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Saturday, 28 February 2015

NFL Draft: Top 10 Sixth Round PIcks In History

There is only one HOFer to have come out of the sixth round of the NFL draft. That's far less than even the seventh round. Let's just say that he heads this list. His name is Jack Christiansen from 1951. He played for the Detroit Lions for eight seasons and won three championships with them and earned five Pro-Bowl nods. Jack collected 46 INTs, three of them pick-sixes.

And here is the rest in descending order:

2. The incomparable Tom Brady.

Drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000, Brady got his chance when Drew Bledsoe was injured. He never looked back, continuing his history of hard work and success that will land him in the HOF as soon as he is eligible. Brady started his career with three Super Bowl wins, and seems to be ending it the same way. He has set a plethora of records and at 37 years young, he shows no sign of slowing down. Winning Super Bowl XLIX cements his legacy as G.O.A.T. QB.

3. Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos, 1995.

His career was relatively short, only seven years, but Davis packed a lot into it. He helped John Elway win a Super Bowl and earned three Pro-Bowl berths. From the sixth round, he became the third-best running back in yards-per-game and had the fourth-best single-season with 2,008 yards.

4. Jay Novacek floundered with the St. Loius Rams from 1985 to 1989.

But when he landed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1990 he took off. Jay makes this list because of 4630 yards and 30 TDs while making the Pro Bowl five consecutive season. He wears three Super Bowl rings.

5. Adalius Thomas, Baltimore Ravens in 2000.

Thomas finished his career as a linebacker with the Patriots, bringing his experience to a team desperate for leadership. But he made his name with the Ravens, earning his Super Bowl ring his rookie year. He accumulated seven INTs in his career and played in two Pro Bowls. Though tame by some standards, Thomas outplayed his humble, sixth-round beginnings.

6. Joe Klecko is Mr. Versatile.

Drafted by the New York Jets in 1977, Klecko was only the second player to be named to three Pro Bowls at three different positions. He was a part of the fearsome "New York Sack Exchange" and contributed 24 of them along with nine fumble recoveries. Despite numerous injuries, he enjoyed 10 seasons, mostly with the Jets.

7. Matt Hasselbeck is not recognized among the best QBs in the NFL.

Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1998, he never stood a chance behind Brett Favre. But once the Seattle Seahawks got ahold of him, he took them to the playoffs five years in a row from '03-'07, as well as a sixth time in 2010. He also was named to three Pro Bowls and threw 118 TD passes. While his playoff career was filled with disappointment and controversy, he set many team records for the Seahawks.

8. Matt Birk, Minnesota Vikings, 1998.

Birk is what you would call an anchor; that's what he did for the Vikings and Baltimore Ravens. He earned six Pro Bowl selections with the Vikings, and earned a Super Bowl title in his final season with the Ravens. He was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2011.

9. Al Harris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1997.

Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1998, Harris had his best years with the Green Bay Packers from 2003 to 2009. There he grabbed 14 INTs and 87 passes defensed while going to two Pro Bowls.

10. The final spot could have gone several ways.

I chose Mike Anderson of the Denver Broncos. Drafted in 2000, his career was pretty short. But in his six seasons with the Broncos, he scored 37 rushing TDs and added five receiving TDs. In his rookie season, Anderson ran for almost 1500 yards in just 12 games as a starter, and recorded 15 TDs to be named NFL Rookie of the Year. Anderson will never get elected to the HOF, but he excelled if even for a short time at a punishing position.

Also considered were: Wilbert Montgomery, RB, Eagles, 1977; Cato June, LB, Colts, 2003; Marc Bulger, QB, Saints/Rams, 2000; Grady Jackson, Raiders, 1997; Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers, 2010. Even this late in the draft process, many great players lurk in the shadows. Like Brady, the next great thing could be found in the sixth round.


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