Today, we bring you part 3 of our 8 part series of each NFL team’s best draft pick since 1980. Wicks and I are discussing the NFC West.
This one is pretty close….. but I’m going to have to go with history. 2004’s first round pick, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has been so consistent that the offense has been built around him. He is a 10 time Pro Bowler, 2 time NFL receptions leader, 2-time NFL receiving TD leader, the Walter Payton Man of the Year; he has also won the Fred Biletnikoff Award and the Walter Camp Award. Fitzgerald also holds 9 team records. Runner Up: David Johnson.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR) – It’s hard to choose anyone else but Larry. He was drafted 3rd overall out of Pittsburgh in 2004 since then he has amassed 1,125 receptions, 14,389 yards, and 104 TDs. No. 11 has been elected to 10 Pro Bowl’s, First-team All-Pro (2008), 2 time NFL receptions leader, 2-time NFL receiving touchdown leader, and Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2016).
Runners up – Patrick Peterson (1st Round)
Los Angeles Rams
Kevin Greene was selected in the 5th round in 1985. Greene played 15 seasons, with 228 games and 160 sacks. He was also a 5× Pro Bowler (1989, 1994–1996, 1998), NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1996), NFC Defensive Player of the Year (1996), 2× NFL sacks leader (1994, 1996), and NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. Runners Up: Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis, and Orlando Pace (all 1st rounders).
Orlando Pace (OT) – Could’ve gone a few directions here, but this guy was the anchor for “The Greatest Show on Turf” and helped Kurt Warner (1999, 2000) and Marshall Faulk (2000) reach three straight NFL MVPs. Pace was drafted number one overall in 1997 (by the then St. Louis Rams) out of Ohio State. He played 12 years in St. Louis and during those 12 seasons, the Rams were able to rack up more gross yards than any other team in the time period. He was selected to 7 Pro Bowls, 3-time First-Team All-Pro, NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team and in the 1999/2000 season took home the Lombardi Trophy defeating the Tennessee Titans. In 2016, Pace was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers selected Jerry Rice in the 1st round of the 1985 draft. He would become the prototypical NFL wide receiver and after 21 NFL seasons; Rice currently holds 4 NFL records: 1,549 career receptions, 22,895 career receiving yards, 197 career receiving touchdowns, and 23,546 career all-purpose yards. 3× Super Bowl champion (XXIII, XXIV, XXIX), Super Bowl MVP (XXIII), 13× Pro Bowl (1986–1996, 1998, 2002), PFWA NFL Most Valuable Player (1987), Bert Bell Award (1987), 2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1987, 1993), 6× NFL receiving yards leader (1986, 1989, 1990, 1993–1995), 2× NFL receptions leader (1990, 1996), 6× NFL receiving touchdowns leader (1986, 1987, 1989–1991, 1993), NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, NFL 1980s All-Decade Team, NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, and San Francisco 49ers No. 80 retired. Runners Up: Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, and Roger Craig.
Ronnie Lott (S/CB) – You cut the shit off and get the fuck back in there! That’s just a little exaggerated, they did amputate the tip of his broken pinky finger to avoid the long recovery time. That’s next level MAN shit right there. Derek will probably choose Rice and most would I think, but for the reason above and also being the greatest Safety in NFL history is the reason I went with Lott. He was drafted 8th overall in 1981 out of USC. He played for the 49ers (1981-1990), Los Angeles Rams (1991-1992), New York Jets (1993-1994), Kansas City Chiefs (1995) and finally again with the 49ers (1995) during a 14-year career that ended in retirement (1995) due to injury. Lott was a 4 time Super Bowl champion, was elected to 10 Pro Bowls, 8-time First-Team All-Pro, NFL 1980’s and 1990’s All-Decade Team and also had 49ers #42 jersey retired. Finally, in his first year of eligibility, Lott was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
There always seems to be a lot of controversy around Richard Sherman, possibly due to his in-your-face attitude on and off the field. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2011 draft and became a cornerstone for Seattle’s famed “Legion of Boom” defensive backfield. I selected him due to being a late 5th round pick. He is a Super Bowl champion (XLVIII), and a 4× Pro Bowler (2011, 2013–2015). Runners Up: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Byron Maxwell. (The rest of the “Legion of Boom”).
Richard Sherman (CB) – U mad bro? I would be because since 1980 Seattle hasn’t done the best drafting great players, that is until Pete Carroll and company turned the team around starting in 2010. Almost went with Earl Thomas here, but since Sherman joined the league in 2011(drafted 154th overall out of Stanford), he has the most interceptions and defended passes of any active player. As a part of the “Legion of Boom”, Sherman helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl in franchise history defeating Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8 in 2013. So far in his early career, Richard has been selected to 4 Pro Bowls, 3-time First-Team All-Pro, and in 2013 led the league in intersections.
That will wrap up the NFC West for us. Leave your picks in the comments and we will be sure to respond!
Tomorrow we will be talking about the AFC West!