NFL.com has started to reveal its 75 most valuable draft picks of all time, as voted on by fans.
Nos. 51 through 75 were released Monday and I’m seeing a handful of players with NFC South ties.
Warren Sapp (No. 54), Darren Sharper (No. 64), Julius Peppers (No. 71), Derrick Brooks (No. 72) and John Lynch (No. 73) made the list. Sharper’s the only one of the bunch not drafted by an NFC South team, but he spent last year with the Saints.
I know this thing is just for fun, but I’ve got some real problems with this list. Let’s start with Peppers. Was the guy one of the all-time greatest draft picks? I think not. Peppers had a very nice career in Carolina. But he basically did what a No. 2 overall pick in a draft should do and I’m not even sure he did that much. With a few good years in Chicago, Peppers might end up in the Hall of Fame. But I still don’t think you can declare him a great draft pick. No. 2 overall picks are supposed to be good and it doesn’t take a genius to find them. I’m anxious to see the rest of the list because I’m sure there will be some guys left off that were way better picks than Peppers.
On the flip side, I’ve got a real problem with Sapp and Brooks not being ranked higher. Again, I’ll have to wait to see the top 50. But you can’t tell me that Sapp at No. 12 overall and Brooks at No. 28 don’t belong in the top 50. Sapp might have been the first player in the 1995 draft if there weren’t some character questions. The Bucs got him at No. 12, which is great value, and he spent most of his career playing a No. 1 overall pick.
In fact, I’d argue that Sapp was way better than the guy at No. 53, Brian Urlacher. He was taken with the No. 9 overall pick, which means he should have had a better career than Sapp. Urlacher’s been pretty good at times, but I’ve also seen the word “overrated’’ tied to him at times by scouts and coaches. Urlacher’s a linebacker. So was Brooks and Brooks was a late first-round pick. I’d take Brooks over Urlacher any day, and if you look at their draft positions, Brooks was a much better value.
As for Lynch and Sharper, I’ll just say their rankings sound about right.