The Dallas Cowboys struck gold with Dak Prescott, finding their quarterback for the 2016 season (and arguably the future) in the fourth round of the 2016 draft after missing out on trading up for Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook. But they weren't the only ones who got great value out of a middle-to-late-round pick.
Here are the 10 biggest steals of the 2016 NFL Draft — including a couple of players who weren't drafted.
Riley Dixon, P, Broncos
Drafted: 7th round, No. 228 overall
2016 stats: 41.3 net avg
Dixon, drafted out of Syracuse, took Britton Colquitt's job and then set a rookie record for the highest net punting average. Denver did not allow a punt return of more than 17 yards.
Denver also found its leading rusher in the fourth round, drafting Devontae Booker with the No. 136 overall pick. The former Utah star made six starts in 16 games and while he fumbled too much (4) and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, he proved to be a running back with receiver skills: He not only led the team in rushing (612 yards), he was third in receptions (31), giving the Broncos almost 900 total yards. He had a strong finish and with a new OC and O-line coach, Booker should benefit.
Joey Bosa may have gotten the headlines, but this 5-foot-11 linebacker out of Akron was the Chargers' leading tackler in just 12 games (7 starts).
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets
Drafted: Undrafted free agent
2016 stats: 42 rec, 587 yards, 2 TDs
Anderson, a speedy undrafted free agent out of Temple, started eight of 16 games in the absence of Eric Decker and emerged as New York's No. 3 wide receiver, despite the team's season-long struggles at quarterback. The Jets' top deep threat, he had four catches of 40 or more yards, averaged 14 yards per catch and fumbled just once.
“I didn’t come in here to just say that I put on a helmet; I was a free agent; I got cut,” Anderson told Newsday. “I came here to do what I did. And I didn’t do what I wanted to do. I wanted to get a thousand yards. I want to go to the Super Bowl. So I’m still working for my goals.”
The defensive end out of Maryland made 15 starts in 16 games and broke Jacksonville's rookie record for sacks, joining Jalen Ramsey on the All-Rookie team. Ngakoue already has as many sacks as former Jags first-round pick Derrick Harvey finished his career with.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Joe Thuney, LG, Patriots
Drafted: 3rd round, No. 78 overall
Thuney, drafted out of NC State, started all 16 games for a strong O-line that kept Tom Brady safe all season (sacked just 15 times) and paved the way for the Pats' Super Bowl run. Thuney needs to cut down on the penalties, but he played more snaps than anyone on the roster. New England also found a good one in wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, a fourth-round pick (No. 112) out of Georgia who emerged as the No. 3 wide receiver, starting six of 14 games and making 32 catches for 401 yards and four TDs.
Kelley, an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, supplanted Matt Jones, started nine of 15 games and led Washington in rushing. Coach Jay Gruden said he thinks Kelley can be the Redskins' featured back next season.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
Drafted: 2nd round, No. 47 overall
2016 stats: 92 rec, 1,137 yards, 9 TDs
Thomas, a nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, was part of a legendary draft class from Ohio State, where he won a national championship and impressed scouts with his size (6-3) and leaping ability. But he still slipped to the second round, where New Orleans snatched him up, and Thomas filled the void left by Marques Colston and helped the Saints' passing offense remain No. 1 in the league. Thomas led all rookies in receptions and receiving yards — his 92 catches were the second-most by a rookie in NFL history, and Football Outsiders rated it the best rookie season by a receiver since Randy Moss — but somehow didn't get picked for the Pro Bowl.
The Saints also got a steal in signing kicker Wil Lutz, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State who was cut by the Ravens in the preseason. Lutz made 28 of 34 field goals, including a 52-yarder to beat Carolina in October.
Howard, drafted out of Indiana, finished second to only Ezekiel Elliott among all running backs — not just rookies — despite not starting until Week 4. He had seven 100-yard games and his 5.2-yard average was better than that of every other 1,000-yard rusher except LeSean McCoy. Howard set several team rookie records and joined Walter Payton as the only Bears to rush for 1,300 yards and 5 per carry in a season.
Hill slipped to the fifth round due to a domestic violence conviction while at Oklahoma State. But he rewarded Kansas City by joining Prescott and Elliott as the only rookies to make the Pro Bowl. Hill was one of the most versatile weapons in the NFL and emerged as the league's top punt return man, averaging 15.2 yards and earning Devin Hester comparisons. He also had the two fastest plays in the NFL this season and led the Chiefs in TDs.
In case you don't know the story by now ... Prescott slipped to the fourth round due to DUI charges before the draft. And when Dallas backup Kellen Moore and starter Tony Romo both went down with injuries in the preseason, the former Mississippi State star took the job and never gave it back. He led the Cowboys to a 13-3 season and an NFC East title, falling just short in his playoff debut despite passing for 302 yards. He set various team and rookie records, earned a Pro Bowl spot and almost certainly established himself as the Cowboys' quarterback of next season and the future beyond. (Right, Jerry?)