The Ultimate NFL Draft
Football mock drafts are a huge business, but they have about the same effect on football as weather forecasts do on the weather.
Is there anything more tedious than pre-draft predictions? If you’re going to fantasize, why not go all the way? What if you could pick from the greatest who ever played in the NFL, players who were elected to the Pro Football Fall of Fame?
Over 23,000 players have played in the NFL since the league's formation in 1920. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1963. Since then, 289 players have been recognized for their outstanding achievements in the game. All of them are available in this NFL draft, meaning teams can address their needs from the entire Pro Football Hall of Fame roster.
If we were general managers, these players would get the call.
1. Arizona Cardinals — Jim Brown, Fullback
Drafted: 1957, Round 1, No. 6, by Cleveland Browns, out of Syracuse
NFL career: 9 seasons, all with the Browns (1957-65)
Hall of Fame: 1971
Bottom line: Normally, a really bad team shouldn’t waste their No. 1 pick on a running back — in the 21st century, the NFL favors passing, and running backs just don’t have that big an impact on a team’s performance.
But the Cardinals had the worst yards per rush average in the NFL, 3.8, and they should get a huge boost from pro football’s all-time best ballcarrier, Jim Brown, who averaged a sensational 5.2 yards per rush in his career.
Brown could help Arizona in other ways, too. He was a terrific receiver, catching 262 passes in 118 games for almost 10 yards a reception, and could throw the ball on the run-pass option.
2. San Francisco 49ers — Ronnie Lott, Defensive Back
Drafted: 1981, Round 1, No. 8, by San Francisco 49ers, out of USC b
NFL career: 14 seasons (1981-94)
Teams: San Francisco 49ers (1981-90), Los Angeles Raiders (1991-92), New York Jets (1993-94)
Hall of Fame: 2000
Bottom line: The 49ers have gotten so bad that it’s hard to single out where they need the most help. But in one category, they are especially embarrassing: They intercepted the absurdly low total of just two passes in the 2018 season.
You’d think that by accident — tipped balls or whatever — they would have picked off more than that. There’s a quick remedy. The 49ers should do this year what Bill Walsh’s 49ers did in1981, namely draft Ronnie Lott.
Lott was an eight-time First Team All-Pro who starred at both cornerback and safety, intercepting 63 passes in his career. Except for two seasons (including the strike-shortened 1982 campaign), Lott intercepted at least three passes (one more than the entire 2018 Niners team) every year from 1981 through 1991.
He also was a savage tackler and hell on the safety blitz.
3. New York Jets — Lawrence Taylor, Linebacker
Drafted: 1981, Round 1, No. 2, by New York Giants, out of North Carolina
NFL career: 13 seasons, all with the Giants (1981-93)
Hall of Fame: 1999
Bottom line: The Jets were as bad in everything as you’d expect a four-win team to be. But let’s start on defense.
They allowed 441 points, 29th in the NFL, just 26 points less than the Oakland Raiders, who allowed the most points.
If the Jets continue to defend with a 3-4 scheme, then they’re going to need better linebackers, especially on the outside. This means Lawrence Taylor.
4. Oakland Raiders — Ray Lewis, Linebacker
Drafted: 1996, Round 1, No. 26, by Baltimore Ravens, out of Miami
NFL career: 17 seasons, all with the Ravens (1996-2012)
Hall of Fame: 2018
Bottom line: The Raiders had the worst pass rush in the NFL with just 13 sacks. In fact, if they had double that number, they still would have been the worst.
No team is more in need of a pass-rushing linebacker, so they should grab Ray Lewis, who seems like a natural Oakland Raider.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Reggie White, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle
Drafted: 1984 supplemental draft, Round 1, No. 4, by Philadelphia Eagles (after two years in the USFL upon graduation from Tennessee)
NFL career: 15 seasons, (1985-98, 2000)
Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1985-92), Green Bay Packers (1993-98), Carolina Panthers (2000)
Hall of Fame: 2006
Bottom line: The Bucs were next to the bottom in the league in points allowed, and you can pretty much divide the blame evenly between the run and pass defenses.
They couldn’t do better than draft a great defensive lineman, and they won’t find a better defensive lineman than defensive end/defensive tackle Reggie White, a 13-time Pro Bowler.
"The Minister of Defense" was twice NFL defensive player of the year and was equally deadly against the run or pass.
6. New York Giants — Johnny Unitas, Quarterback
Drafted: 1955, Round 9, No. 102, by Pittsburgh Steelers, out of Louisville
NFL career: 18 seasons (1956-72)
Teams: Baltimore Colts (1956-72), San Diego Chargers (1973)
Hall of Fame: 1979
Bottom line: God knows the Giants need a lot of help. But Eli Manning is 38, and their first and most important need is a quarterback. There’s this kid with a crew cut at Louisville named John Unitas, and New York could get him cheap.
Unitas led the NFL in touchdowns four times, led the league in yards per pass three times and averaged over 7.0 yards per pass in an amazing 14 seasons.
He also held the NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (between 1956-1960) for 52 years.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars — Dave Casper, Tight End
Drafted: 1974, Round 2, No. 45, by Oakland Raiders, out of Notre Dame
NFL career: 13 seasons (1974-84)
Teams: Oakland Riders (1974-80), Houston Oilers (1980-83), Minnesota Vikings (1983), Los Angeles Raiders (1984)
Hall of Fame: 2002
Bottom line: The Jaguarss addressed their biggest problem, quarterback, when they signed Nick Foles. Now, they could use more receiving and blocking talent to complement him, and they should look to Raiders great Dave Casper.
Casper was selected for four straight Pro Bowls and still holds the NFL records of five touchdowns by a tight end in the postseason.
By the way, while we’re looking at tight ends, the greatest of them all, Rob Gronkowski, is retiring from the New England Patriots, and his agent is hinting he might go to another team for the right offer. He’s not in the Hall of Fame yet, but he will be.
8. Detroit Lions — Night Train Lane, Defensive Back/Defensive End
Drafted: Undrafted. Signed in 1948 by the Los Angeles Rams after four years in the military. He had passed their offices on the way to work and walked in with a scrapbook from his playing days in community college and the Army.
NFL career: 14 seasons (1952-65)
Teams: Los Angeles Rams (1952-53), Chicago Cardinals (1954-59), Detroit Lions (1960-65)
Hall of Fame: 1974
Bottom line: The Lions were near the bottom of the league in interceptions on defense with seven. For some serious help, they should go to one of their own HOFers, Dick "Night Train" Lane.
Night Train was one of the great cover men ever to step on a football field, picking off 68 balls over a 14-year career and leading the league in interceptions twice.
His rookie record of 14 interceptions set in 1952 still stands today, and he is fourth in the NFL in career interceptions.
9. Buffalo Bills — Tim Brown, Wide Receiver
Drafted: 1988, Round 1, No, 6, by Los Angeles Raiders, out of Notre Dame
NFL career: 17 seasons (1988-2003)
Teams: Oakland Raiders (1988-2003), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004)
Hall of Fame: 2015
Bottom line: The Bills have made no secret of their need for a first-rate wide receiver. They could land Tim Brown, who made many average quarterbacks look great.
When Brown retired in 2004, he was third in all-time receptions and is still No. 7.
Extra bonus: In addition to being one of the great wideouts ever, Brown also was a superb punt returner with more than 3,300 career yards.
10. Denver Broncos — Herb Adderley, Cornerback
Drafted: 1961, Round 1, No. 12 , by Green Bay Packers, out of Michigan State
NFL career: 12 seasons (1961-72)
Teams: Green Bay Packers (1961-69), Dallas Cowboys (1970-72)
Hall of Fame: 1980
Bottom line: Denver needs a cornerback, and luckily for them, one of the greatest should be available when the 10th pick comes around.
Herb Adderley was drafted by the Packers, and Vince Lombardi switched him from running back to their primary cover guy.
Over the next 12 seasons, Adderley won five NFL championship rings with Green Bay and three Super Bowls (two with the Pack and one with the Cowboys), intercepting 48 passes and returning seven for touchdowns.
11. Cincinnati Bengals — Derrick Thomas, Linebacker
Drafted: 1989, Round 1, No.4, by Kansas City Chiefs, out of Alabama
NFL career: 11 seasons, all with the Chiefs (1989-99)
Hall of Fame: 2009
Bottom line: The Bengals are in need of a linebacker with speed.
Derrick Thomas was a nine-time Pro Bowler and is regarded as one of the great pass rushers of all time.
He recorded 126.5 sacks in 11 seasons with Kansas City and still holds the record for most sacks in a single game, seven in a 1990 contest against the Seattle Seahawks.
12. Green Bay Packers — Forrest Gregg, Offensive Tackle/Guard
Drafted: 1956, Round 2, No. 20, by Green Bay Packers, out of SMU
NFL career: 15 seasons (1958-71)
Teams: Green Bay Packers (1956, 1958-70), Dallas Cowboys (1971)
Hall of Fame: 1977
Bottom line: The Packers have to get better blocking for an increasingly banged-up Aaron Rodgers, and we’ve got just the man: Forrest Gregg, perhaps the premiere offensive tackle of all time.
Known as "Iron Man," Gregg was extremely durable and played in 188 consecutive games, once an NFL record. He also was a nine-time Pro Bowler and earned five championship rings with Green Bay.
Gregg would have to spend some time in the weight room since he played most of his career around 250, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
13. Miami Dolphins — Kurt Warner, Quarterback
Drafted: Undrafted out of Northern Iowa in 1994. Signed a futures contract with the St. Louis Rams in 1997 and then was chosen by the Rams in the 1999 preseason supplemental draft.
NFL career: 12 seasons (1998-2009)
Teams: St. Louis Rams (1998-2003), New York Giants (2004), Arizona Cardinals (2005-09)
Hall of Fame: 2017
Bottom line: The Dolphins had a bumpy seasons and finished 7-9, not too bad considering that they were No. 26 in points scored and 27 in points allowed. If they’re going to make a move, they’re going to need a franchise quarterback but one that can win in a hurry without two or three years of development.
Acquiring Ryan Fitzpatrick through free agency was a smart move. But he’ll be 37 early in the season, and while he may hold the fort for a while, he’s clearly not the quarterback of the future.
Kurt Warner was 27 when the St. Louis Rams gave him a shot. He was stocking grocery shelves after a stint in the Arena Football League, and he really came out of the gate fast. In his first full NFL season, 1999, he led the league in completion percentage (65.1 percent), touchdowns (41), and yards per attempt (8.7) and took the Rams to a Super Bowl win.
Now that’s fast.
14. Atlanta Falcons — Jerry Rice, Wide Receiver
Drafted: 1985, Round 1, No. 16, by San Francisco 49ers, out of Mississippi Valley State
NFL career: 21 seasons (1985-2004)
Teams: San Francisco 49ers (1985-2000), Oakland Raiders (2001-04), Seattle Seahawks (2004)
Hall of Fame: 2010
Bottom line: The Falcons need defensive help more than anything, finishing 25th in point allowed. But we insist that they draft Jerry Rice, who we want to see lined up in the same formation as Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
Rice needs no introduction — he’s more than the greatest receiver pro football has ever seen. In 2010, a NFL Network poll voted him the greatest player ever. (I voted for Jim Brown, but Jerry was my No. 4 pick, so what the heck?)
Just having Jerry Rice on the field will change the defense’s game plan.
15. Washington Redskins — Art Monk, Wide Receiver
Drafted: 1980, Round 1, No. 18, by Washington Redskins, out of Syracuse
NFL career: 16 seasons (1980-95)
Teams: Washington (1980-93), New York Jets (1994), Philadelphia Eagles (1995)
Hall of Fame: 2008
Bottom line: Washington doesn’t need too much to become a contender. The acquisition of Landon Collins at strong safety is a shot for the defense. But they were 29th in points scored in 2018, and with Alex Smith out until who knows when, they’re kidding themselves if they think that 31-year-old Case Keenum, backed up by 32-year-old Colt McCoy, is going to solve their quarterback problems.
While they work that out, they should go for the best to catch the ball — whoever is throwing it — and that's Art Monk.
In his rookie year with the Redskins in 1980, Monk set a team record for receptions, 58. In 1984, he caught a then-NFL record 106. Nine times, he caught more than 50 passes, and he was on three Super Bowl winners.
16. Carolina Panthers — Roger Staubach, Quarterback
Drafted: 1964, Round 10, No. 129, by Dallas Cowboys, out of Navy
NFL career: 11 seasons, all with the Cowboys (1969-79)
Hall of Fame: 1985
Bottom line: Carolina is in danger of falling out of contender status — their 7-9 record in 2018 could have been much worse. It may be a shock to realize this, but with all the offensive and defensive lineman help the Panthers need (they ranked 14th in the NFL in offense and 19th in defense), their most immediate need may be at quarterback. Cam Newton will be 30, hasn't been playing like a superstar and may not get better.
Here’s a bargain: Roger Staubach. He was drafted in 1964 but didn’t play an NFL game until 1969 because of his commitment to the Navy. He was as mobile as Newton at his peak and a much better passer.
Staubach earned the nickname "The Comeback Kid" for his success in scoring during the fourth quarter. He took the Cowboys to four Super Bowls as the starting quarterback, winning two, and is one of only four players to win the Heisman and be named Super Bowl MVP.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns) — Jim Parker, Tackle/Guard
Drafted: 1957, Round 1, No. 8, by Baltimore Colts, out of Ohio State
NFL career: 11 seasons, all with the Colts (1957-67)
Hall of Fame: 1973
Bottom line: After setting up Johnny Unitas as quarterback (see pick No. 6), the Giants could pull a double steal by drafting another old Colt, Hall of Famer guard Jim Parker, to block for Unitas.
Parker is regarded as one of the greatest offensive linemen ever to play the game.In his 1984 book, Paul Zimmerman wrote that Parker was "the best pure pass-blocker who ever lived. Knew all the tricks — the quick push-off, the short jab."
His playing weight varied from 270 to 290, so with a little time in the weight room, he could match the 300-plus mark of today’s offensive linemen.
18. Minnesota Vikings — Jerry Kramer, Guard
Drafted: Round 4, No. 39, by the Green Bay Packers, out of Idaho
NFL career: 11 seasons, all with the Packers (1958-1968)
Hall of Fame: 2018
Bottom line: The Vikings had a pretty good defense in 2018 — ninth in fewest points allowed — but they need help on offense if they’re going to improve their 8-7-1 mark. Or rather, after deciding that Kirk Cousins will be their quarterback, they need to upgrade his protection.
Guard is the toughest position to get a great player, and five-time All Pro Jerry Kramer, who earned five rings with the Packers, is their man. For some inexplicable reason, Kramer wasn’t voted into the Hall of Fame until 2018, but he was one of the few guards who was great at run and pass blocking. And in a pinch, he could substitute kick: He had field goals to beat the New York Giants 16-7 in the 1962 championship game.
He played most of his career around 250-255 pounds, so he’ll have to do some bulking up for today’s game.
19. Tennessee Titans — Dwight Stephenson, Center/Offensive Tackle
Drafted: 1980, Round 2, No. 48, by Miami Dolphins, out of Alabama
NFL career: 8 seasons, all with the Dolphins (1980-87)
Hall of Fame: 1998
Bottom line: The Titans have a superb defense, ranking third in points against in 2018. Adding another solid defensive tackle to play alongside Jurrell Casey (so he won’t be double-blocked) would be nice, but a greater priority is the offensive line since the Titans allowed 47 sacks — 42 on Marcus Mariota alone.
Dwight Stephenson was a five-time All-Pro and would give them Hall of Fame-caliber play at center. Led by offensive captain Stephenson, Miami’s offensive line gave up the fewest sacks in the NFL for a record six straight seasons from 1982 to 1987.
If need be, he could fill in some at offensive tackle, too.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers — Mel Blount, Defensive Back
Drafted: 1970, Round 3, No. 53, by Pittsburgh Steelers, out of Southern
NFL career: 14 seasons, all with the Steelers (1970-83)
Hall of Fame: 1989
Bottom line: Yes, the departure of Antonio Brown is going to be tough to make up, especially in a year when, peculiarly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of top-flight wide receiver talent.
In truth, though, the Steelers are in more need of help on defense, where they rank 16th in the NFL.
Mel Blount, a five-time Pro Bowler who played on all four Super Bowl champion Steelers teams and was voted the NFL’s most valuable defensive player in 1975, would give Pittsburgh's defense an immediate boost.
21. Seattle Seahawks — Darrell Green, Defensive Back
Drafted: 1983, Round 1, No. 28, by Washington Redskins, out of Texas A&M Kingsville
NFL career: 20 seasons, all with the Redskins (1983-2002)
Hall of Fame: 2008
Bottom line: The 10-6 Seahawks were just one impact player from being a real Super Bowl contender. Specifically, they could use someone to replace Richard Sherman, now gone to the 49ers. They should go with Darrell Green.
At 5-9, many thought Green was too small to make it at corner. But he made up for it with speed and durability. He won the NFL’s Fastest Man competition four times (the only player to win several times and never lose), and his nickname, "The Ageless Wonder," was well deserved since he played 20 seasons and made the Pro Bowl seven times.
22. Baltimore Ravens — Anthony Munoz, Offensive Tackle
Drafted: 1980, Round 1, No. 3, by Cincinnati Bengals, out of USC
NFL career: 13 seasons, all with the Bengals (1980-92)
Hall of Fame: 1998
Bottom line: The Ravens have made no secret of their search for an interior lineman to give Lamar Jackson better protection. They could not do better than Anthony Munoz, an 11-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle.
Playing for the Bengals, he never won a Super Bowl, but he was an 11-time Pro Bowler.
In 2012, he was named No. 17 on the NFL Network’s top 100 players, the highest-ranked offensive lineman.
23. Houston Texans, Dan Dierdorf, Offensive Tackle/Guard/Center
Drafted: 1971, Round 2, No. 43, by St. Louis Cardinals, out of Michigan
NFL career: 13 seasons, all with the Cardinals (1971-83)
Hall of Fame: 1996
Bottom line: Houston was a contender in 2018, and got as far as the wild-card game, which they lost. They are not that far from going all the way if they can give better protection to quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was sacked an NFL-high 62 times.
Whether a tackle, guard or center, they need an upgrade. We have the man, Dan Dierdorf, who made six Pro Bowls and was chosen as the NFLPA’s offensive lineman of the year three years from 1976 to 1978.
And he started at three positions, so you makes your pick and takes your choice.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears) — Willie Brown, Defensive Back
Drafted: Undrafted out of Grambling State in 1963. Signed by the Houston Oilers and cut, signed by the Denver Broncos, then traded to the Oakland Raiders.
NFL career: 16 years (1963-1978)
Teams: Denver Broncos (1963-66), Oakland Raiders (1967-78)
Hall of Fame: 1984
Bottom line: We gave the Raiders the powerhouse Ray Lewis for the pass rush, and now they should load up on pass defense, where they were dead last in points allowed in 2018.
Willie Brown went to the Pro Bowl nine times with 54 career interceptions and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
In the 1999 Sporting News' 100 greatest NFL players survey, he was the highest-ranked Raider at No. 50.
25. Philadelpia Eagles — Franco Harris, Running Back
Drafted: 1972, Round 1, No. 13, by Pittsburgh Steelers, out of Penn State
NFL career: 13 seasons (1972-84)
Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-1983, Seattle Seahawks (1984)
Hall of Fame: 1990
Bottom line: The Eagles are another team that appears to need just one missing piece to their complete their puzzle, and that seems to be a stellar running back. There are several who could caulk that crack, but Franco Harris fits all their needs.
A proven winner with the Steelers (four Super Bowl rings), a remarkable nine Pro Bowls, durability (13 seasons), and versatility, too — Harris could run inside, outside, catch passes and block. He broke Jim Brown’s record rushing of more than 1,000 yards in eight seasons, and was both the first African-American and Italian-American to be named Super Bowl MVP.
Philadelphia also is close to his hometown of Ft. Dix, N.J.
26. Indianapolis Colts — Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End
Drafted: 1985, Round 5, No. 113, by Los Angeles Rams, out of Auburn
NFL career: 15 Seasons (1985-1999)
Teams: Los Angeles Rams (1985–92), Pittsburgh Steelers (1993–95), Carolina Panthers (1996), San Francisco 49ers (1997), Carolina Panthers (1998–99)
Hall of Fame: 2016
Bottom line: The Colts are going to face several top-flight quarterbacks — including Drew Brees, Patrick Mahones and Matt Ryan — and they have a weak pass rush, ranking 20th in quarterback sacks in 2018.
What they need is a pass-rushing specialist. Let us suggest Kevin Greene, who played defensive end or linebacker, depending on the situation, and is third in all-time defensive sacks with 160.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys) — Willie Wood, Defensive Back
Drafted: Undrafted out of USC in 1960. Wrote a letter to Vince Lombardi asking to try out for the Packers, who signed him as a rookie free agent.
NFL career: 12 seasons, all with the Packers (1960-71)
Hall of Fame: 1989
Bottom line: The Raiders can give opponents the willies by bringing on Willie Brown (Pick 24) and Willie Wood, two Hall of Famers who weren’t even drafted.
Free safety Willie Wood is a nine-time Pro Bowler who was the NFL interceptions leader in 1962 and played on five NFL championship teams and two Super Bowl winners.
28. Los Angeles Chargers — Dick Butkus, Linebacker
Drafted: 1965, Round 1, No. 3, by Chicago Bears, out of Illinois
NFL career: 9 seasons, all with the Bears (1965-73)
Hall of Fame: 1979
Bottom line: Remember when the Chargers struggled to stop the New England running game in that 41-28 loss in the divisional round of the playoffs?
The Chargers lack depth at linebacker, particularly one who can stop the run, which is why they often play six or even seven defensive backs. They need a great run stuffer from a time when that was a linebacker’s primary duty.
They should go to Dick Butkus, who went to the Pro Bowl eight times and was NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice. USA Today called him the "gold standard by which other middle linebackers are measured."
29. Kansas City Chiefs — Mel Renfro, Defensive Back/Running Back
Drafted: 1964, Round 2, No. 17, by Dallas Cowboys, out of Oregon
NFL career: 14 seasons, all with the Cowboys (1964-77)
Hall of Fame: 1996
Bottom line: The Chiefs are one of the NFL’s best teams and seem to be one player away from grabbing the gold ring. That player is a a safety, as veteran Eric Perry has missed almost two seasons with injury.
We’d take Mel Renfro. He went to an astounding 10 Pro Bowls and played on two Super Bowl-winning teams.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints)
Drafted: 1971, Round 2, No. 34, by Pittsburgh Steelers, out of Penn State
NFL career: 12 seasons, all with the Steelers (1971-82)
Hall of Fame: 1988
Bottom line: With the departure of Clay Matthews, the Packers are in need of a first-rate pass rushing linebacker. They could not do better than drafting Jack Ham.
The Hall of Famer earned four Super Bowl rings with the Steelers' "Steel Curtain" defense and made eight Pro Bowls.
He recorded 32 interceptions and recovered 21 fumbles for a total 53 takeaways, the most of any non-defensive back in NFL history.
31. Los Angeles Rams — Deacon Jones, Defensive End
Drafted: 1961, Round 14, No. 186, by Los Angeles Rams, out of South Carolina State
NFL career: 14 seasons (1961-1974)
Teams: Los Angeles Rams (1961-71), San Diego Chargers (1972-73), Washington (1974)
Hall of Fame: 1980
Bottom line: If the Rams are ever going to be the team of the present instead of the team of the future, they’re going to have to field a top-flight defense. They were second in points scored in 2018 but 20th in points allowed. We recommend they draft a blast from their past, Deacon Jones, one of the "Fiercesome Foursome" in the late 1960s-early '70s Rams teams.
The Rams allowed 7.7 yards per throw and 5.2 yards a rush, and that’s just too much. The Deacon can shave some decimal points off both those numbers. At 6-foot-5 and 272 pounds, he wouldn’t have to put on much weight to play defensive end in today’s game, and he was an eight-time Pro Bowler.
Bonus: He was a pretty good actor, typecast as a football player in Warren Beatty’s "Heaven Can Wait," and on TV in "Bewitched" and "The Brady Bunch."
32. New England Patriots — Bart Starr, Quarterback
Drafted: 1956, Round 17, No. 200, by the Green Bay Packers, out of Alabama
NFL career: 16 seasons, all with the Packers (1956-1971)
Hall of Fame: 1977
Bottom line: The Super Bowl champions get the last pick in the draft, which is bad news for them because they have a big need: Tom Brady is on the wrong side of 40.
The problem is, how do the Patriots get a great quarterback with a low draft pick? The problem would be solved if Bill Belichick could use a time machine and go back to 1956, find an obscure quarterback from pre-Bear Bryant Alabama, and take Bart Starr.
After being benched by a cad coach during his senior year at Alabama, Starr was so little regarded in the NFL that he wasn’t drafted until Round 17, No. 200 overall. But with the Packers under Vince Lombardi, Starr proved to be the greatest big-game quarterback of his time, winning all five NFL championship games he played in from 1961 through 1967, an achievement that even Brady hasn’t matched.
Starr, who combined a high yards per pass average with a ridiculously low interception rate, would be the perfect field general to execute Belichick’s game plan.