ESPN is airing a special tonight about Tom Brady being a steal as a 6th round draft pick. There is no question that Tom Brady is the biggest draft steal of all time, but who are the best draft steals of all time after Tom Brady.
The Draft Steals on my list must have been drafted in rounds 3 or later to be considered a draft steal. Its easy to find a good player in the first two rounds which is why quarterbacks like Dan Marino who are considered great late round values don’t make the cut because they are not late round steals. Marino is a great all pro hall of fame quarterback, but he isn’t really a steal in my opinion because he went in the first two rounds.
Here is a list from 10 to 1 with my top draft steals.
Number 10 Zach Thomas MLB Miami Dolphins 4th round pick
For many years Zach Thomas was a productive linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, but he never got to a Super Bowl so that is why Thomas is #10 on this list.
Number 9 Hines Ward WR Pittsburgh Steelers 3rd round pick
Hines Ward has been one of the more productive wide receivers in the NFL and continues to be productive each year. Plus Ward was a Super Bowl 40 MVP
Number 8 Steve Largent WR Seattle Seahawks originally drafted by the Houston Oilers before being dealt to the expansion Seahawks.
Steve Largent was a talented receiver who posted monster stats, but he did not produce in the playoffs. Largent was more consistent than Hines Ward in his career in terms of regular season production which is the only reason Largent ranks ahead of Hines Ward.
Number 7 Andre Reed WR Buffalo Bills 4th round pick
Andre Reed was a go to wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills during their Super Bowl run in the 1990’s and Reed is considered a steal because he was a small school wide receiver out of Kutztown.
Number 6 Rodney Harrison SS San Diego Chargers 5th round pick
Harrison won 3 Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and was productive early in his career with the San Diego Chargers.
Number 5 Dan Fouts QB San Diego Chargers 3rd round pick
Fouts was drafted 64th overall which is considered a 2nd round pick in today’s era. That’s why Fouts is #6 on this list despite his amazing stats and accomplishments. That, and the fact that Fouts never won a Super Bowl.
Number 4 LC Greenwood DE Pittsburgh Steelers 10th round pick
LC Greenwood was a 10th round pick and Greenwood made major contributions with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Besides Jack Lambert, Joe Green, and Mel Blount, Greenwood is probably the best Steeler on the 1970’s Steel Curtain Defense.
Number 3 Terrell Davis RB Denver Broncos 6th Round Pick
Davis had a lot of early success on a Denver Broncos team with John Elway at the helm at quarterback. Davis was the Super Bowl 32 MVP for a Denver Broncos team that won back to back Super Bowls.
Number 2 Shannon Sharpe TE Denver Broncos 7th Round Pick
Shannon Sharpe is considered by many to be one of the greatest tight ends of all time and he went in the 7th round. Plus Sharpe won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years.
Number 1 Joe Montana QB San Francisco 49ers 3rd Round Pick
Joe Montana may even be a greater steal than Tom Brady, but the reason I consider Brady a greater steal is because he won 3 Super Bowls as a 6th round pick while Montana won 4 Super Bowls as a 3rd round pick. Montana is probably the greatest quarterback of all time though by a long stretch. Brady may surpass him if he wins 2 more Super Bowls. For now though, Montana is the greatest quarterback of all time.