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NFL Draft: Top 10 Biggest Steals of All Time

Today is NFL Draft day! Each year we see that teams have gotten complete steals with their draft picks. Jason Radowitz takes a closer look at the top 10 biggest steals of all time in the NFL Draft.
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NFL Draft: Top 10 Biggest Steals of All Time

It's NFL Draft Day! While many fans will ultimately watch the first day of the draft and then stop, here's a reminder that some of the NFL's best players were selected on Day 2 and Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

That said, we wanted to reflect on some of the biggest NFL Draft steals of all time. Let us know if we left anyone off this top-ten list!


  • When: April 25, 2024
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NFL Network

Top 10 Biggest Steals of All-Time in NFL Draft History

10. Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Is it too early to add Brock Purdy to this list? Purdy has already elevated the 49ers. While some believe he's a system fit, it's still astonishing that he's playing in big playoff games after being selected as Mr. Irrelevant.

He's been from from Mr. Irrelevant. While he won't have the stats that other guys on this list had, it deserves recognition for our top ten list.

9. Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Richard Sherman was only selected with the 154th overall pick. That's the 5th round!

Sherman and the Seahawks built one of the best secondaries the NFL had ever seen in the early 2010s and helped lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl.

He also added 16 interceptions from 2012-2013. That was the most ever in a two-year span.

8. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

I have no idea what's going on with Antonio Brown now. But we can't argue his impact in the NFL when he was mentally healthy.

Antonio Brown was drafted in the 6th round, 195th overall. From 2013-2018, Brown led the league in reception yards in three and led the league with the most receptions in two of them.

He also added more than 1,250 yards in every single season. That's a draft steal.

7. Jason Kelce, C, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles selected Jason Kelce sixth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Nobody expected him to have a Hall of Fame career and become one of the best centers in NFL history.

Kelce was the leader of the Eagles and never left teams. That goes a long way.

6. Shannon Sharpe, TE, Denver Broncos

Shannon Sharpe played 14 years in the NFL. He won three Super Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 after becoming the first tight end to earn over 10,000 receiving yards.

At the time, Sharpe had red flags because many teams felt he was too big for the tight end position. Therefore, he dropped to the 7th round and was picked 192nd overall.

It clearly worked out for the Broncos.

Click here for the latest 2024 NFL Draft odds

5. Johnny Unitas, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnny Unitas was one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game of football. He was drafted in 1955 in the ninth round. Despite it being the ninth round, he was still the 102nd overall selection.

The 102nd pick now would put him in the middle of the fourth round. That's still tremendous value for a Hall of Fame quarterback!

4. Deacon Jones, DL, Los Angeles Rams

Deacon Jones is another Hall of Famer who was drafted late. The Rams selected Jones with the 186th overall selection out of Mississippi Valley State, which was known as the Mississippi Vocational College at the time.

He added 173.5 sacks during his NFL career, which was third most behind Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

3. Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Although Joe Montana was selected a little earlier than the other candidates, he was still drafted 82nd overall by the 49ers.

Montana helped the 49ers to four Super Bowls and won three Super Bowl MVPs, which earned him induction into the Hall of Fame in 200.

2. Roger Staubach, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Roger Staubach had a different route than most in the NFL. He was drafted in 1964 in the 10th round, 129th overall, by the Dallas Cowboys.

However, he fell into the draft because he had a mandatory four years in the active military. When he finally got to play, he essentially helped give the Cowboys the nickname of "America's Team." He helped lead the Cowboys to two Super Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

There's no better quarterback than Tom Brady. Brady was drafted 199th overall by the New England Patriots.

Since that moment, he's won a total of seven Super Bowl rings, which is more than any player in NFL history.

It's still incredible that a player who made that kind of impact fell this low in the NFL Draft.



Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.


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