From Brady to Bulger, draft bargains since 2000

Tom Brady is the poster boy for draft-day steals.

Selected by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in the sixth round with the 199th overall pick in 2000, Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. He’s a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Super Bowl MVP, two-time NFL MVP and 10-time Pro Bowl pick.

Every team wants the most value for its picks, especially in the later rounds.

Here’s a top five of draft bargains by position this century. Players picked in the first and second rounds weren’t considered and undrafted free agents weren’t eligible for the list.

Quarterbacks

Brady.

Russell Wilson, third round, 2012, Seattle Seahawks. 42-14 as starter, one Super Bowl ring, two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Marc Bulger, sixth round, 2006, St. Louis Rams. Two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Matt Cassel, seventh round, 2005, New England Patriots. One-time Pro Bowl selection, 71 starts.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, seventh round, 2005, St. Louis Rams. 89 starts, 79.5 passer rating.

Running backs

Jamaal Charles, third round, 2008, Kansas City Chiefs. Two-time All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowl pick.

Frank Gore, third round, 2005, San Francisco 49ers. Franchise rushing leader, five-time Pro Bowl pick.

Brian Westbrook, third round, 2002, Philadelphia Eagles. Two-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

DeMarco Murray, third round, 2011, Dallas Cowboys. Reigning NFL rushing champion, two-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Ahmad Bradshaw, seventh round, 2007, New York Giants. Two-time, 1,000-yard rusher, two-time Super Bowl champion.

Wide receivers

Antonio Brown, sixth round, 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers. Three-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro, led the NFL in receptions and yards in 2014.

Marques Colston, seventh round, 2006, New Orleans Saints. Has 666 receptions for 9,239 yards and 68 TDs.

Julian Edelman, seventh round, 2009, New England Patriots. Former college QB turned No. 1 receiver for Patriots.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, seventh round, 2001, Cincinnati Bengals. Had 627 receptions for 7,237 yards and 44 TDs.

Brandon Marshall, fourth round, 2006, Denver Broncos. Five-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Tight ends

Jason Witten, third round, 2003, Dallas Cowboys. Ten-time Pro Bowl pick, two-time All-Pro, 10,502 receiving yards.

Julius Thomas, fourth round, 2011, Denver Broncos. Two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Owen Daniels, fourth round, 2006, Houston Texans. Two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Delanie Walker, sixth round, 2006, San Francisco 49ers. Two consecutive seasons with 60-plus catches since joining Tennessee.

Brent Celek, fifth round, 2007, Philadelphia Eagles. Has 344 career catches for 4,315 yards and 27 TDs.

Offensive linemen

Jahri Evans, fourth round, 2006, New Orleans Saints. Six-time Pro Bowl pick, four-time All-Pro.

Marshal Yanda, third round, 2007, Baltimore Ravens. Four-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Josh Sitton, fourth round, 2008, Green Bay Packers. Two-time Pro Bowl pick.

John Sullivan, sixth round, 2008, Minnesota Vikings. One-time Pro Bowl pick.

David Diehl, fifth round, 2003, New York Giants. One-time Pro Bowl pick.

Defensive linemen

Robert Mathis, fifth round, 2003, Indianapolis Colts. Five-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Jay Ratliff, seventh round, 2005, Dallas Cowboys. Four-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Rob Ninkovich, fifth round, 2006, New England Patriots. Defensive leader for defending Super Bowl champions.

Trent Cole, fifth round, 2005, Philadelphia Eagles. Two-time Pro Bowl pick with 85 1/2 sacks.

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, fifth round, 2000, Green Bay Packers. One-time Pro Bowl pick with 74 1/2 sacks.

Linebackers

Justin Houston, third round, 2011, Kansas City Chiefs. Three-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Lance Briggs, third round, 2003, Chicago Bears. Seven-time Pro Bowl pick, one-time All-Pro.

Elvis Dumervil, fourth round, 2006, Denver Broncos. Four-time Pro Bowl pick, two-time All-Pro.

Cato June, sixth round, 2003, Indianapolis Colts. One-time Pro Bowl pick.

Larry Foote, fourth round, 2002, Pittsburgh Steelers. Dependable starter for three teams for more than a decade.

Defensive backs

Kam Chancellor, fifth round, 2010, Seattle Seahawks. Three-time Pro Bowl safety.

Asante Samuel, fourth round, 2003, New England Patriots. Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, one-time All-Pro.

Cortland Finnegan, seventh round, 2006, Tennessee Titans. One-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

Byron Maxwell, sixth round, 2011, Seattle Seahawks. Turned an outstanding 2014 season with Seahawks into $63 million, free-agent contract from Philadelphia.

Ike Taylor, fourth round, 2003, Pittsburgh Steelers. Dependable starter and two-time Super Bowl champion.

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