Ditto for quarterback Russell Wilson , one of the best third-round picks in history. Personnel executive Terry Bradway implored the Jets to draft Wilson in the second or third round -- he was so pro-Wilson that co-workers called him "Russell Bradway" -- but the team ignored his wishes. Wilson and Wagner became franchise pillars for the Seahawks, who won a Super Bowl and made eight playoff appearances in a year period.
The Jets' mistakes kicked off a run of drafting ineptitude, which probably explains why they haven't reached the postseason in 11 straight years, the league's longest active drought. But with the Nos. What if the Jets had drafted Wagner or Wilson in ?
Or both? Hindsight can be cruel when it comes to the draft. Every team has its share of "what if" skeletons in its closet, but the perennial contenders -- mainly, the teams in the top half of our draft rankings -- keep them hidden. So which teams have been best at drafting the most valuable players relative to where they were picked? Here's how we sorted it out. For example, players drafted in the first or second rounds have a higher baseline for performance, so if they struggle they will have much lower CAVOE scores than a sixth- or seventh-round pick who made little impact.
To get the team ranking, we added up CAVOE scores for all players drafted by teams between -- regardless of how long those players were with the team that drafted them. The idea is to see which teams drafted players who have provided the most value over their NFL careers.
We include a look at team records from Not surprising, seven of the top eight teams in our ranking also had one of the eight best records over the last decade. We also include how teams rank based on the value of Day 3 picks Rounds While Day 3 performance alone did not factor into our overall ranking, it's clearly been part of the blueprint for success for teams like the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
A note about comparing older vs. So, for example, a class having higher CAVOE scores than a class doesn't necessarily mean the class was better. It means the class has accrued more value over 10 years than the class has over two. Let's get to it. Best class from drafts : This was easily the best draft in team history, not just the past decade. Sweezy Round 7 has started over NFL games.
Best Day 3 steal? P Michael Dickson , fifth round, Dickson has proved to have one of the strongest legs in the league, averaging in the top 10 in average punt distance each of the past two seasons. Recently signing an extension, he's proven to be worth the fifth-round investment.
This draft produced only one player with a lasting impact for the Chiefs but that one player transformed the franchise. The Chiefs traded up with the Buffalo Bills to the 10th spot in the first round to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes , and the Chiefs haven't been the same since. WR Tyreek Hill , fifth round, Hill is one of the biggest draft steals of the past decade. The most explosive weapon in the NFL enjoyed a great run with the franchise prior to being traded to the Dolphins this offseason.
Ozzie Newsome's final draft as the Ravens' general manager was a masterpiece. The Ravens moved back into the first round to get Lamar Jackson , selected offensive tackle Orlando Brown and tight end Mark Andrews in the third round and then topped it off with center Bradley Bozeman in the sixth round. In total, eight players in this draft have played at least 40 games in the NFL.
TE Darren Waller , sixth round, The Ravens have been one of the more successful franchises with identifying Day 3 talent. Finding talents like center Ryan Jensen , linebacker Matt Judon and fullback Kyle Juszczyk in that range, the player that was the most impressive find was Waller. When you get your franchise quarterback in the fourth round, like the Cowboys did with Dak Prescott , then there's no competition. The Cowboys believe a healthy Elliott, the fourth overall pick, will rebound in Smith's recovery from a knee injury was amazing and he signed a lucrative extension in but was cut last season.
Collins is still a starter in the NFL. Brown has been one of the better sixth-round picks the Cowboys have had over the last two decades. It is possible the draft class, led by CeeDee Lamb , Trevon Diggs , Neville Gallimore and Tyler Biadasz , could surpass this class but they need more time to produce at high levels. QB Dak Prescott, fourth round, One of the biggest draft steals in recent memory, finding a franchise QB in the fourth round is something that's usually unheard of.
Prescott has turned into the face of the franchise for the Cowboys since being drafted. Best class from drafts : First-round pick Datone Jones never turned into much, but it was not a good first round overall. They got a lot out of the rest of their class. Second-round pick Eddie Lacy was the offensive rookie year of the year and had back-to-back 1,yard seasons. Fourth-rounder David Bakhtiari is a perennial All Pro at left tackle. Fifth-round center JC Tretter was a starter, and they never should have let fifth-round safety Micah Hyde get away in free agency.
Even seventh-round linebacker Sam Barrington had a run as a starter. S Micah Hyde, fifth round, Hyde has gone on to become one of the best safeties in the league. His range and consistency on the back end has helped him develop into the focal point of the Bills defense. They moved up in the first round to select defensive tackle Fletcher Cox , now a six-time Pro Bowler, and added a pair of impact defensive players in the second round in defensive end Vinny Curry and linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
There is still regret in the building that they waited too long to select quarterback Russell Wilson in this draft, but they still walked away with Nick Foles , who reached legend status in Philadelphia after outdueling Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII. If we're talking hit rate, the class deserves some love with four of the five picks Dallas Goedert , Avonte Maddox , Josh Sweat and Jordan Mailata playing sizable roles for the Eagles in DE Josh Sweat, fourth round, Sweat was able to overcome a horrific knee injury in high school to allay durability concerns and return to his pre-injury form.
A case could be made for either, but perhaps most telling is that the years in between garnered so little consideration. G Shaq Mason , fourth round, Mason has been a staple of the team's offensive front since being drafted. Recently traded to the Buccaneers, he's still considered to be one of the best guards in the league.
All seven remain starters, and four are All-Pros or Pro Bowlers. WR Kenny Stills , fifth round, Another team that hasn't experienced a lot of success on Day 3 of the draft. Stills is one player who did manage to have some spurts of production during his career; he had 63 catches for yards in arguably his best season in Inside linebacker Devin White led the Bucs with 9. Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting had three interceptions in three consecutive postseason games.
And receiver Scotty Miller delivered an epic buzzer-beating yard touchdown just before halftime that was the difference-maker in the NFC Championship. LB Kwon Alexander , fourth round, At his peak, Alexander was a solid starter who gave some quality years to the franchise early on during his career.
This class produced quality starters in defensive end Chase Young , running back Antonio Gibson and safety Kam Curl -- all of whom are capable of high-level performance. If Young reaches his potential, he can be an All-Pro performer. There's still hope that offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles becomes a starter, but he's a decent backup if nothing else, as is end James Smith -Williams.
The other part: Washington's previous drafts had way too many misses. This one did not. QB Kirk Cousins , fourth round, Cousins was the second quarterback taken by the team in that class, along with No. Now in his 11th year, Cousins has gone on to have a solid career career record as a starter and turned into a top quarterback in the league. Best class from drafts : This was close. Klein in the fifth round, were key to Carolina's run to the Super Bowl during a season.
CB Josh Norman , fifth round, Norman went on to enjoy a stellar career. During his time with the franchise , he was considered one of the best corners in the league. Getting quarterback Josh Allen at seventh overall would be enough on its own, but Buffalo also signed cornerbacks Taron Johnson Round 4 and Siran Neal 5 to second contracts and picked up the fifth-year option for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds 1.
Add in the success that defensive tackle Harrison Phillips 3 , guard Wyatt Teller 5 and receiver Ray-Ray McCloud 6 have had and there's an argument for this class being one of the best in the NFL over this time. G Wyatt Teller, fifth round, A strong argument can be made for Teller or linebacker Matt Milano fifth round, Even though the team traded Teller, he ended up being a well-paid interior option who's now starting for the Browns.
Last season's haul was close, but the class of gets the nod here on the strength of All-Pro players such as offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil , cornerback Xavien Howard and receiver Jakeem Grant. The Dolphins also selected Kenyan Drake in the third round, who has been a quality running back throughout his six NFL seasons. Of course, Miami also famously traded Tunsil to Houston for a bevy of picks that would help them them one day trade for Tyreek Hill.
WR Jakeem Grant, sixth round, A smaller player 5-foot-7, pounds , Grant has managed to have an impact in each spot where he's played. His niche has been as a return specialist, with six punts or kickoffs returned for a touchdown in his career. The class was highlighted by quarterback Andrew Luck as the No. But it wasn't just Luck, who surprised the NFL by retiring in , who made that draft stand out for the Colts.
Former general manager Ryan Grigson also selected receiver T. Hilton , who has 9, yards and 53 touchdowns in his career, and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in that group. DT Grover Stewart , fourth round, Stewart has become a quiet leader in the middle of the defense.
Signing an extension with the team prior to last season, he's one of the more underrated players in the league who doesn't receive a lot of notoriety. The Texans could not have predicted that less than five years later, their two best draft picks -- including one of their five best ever -- would no longer be on the team.
The Texans traded up to draft quarterback Deshaun Watson in , and although he would only play 54 games for the franchise, it was enough to make this the best draft class in the last decade for Houston. Zach Cunningham was Houston's second-round pick that year and got a big four-year extension after his third season, although he was cut during the season.
Reader , fifth round, Reader has quietly become a stout player in the middle. A key piece to the Bengals Super Bowl run last season, he was a space-eater in the middle that completely transformed the defense. Watt at No. Watt, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, turned into a foundational piece of the Steelers' defense. While Sutton is the only remaining Steeler of the trio, Smith-Schuster and Conner each made significant contributions during their stints in Pittsburgh.
LB Vince Williams, sixth round, Announcing his retirement last summer, Williams enjoyed a productive eight-year career with the Steelers and proved to be well worth the sixth-round investment. Best class from drafts : Unfortunately for the Falcons, their draft classes in this time period don't have much to love. While it's star-packed, the bad news for Atlanta is all but Jones are now elsewhere, which might explain why Atlanta is in the midst of a rebuild. DT Grady Jarrett , fifth round, Group Subscription.
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Look at the deals they are investing in." [See: 10 Best Small-Cap Value ETFs.] Green Bay Packers stock. All NFL teams are privately held. For nostalgia only, there are 10 questions (in a stock option form) and you can either buy or sell. Here are 10 NFL stocks to consider. Quarterback isn't the only strength of this draft, as several other positions have excellent prospects. Offensive line has two top-level left tackles in Matt.