There is a group of events in the NFL that seem to hold a special kind of importance over everything else surrounding each ongoing season. There’s the beginning of the preseason, kickoff day, the first day of the playoffs, and the Super Bowl of course. Those are all days that NFL fans always pinpoint in their calendars, especially for their NFL odds betting purposes. But there’s one more date that has become a pivotal mark in each team’s and fans’ calendar, the NFL draft day.
In each off-season, some of the absolute best football prospects from college football state their cases as to why they should be given an opportunity by any of the pro teams in the league to continue their football playing career but this time in the pros. Now, of course, a lot of buzzes usually surrounds who gets picked within the first five to ten picks, but as history has shown us, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every single player picked there will automatically have a flourishing and long-lasting career in the pros. This is why, sometimes, it’s more important and exciting to end up seeing which players who get passed up by teams early on end up becoming bonafide stars of the sport and legends within their teams.
With this said, we bring you our picks for some of the biggest and best NFL draft steals in history.
Tom Brady (6th round pick, 2000 Draft)
When thinking about the best athletes to ever grace a sporting discipline, there are some easy examples to think of that don’t require that much discussion. For example, basketball has Michael Jordan, golf has Tiger Woods, hockey has Wayne Gretzky, and pro football, well pro football has Tom Brady. Brady, who entered the league from the University of Michigan was not picked in the first round of the 2000 Draft, not even in the 3rd or 4th rounds, he was picked back in the 6th round of that year’s draft.
Yes, we’re not joking. Tom Brady, the winningest QB in football history, who will most likely be the only QB in the league to manage to win over five Super Bowl rings, he has seven already and could easily finish his career off edging closer to the 10 mark than anything else, almost went unselected until the New England Patriots, with emerging head coach Bill Belichick took a chance on the former Wolverine to have him be the substitute to their starting QB Drew Bledsoe. As you all probably know, the rest is history, and after 7 Super Bowl wins with New England and Tampa Bay, the other 31 teams in the league to this day are still probably banging their heads against the wall for not having picked that QB from Michigan back in 2000.
Joe Montana (3rd round pick, 1979 Draft)
Before there was any talk about if Tom Brady was the NFL’s GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) many football fans and experts wouldn’t hesitate to give former 49ers and Chiefs legendary QB Joe Montana that honor. Montana, who was a 3rd round draft pick steal by the San Francisco 49ers went on to become one of the most polarizing players in the ‘80s alongside who is arguably the best wide receiver to ever play the game, Jerry Rice.
While for many critics Montana was not the best all-around QB in the game, it was during the most important and defining games where he showed off his best performances. With four Super Bowl wins and three Super Bowl MVP awards to his name, it’s easy to see why Joe Montana is not only considered one of the best QB’s to ever play the game, but also one of the best players to ever grace the gridiron.
Richard Sherman (5th round pick, 2011 Draft)
Any true football fan remembers Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” defense. The group, composed of players such as Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, and Byron Maxwell to name a few, has one more player, who could easily be considered the most vocal, the most intense, and one of the leaders of the gang, cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman, who was drafted by Seattle in the 5th round of the 2011 draft went on to become one of the absolute best players in his position in the NFL in the 2010s, leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl win in the 2013 season against the Denver Broncos which were considered by many as the best passing offense in the league and one of the best all-around offenses in the history of the NFL. While Sherman later moved on to the 49ers and is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his stint with Seattle, where he established himself as one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game, especially after having to wait for five rounds in his draft to get selected is enough to prove that sometimes you shouldn’t sleep on any player.