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News » UNDER THE DRAFT RADAR


UNDER THE DRAFT RADAR


UNDER THE DRAFT RADAR
During today's second day of the NFL draft, you will hear plenty of names you don't recognize. Some will be taken in the sixth and seventh rounds, and you think you'll never hear their names again. Even more names won't be called out. Those undrafted players will try to catch on as free agents. But there's a superstar or two or three who is still looking for a team this morning. In fact, we think we've put together a pretty good all-time team of players who were never drafted or had to wait until late in the draft to hear their name called out.


Quarterback

It's not easy to find a superstar quarterback who slipped through the cracks.

Twenty-six quarterbacks have won Super Bowls. Of those, 14 were first-round picks and that doesn't count Steve Young, who went first in the supplemental draft. But there were several late-round picks: Green Bay's Bart Starr (200th overall), Dallas' Roger Staubach (129th), Washington's Mark Rypien (146th), New England's Tom Brady (199th) and Tampa Bay's Brad Johnson (227th).

And there is one Super Bowl champ who wasn't even drafted - Kurt Warner, who has been to three Super Bowls with the Rams and Cardinals, and won one with St. Louis.

Meantime, Hall of Famer Warren Moon was never drafted. Neither were Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme or Tony Romo.

* * *

Running back

Signed as an undrafted free agent, Willie Parker has helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls and has averaged 1,200 yards a season the past four years. Kansas City's Priest Holmes was undrafted and went to three Pro Bowls, won an NFL offensive player of the year award and once held the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season (27). Let's add a fullback: Seattle's Mack Strong, a two-time Pro Bowl player after not being drafted.

* * *

Wide receiver

Former Broncos receiver Rod Smith ranks 14th in league history in receptions (849) and 19th in receiving yards (11,389). The Patriots' Wes Walker caught more passes than any receiver in 2007 and finished second in 2008. Before injuries stopped his career, the Jets' Wayne Chrebet averaged 63 catches a year for eight seasons. What do all three have in common? They were never drafted.

* * *

Tight end

Who is the best tight end in Football right now? Some might say San Diego's Antonio Gates. Since 2004, only two have caught more TD passes than Gates, who has 49 in that span. Know where he was taken in the draft? He wasn't.

* * *

Offensive tackle

Tackle Joe Jacoby was a member of the Redskins' Hogs who wasn't drafted. He made four Pro Bowls and collected three Super Bowl rings. At the other tackle, let's go with Rosey Brown. He was drafted ... in the 27th round! After being the 321st selection in the 1953 draft, Brown made the Pro Bowl nine times and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

* * *

Offensive guard

When you think back of the great lineman of the 1970s, Larry Little is one of the first names that comes to mind. The Dolphins guard was undrafted out of Bethune-Cookman, but he became a Hall of Famer. Kansas City's Brian Waters was undrafted out of North Texas but is a two-time Pro Bowl player and holds quite the distinction. He's the only lineman to be named offensive player of the week. That was in 2004 when the Chiefs set an NFL record with eight rushing TDs in one game.

* * *

Center

Larry Little wasn't the only undrafted gem the Dolphins had in the 1970s. Center Jim Langer also was undrafted. He and Steelers center Mike Webster (a fifth-round pick) are generally regarded as the premier centers of the 1970s and among the best ever. Both are in the Hall of Fame. Meantime, Jeff Saturday, a three-time Pro Bowl player with the Colts, also wasn't drafted.

* * *

Defensive end

If you're picking an all-time NFL team, you can't do much better than to have Packers legend Willie Davis on one side and Rams' legend Deacon Jones on the other side. Both starred mainly in the 1960s. Both are in the Hall of Fame. And neither went high in the draft. Davis was taken in the 17th round (181st overall) in the 1956 draft , while Jones was taken in the 14th round (186th) in 1961.

* * *

Defensive tackle

The Minnesota Vikings signed an undrafted free agent named John Randle in 1990. By the time Randle retired in 2003, he was six-time All Pro, a seven-time Pro Bowl player and was tied for fifth in league history in sacks. And what is it with the Vikings? Pat Williams has made three consecutive Pro Bowls even though he entered the league by signing as a free agent with the Bills in 1997.

* * *

Linebacker

Want to go with a 3-4 defense on our team here? Well how's this for four linebackers. You have Pittsburgh's James Harrison, the 2008 defensive player of the year. You have the Jets' Bart Scott, a Pro Bowl player on the great Ravens' defense of this decade. You have former Buc Shelton Quarles, a Pro Bowl selection the year the defense led the Bucs to a Super Bowl. And, finally, Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti, the leader of the great Dolphins No-Name Defense of the 1970s. Harrison, Scott and Quarles were never drafted. Buoniconti was a 13th round pick (102nd overall) in the 1962 AFL draft.

* * *

Cornerback

The great Willie Brown was not only undrafted, he was cut by the first team that signed him. He latched onto the Broncos, earned two Pro Bowl selections, moved on to Oakland and made seven more Pro Bowls. His Hall of Fame career was highlighted by a 75-yard interception return for a TD in Super Bowl XI. Emmitt Thomas came out of little Bishop College in Texas and, of course, was undrafted. He set the Chiefs record for interceptions (58) and these days, his bust can be found at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Oh, and the great Hall of Famer Dick "Night Train'' Lane was undrafted, too.

* * *

Safety

Green Bay's Willie Wood(1960-71) made eight Pro Bowls and won three NFL championships after being undrafted. Hall of Famer Ken Houston was drafted, though it wasn't until the ninth round (214th overall) in 1967. In 14 seasons, Houston made an amazing 12 Pro Bowls.

* * *

Punter

Heck, most puntersaren't drafted, so youcan pick almostanyone. But let's takea moment to mentionthe player generallyregarded as thegreatest punter ofall-time - Ray Guy, who remains the only punter ever to be taken in the first round when the Raiders selected him with the 23rd pick in the 1973 draft. One could argue it's the greatest pick in NFL history.

* * *

Kicker

Jan Stenerud is theonly kicker in thePro Football Hall ofFame. Not onlywasn't he drafted,he didn't even go tocollege for Football.He was on a skiingscholarship atMontana State when he joined the Football team as a junior. After 373 field goals in the NFL, Stenerud made the Hall of Fame.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

Ken Shackleford Name: Ken Shackleford
#69
Position: OT
Age: 23
Experience: 1 years
College: Georgia
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