Saturday
Mar132010

NFL Drafts Fans To Determine 75th Anniversary Most Valuable Draft Team

March 13, 2010: With the 75th annual NFL Draft less than six weeks off, the league is building a marketing bandwagon that will loudly roll into New York, in prime time for the first time, in time for the April 22 event at Radio City Music Hall (on ESPN and the NFL Network).

Players regarded as being among the most valuable draft picks for 2010 include Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska), Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma), Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State), Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame) and Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma). The order in which they will be drafted, and the impact they will have as rookies, is of immediate interest to teams and fans. But down the road, the players drafted in 2010 will be compared and contrasted to the all-time NFL best and worst draft picks.

To help celebrate the 75th NFL Draft, the league is inviting fans to help choose the "75 Most Valuable Draft Picks" of all time. Now through April 18, visitors to a microsite at NFL.com can vote for their all-time choices. NFL.com editors narrowed down the first 74 drafts to a list of the top 320 players, consisting of ten players from each franchise, listed by the franchise that drafted them.

Even with 320 players from which to choose, however, there are some omissions. John Elway, the No. 1 overall selection in 1983 by the then Baltimore Colts, is not listed among the ten draft nominees with the now Indianapolis Colts, not listed among the ten nominees with the Denver Broncos (the team to which he was traded by the Colts after being drafted) and is not among the ten nominees from the current Baltimore franchise, the Ravens. And Ben Rothlisberger, who has quarterbacked the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowls since being drafted in the 1st Round in 2004, is not on the list, yielding for the most part to players who were on four Steelers Super Bowl teams.

Also, all ten of the players listed as nominees for the St. Louis Rams were drafted before the franchise moved from Los Angeles in 1995. And in a bit of mostly overlooked NFL history, Brett Favre, who played 16 seasons for the Green Bay Packers, is listed with the Atlanta Falcons, the team for which he played his rookie year after being selected in the 2nd Round in 1991.

The NFL said that  picks 11-75 will be unveiled at NFL.com and on NFL Network from April 19-22. The top 10 greatest draft picks as selected by fans will be revealed during Round 1 of the 2010 NFL Draft. According to the league, many of the top ten will be in attendance at Radio City Music Hall.

According to the NFL. fans begin the process of determining the Most Valuable Draft Pick by choosing between pairs of players randomly generated from the list of 320 greats.  After selecting winners of 30 random matchups, fans will begin to build their own Top 10 list.  Fans may continue to vote in order to make changes to their personal Top 10 list as well as the All-Time Top 10 announced at the Draft. Users then may share their lists and their head-to-head winners on Facebook.

As NFL fans know, not all of the greatest picks were in the first round. Joe Montana was a 3rd round selection by the San Francisco 49ers, number 82 overall in 1979; Roger Staubach did not go to the Dallas Cowboys until the 10th Round, Pick 129 overall in 1964. Art Donovan, a Hall of Fame DT who played 15 seasons (nine with the Colts), was drafted in the now unheard of 20th Round by the New York Giants in 1947.

Among the other draft picks up for consideration: Phil Simms, 1st Round, Pick 7 (1979); Jerry Rice, 1st Round, Pick 16 (1985); Franco Harris, 1st Round, Pick 13 (1972); Emmitt Smith, 1st Round, Pick 17 (1990); and Tom Brady, 6th Round, Pick 199 (2000).

Full list of 320 players by franchise is here.

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