269/23)
24. Ray Childress (272/23)
25. Russ Washington (292/25)

Guards
1. John Hannah (30/3)
2. Larry Allen (41/4)
3. Bruce Matthews (64/6)
4. Gene Upshaw (73/7)
5. Larry Little (76/7)
6. Mike Munchak (86/8)
7. Tom Mack (90/8)
8. Gene Hickerson (119/10)
9. Will Shields (123/11)
10. Jerry Kramer (131/11)
11. Joe Delamielleure (165/14)
12. Randall McDaniel (171/15)
13. Steve Hutchinson (197/17)
14. Alan Faneca (205/18)
15. Billy Shaw (208/18)
16. Ed Budde (214/18)
17. Russ Grimm (216/18)
18. Zack Martin (223/19)
19. Dick Stanfel (224/19)
20. Stan Jones (230/20)
21. Howard Mudd (238/20)
22. Danny Fortmann (260/22)
23. Bob Kuechenberg (273/23)
24. Walt Kiesling (295/25)

Centers
1. Dwight Stevenson (53/5)
2. Jim Otto (80/7)
3. Chuck Bednarik (81/7)
4. Jim Ringo (95/8)
5. Dermontti Dawson (97/9)
6. Mick Tingelhoff (106/9)
7. Mike Webster (127/11)
8. Mel Hein (146/13)
9. Jim Langer (172/15)
10. Bulldog Turner (180/15)
11. Kevin Mawae (255/22)
12. Travis Frederick (258/22)

Defensive Ends
1. Reggie White (7/1)
2. Gino Marchetti (14/2)
3. Deacon Jones (15/2)
4. Bruce Smith (25/3)
5. LeRoy Selmon (31/3)
6. J.J. Watt (57/5)
7. Charles Haley (58/5)
8. Willie Davis (59/5)
9. Len Ford (60/5)
10. Richard Dent (94/8)
11. Jack Youngblood (104/9)
12. Carl Eller (105/9)
13. Michael Strahan (108/9)
14. Doug Atkins (114/10)
15. Howie Long (125/11)
16. Fred Dean (148/13)
17. Chris Doleman (150/13)
18. Ed Sprinkle (169/15)
19. Claude Humphrey (191/16)
20. Elvin Bethea (209/18)
21. Andy Robustelli (212/18)
22. Jacob Green (220/19)
23. Tombstone Jackson (257/22)
24. Neil Smith (279/24)
25. Jason Taylor (294/25)

Defensive Tackles
1. Joe Greene (2/1)
2. Bob Lilly (26/3)
3. Merlin Olsen (34/3)
4. Alan Page (35/3)
5. Randy White (37/4)
6. Cortez Kennedy (70/6)
7. Curley Culp (77/7)
8. Arnie Weinmester (78/7)
9. Buck Buchanan (96/8)
10. Dan Hampton (117/10)
11. John Randle (147/13)
12. Warren Sapp (157/14)
13. Jerome Brown (167/14)
14. Joe Klecko (186/16)
15. Bryant Young (189/16)
16. Gene Lipscomb (195/17)
17. Leo Nomellini (203/17)
18. Art Donovan (204/17)
19. Ernie Stautner (236/20)
20. Bruiser Kinard (268/23)
21. Pat Williams (271/23)
22. Gary Johnson (280/24)

Linebackers
1. Lawrence Taylor (1/1)
2. Dick Butkus (27/3)
3. Ray Nitschke (28/3)
4. Willie Lanier (32/3)
5. Jack Lambert (33/3)
6. Ray Lewis (36/3)
7. Jack Ham (39/4)
8. Derrick Thomas (42/4)
9. Junior Seau (43/4)
10. Joe Schmidt (44/4)
11. Ted Hendricks (50/5)
12. Bobby Bell (51/5)
13. Chuck Bednarik (81/7)
14. Mike Singletary (85/8)
15. Von Miller (101/9)
16. George Webster (144/12)
17. Andre Tippett (149/13)
18. Dave Wilcox (160/14)
19. Derrick Brooks (162/14)
20. Rickey Jackson (163/14)
21. Dave Robinson (164/14)
22. Luke Kuechly (175/15)
23. Kevin Greene (177/15)
24. George Connor (178/15)
25. Randy Gradishar (185/16)
26. DeMarcus Ware (187/16)
27. Maxie Baughan (192/16)
28. Chris Hanburger (193/17)
29. Tom Jackson (196/17)
30. Cornelius Bennett (200/17)
31. Patrick Willis (202/17)
32. Chuck Howley (210/18)
33. Tommy Nobis (218/19)
34. Les Richter (226/19)
35. Bill Willis (239/20)
36. Hardy Brown (235/20)
37. Robert Brazile (242/21)
38. Harry Carson (245/21)
39. Brian Urlacher (275/23)
40. Wilber Marshall (287/24)

Cornerbacks
1. Deion Sanders (38/4)
2. Dick Night Train Lane (45/4)
3. Rod Woodson (54/5)
4. Mel Blount (74/7)
5. Lem Barney (79/7)
6. Mike Haynes (88/8)
7. Charles Woodson (102/9)
8. Herb Adderley (107/9)
9. Willie Brown (112/10)
10. Jimmy Johnson (120/10)
11. Emmitt Thomas (121/11)
12. Roger Wehrli (128/11)
13. Champ Bailey (130/11)
14. Darrell Green (135/12)
15. Aeneas Williams (137/12)
16. Lester Hayes (141/12)
17. Darrelle Revis (142/12)
18. Jack Butler (145/13)
19. Willie Buchanon (199/17)
20. Albert Lewis (215/18)
21. Ty Law (219/19)
22. Richard Sherman (221/19)
23. Dick LeBeau (228/19)
24. Patrick Peterson (284/24)

Safeties
1. Ronnie Lott (19/2)
2. Ed Reed (29/3)
3. Emlen Tunnell (99/9)
4. Ken Houston (109/10)
5. Kenny Easley (111/10)
6. Paul Krause (116/10)
7. Mel Renfro (124/11)
8. Troy Polamalu (129/11)
9. Larry Wilson (136/12)
10. Jack Tatum (154/13)
11. Yale Lary (156/13)
12. Cliff Harris (174/15)
13. Willie Wood (181/16)
14. Jack Christiansen (188/16)
15. John Lynch (190/16)
16. Donnie Shell (198/17)
17. Joey Browner (227/19)
18. Leroy Butler (247/21)
19. Brian Dawkins (249/21)
20. Bobby Dillon (254/22)
21. Steve Atwater (263/22)
22. Rodney Harrison (276/23)
23. Johnny Robinson (278/24)
24. Nolan Cromwell (293/25)

Placekickers
1. Jan Stenerud (40/4)
2. Paul Hornung (182/16)
3. Morten Andersen (231/20)
4. Jason Hanson (248/21)
5. Don Cockroft (251/21)
6. Tommy Davis (259/22)
7. Adam Vinatieri (261/22)
8. Gary Anderson (264/22)
9. Justin Tucker (270/23)
10. John Carney (274/23)
11. Matt Stover (277/24)
12. Nick Lowery (281/24)

Punters
1. Ray Guy (4/1)
2. Sammy Baugh (98/9)
3. Yale Lary (156/13)
4. Jerrel Wilson (243/21)
5. Shane Lechler (246/21)
6. Reggie Roby (250/21)
7. Don Cockroft (251/21)
8. Tommy Davis (259/22)
9. Johnny Hekker (266/23)
10. Andy Lee (285/24)
11. Horace Gillom (289/25)
12. Sean Landeta (296/25)

Specialists
1. Devin Hester (173/15)
2. Steve Tasker (184/16)
3. Steve Gleason (237/20)
4. Billy White Shoes Johnson (291/25)

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

 

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