From tradition-rich champions to perennial doormats, every NFL club has had its share of draft heartache through the years. Some near-misses, however, are just a little more famous than others. SI.com presents the ''What If'' gallery, a pictorial of 10 legendary players who came amazingly close to garnering fame with another franchise -- by one tiny draft slot. <br><br>Brady: On the heels of a Super Bowl title after the 1999 season, the Rams had a clear shot at taking Brady with the 198th pick in the 2000 draft. Instead, St. Louis selected defensive back Matt Bowen, thus affording New England a chance to unwittingly grab perhaps the greatest QB of all time. To be fair, the Rams already had Kurt Warner and Trent Green on the active roster.
2 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Talk about a perfect marriage that almost was. The 1990 Giants, on the brink of another Super Bowl title under Bill Parcells, could have landed back-to-back All-Pros at tight end -- beginning with Mark Bavaro (1985-90) and ending with Sharpe, the NFL's all-time receptions leader for tight ends and a dead-lock cinch for Canton someday. Instead, the Giants took USC's Aaron Emanuel at No. 191 and would have to wait 12 years for an impact tight end (Jeremy Shockey).
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The Chargers were one pick away -- twice -- from getting Haley, the all-time Super Bowl champion (two with San Francisco, three with Dallas) in the 1986 draft. The Bolts grabbed linebacker Ty Alert at No. 95 overall and then took Tommy Taylor (97th) immediately after San Francisco tabbed Haley.
4 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Strange but true: The Packers could have had Brett Favre throwing to the enigmatic Owens for 10-12 years (thus fulfilling one of T.O.'s famously televised wishes, circa 2005). But the 49ers snapped up the Tennessee-Chattanooga standout one slot before Green Bay took Mike Flanagan (an excellent pick, in hindsight) at 90th overall.
5 of 10Andy Hayt/SI
It seemed like such an incidental move at the time. But when the L.A. Rams passed on Joe Montana at the end of Round 3 in 1979 (opting for center Mike Wellman at No. 81), they helped the Bill Walsh-led 49ers make the lightning-fast transition from laughingstock to dynastic champions. One more thing: From 1981-92, Montana's 49ers amassed an 18-6 record against their chief division rivals.
6 of 10Peter Read Miller/SI
By selecting offensive tackle Chester Pitts at No. 50 in 2002, the expansion Texans missed a golden chance at landing a franchise back in their first year of existence. Six years later, Houston is still searching for Old Faithful (and I'm not talking about Ron Dayne).
7 of 10Chuck Solomon/SI
The Patriots had a chance to draft a Hall of Fame defensive end, who also happened to be born and raised in south Boston. But alas, New England settled on serviceable running back Tony Collins at No. 47.
8 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Hmmmm, if only the Detroit Lions had known Barry Sanders was going to retire after the 1998 season. With that prior knowledge, Detroit could have selected Virginia's Barber in the '97 second round. Instead, the Lions pegged Arizona State tackle Juan Roque, an immediate bust in the pros, at No. 35 overall.
9 of 10John Biever/SI
This one really, really hurts for the New York Jets. Fully ready to grab a quarterback early in Round 2 of the '91 draft, the Jets watched the Falcons -- who already had a young gun in Oregon's Chris Miller --select Favre at No. 33 overall and were left calling Browning Nagle's name at 34.
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Unlike the other infamous non-picks in this countdown, the Miami Dolphins certainly don't regret passing on Texas A&I cornerback Darrell Green at No. 27 in the '83 draft. The Super Bowl runner-ups watched Pittsburgh's Dan Marino fall into their laps -- in a year where six quarterbacks (five in the AFC East alone) were taken in Round 1 -- and would enjoy his services for 17 glorious seasons. One last note: In the NFL's long, illustrious history, Marino and Green are one of the few back-to-back Hall of Famers taken outside the top 10. In the 1964 draft, Mel Renfro and Paul Krause were taken with the 17th and 18th picks, respectively.
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