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Top 5 NFL Draft Steals Since 2008

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Top 5 NFL Draft Steals Since 2008

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Debby Wong- USA TODAY Sports

It takes a coach with a high amount of football savvy to understand which players will be steals in the NFL Draft. Often, they need to know what they want their team identity to be, and they need to know how that player will help the team achieve the aforementioned identity. And hence, these are the Top 5 Draft Steals since the 2008 NFL Draft.

In the NFL Draft, like all things, hindsight is 20/20. Last week, we looked at the top 10 NFL Draft Busts of the past five years.

This week will be a more optimistic look at the NFL Drafts over the past five seasons. The five players that are to be documented in this list are players that, in retrospect, should have been drafted in the top 10 of the their respective NFL Drafts.

Sometimes players are viewed as too short, too slow, or otherwise unsuited to be a first-round NFL Draft selection. As a result, they plummet through the rounds on draft day, an event that causes these players to enter training camp with a serious grudge on those who evaluated them.

The players on this list have developed into franchise players, and they became cornerstones for their teams. Often, they are players who made a defense that much more stifling, or an offense that much more explosive.

In some cases, the players on this list even helped completely reverse a team’s fortunes and led them to the playoffs. Either way, these players have emerged from the realms of obscurity and made it into the playoffs.

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Aaron Hernandez

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Stew Milne- USA TODAY Sports

Selected in the fourth round, Hernandez has helped pioneer the two tight end offense with this counterpart, Rob Gronkowski.

Fans in New England were still reeling from the loss of Randy Moss when Hernandez emerged. Now, Tom Brady's new targets have made fans in New England forget about the aforementioned wide receiver.

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Jamaal Charles

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Chris Humphreys- USA TODAY Sports

Selected in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Charles’ speed has been almost unmatched during his tenure in the NFL. After an injury sidelined him in 2011, he came back strong in 2012 and was essentially the Kansas City Chiefs’ entire rushing attack.

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Mike Wallace

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Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

Now with the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers third-round selection of the 2009 NFL Draft is one that has emerged as one of the most feared deep threats in the NFL.

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Alfred Morris

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Geoff Burke- USA TODAY Sports

Pending Robert Griffin III’s health, the 2012 NFL Draft may pan out to be one of the best in Washington Redskins history. Morris aided in creating one of the most potent offenses in 2012.

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Russell Wilson

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Joe Nicholson- USA TODAY Sports

It was this time last year that Matt Flynn was viewed as the starter for the Seattle Seahawks. Well, now Flynn is with the Oakland Raiders, and Wilson helped a team go from mediocre to downright threatening.