Not every NFL legend was picked up in the draft. Will anyone be overlooked this year like these 10 great players?
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY SportsJim O'Connor
It's no surprise that Gates wasn't selected in the NFL Draft since he never played college football. Gates was a basketball star at Kent State, but chose to pursue a career in the NFL instead of the NBA. He signed with the San Diego Chargers in 2003 and has become one of the best tight ends in the league as an eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY SportRobert Hanashiro
Romo had a history of injuries and didn't have much success in the playoffs, but he has more Pro Bowl appearances than the two quarterbacks selected in the top 10 that year (Carson Palmer and Byron Leftwich). Romo retired from the game after the 2016 season and finishes his career as the Cowboys' all-time passing leader and career passing touchdown leader.
Saturday almost didn't play on Sundays. After not getting drafted in 1998 and failing to make the cut with the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent, he nearly gave up on a professional football career. But during the 1998 season, the Indianapolis Colts came calling, and Saturday became Peyton Manning's center for more than a decade. The six-time Pro Bowler won a Super Bowl with Manning and Colts in 2007. Saturday retired in 2013 after spending one season with the Green Bay Packers.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Welker was a record-setting punt returner and fearless wide receiver at Texas Tech from 2000-03. But NFL teams didn't think much of the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder as he went undrafted in 2004. Welker proved everyone wrong in college, and he would continue to do so in the NFL. The five-time Pro Bowler was Tom Brady's go-to receiver during their days in New England, playing in two Super Bowls together. He went on to be one of the main weapons of Peyton Manning in the Denver Broncos' high-powered offense.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY SportsChris Humphreys
The Houston Texans don't have a long history, but Foster, who went undrafted out of Tennessee in 2009, was one of the franchise's greatest players. That's impressive considering the Texans have had the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft three times since 2002. Foster had a breakout season in 2010 when he rushed for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns. He holds several franchise records, including most career rushing yards and touchdowns. He retired from football in 2016.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
Despite a record-setting career at Missouri Southern State, Smith was not selected in the 1994 NFL Draft. The Denver Broncos signed him and Smith spent his entire 14-year career with the team where he was quarterback John Elway's biggest target. Smith was a three-time Pro Bowler and helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997-98. He finished his career with more receiving yards (11,389), catches (849), and touchdown receptions (68) than any other undrafted player in NFL history.
Getty ImagesAl Bello
Holmes played with a young Ricky Williams during their college years at Texas. But an undrafted Holmes would go on to have a better NFL career than the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner. Holmes won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens early in his career, but he is best known for what he did with the Kansas City Chiefs. In six seasons, he set franchise records for most career rushing yards (6,070), rushing touchdowns (76), and total touchdowns (83). The three-time Pro Bowler will be inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame next season.
Getty ImagesDilip Vishwanat
Randle didn't get much attention from the NFL coming out of college at Texas A&M-Kingsville and wasn't picked up in the 1990 draft. The Minnesota Vikings took a chance on him during training camp, and they're glad they did. Randle terrorized quarterback Brett Favre throughout his career in Green Bay. Randle had more than 10 sacks in nine of his 14 NFL seasons, including a career-high 15.5 in 1997. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Moon capped his collegiate career at Washington as Rose Bowl MVP in 1978. But that wasn't enough to get picked up in the NFL Draft. Instead, Moon took his talents to the Canadian Football League where he won five Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos. He finally got his shot in the NFL in 1984 with the Houston Oilers and went on to become a nine-time Pro Bowler. Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Getty ImagesGeorge Rose
Drew Bledsoe was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, but a quarterback not selected that year would win a Super Bowl before him. After failing to make the cut on an NFL team, Warner got his professional starting job in the Arena Football League with the Iowa Barnstormers in 1995. Three years later, Warner joined NFL Europe's Amsterdam Admirals where he continued to put up impressive numbers. Finally in 1999, he was taking snaps for the St. Louis Rams in an offense that was known as "The Greatest Show on Turf." Warner played in three Super Bowls during his career, winning one with the Rams in 2000.