AFC’s best seventh-round picks of Super Bowl era

In 2023, Purdy threw for 4,280 yards (fifth within the NFL) and 31 touchdowns (third) and led the league in passer ranking (113). Not unhealthy for “Mr. Irrelevant,” the 262nd and closing choose within the 2022 NFL Draft.  

Purdy, nevertheless, is way from the one seventh-round draft choose to face out within the NFL. As decided by Yardbarker NFL writers, listed below are the very best seventh-round draft picks of the Tremendous Bowl period (since 1966) for every AFC group. (The yr drafted is in parenthesis.)

AFC East 

BUFFALO BILLS | WR Stevie Johnson (2008) | Kicker Gary Anderson is essentially the most profitable participant Buffalo has drafted within the seventh spherical, however the four-time Professional Bowler by no means performed a sport for the group. Johnson, then again, was one of many NFL’s extra underrated receivers throughout his Payments profession, having fun with a three-season stretch (2010-12) wherein he racked up 3,123 yards receiving and 23 landing catches.

MIAMI DOLPHINS | DB Jake Scott (1970) | The five-time Professional Bowler performed the primary six seasons of his profession with the Dolphins and was one of the vital impactful gamers in group historical past. Along with rating because the franchise’s all-time chief in interceptions (35), Scott was named to 5 All-Professional groups with the Dolphins, gained two Tremendous Bowl titles and earned MVP honors in Tremendous Bowl VII.

NEW YORK JETS | DL Jason Ferguson (1997) | Though a four-game steroid suspension clouds his legacy, Ferguson proved to be a hidden gem for the Jets and was one in all their extra productive gamers for his seven-year tenure. Ferguson notched 374 tackles — 18 for loss — and 20.5 sacks in 101 video games with the Jets earlier than occurring to play components of 5 seasons with Dallas and Miami.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS | WR Julian Edelman (2009) | The previous Kent State quarterback emerged as future Corridor of Famer Tom Brady’s go-to receiver for 3 championship-winning Patriots groups and was named MVP of Tremendous Bowl LIII. Regardless of by no means making a Professional Bowl in his profession, Edelman ranks third in NFL playoff historical past in receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,442). — Colum Dell

AFC West

DENVER BRONCOS | TE Shannon Sharpe (1990) | Earlier than he grew to become a sports activities commentator, Sharpe made a reputation for himself as among the best TEs in league historical past. In 14 seasons with the Broncos and Ravens, the Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer gained three Tremendous Bowls and earned 4 first-team All-Professional nods.

 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS | RB Isiah Pacheco (2022) | Pacheco helped the Chiefs win their third championship, dashing for 76 yards and one TD in Tremendous Bowl LVII in opposition to the Eagles. In 14 video games this season, he set profession highs in dashing yards (935) and dashing TDs (seven).

 LAS VEGAS RAIDERS | RB Bo Jackson (1987) | Jackson was drafted with the primary general choose within the 1986 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, however he refused to signal with the Buccaneers, so the Raiders picked him within the subsequent draft. Arguably the best athlete of all time, he starred for them for 4 seasons and likewise performed in MLB for the Kansas Metropolis Royals. The one-time Professional Bowler averaged 73.2 dashing yards per sport earlier than a hip damage ended his soccer profession.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS | RB Marion Butts (1989) | In 5 seasons with the Chargers, Butts made two Professional Bowls. His finest season got here in 1990 when he completed third within the league in dashing yards (1,225 in 14 games) behind future HOFers Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders and earned a second-team All-Professional nod. — Clark Dalton

AFC North 

BALTIMORE RAVENS | Security Geno Stone (2020) | The 24-year-old had a breakout yr in 2023 with the second-most interceptions within the NFL (seven). Solely Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame security Ed Reed has more interceptions in a season for the Ravens.

CINCINNATI BENGALS | WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2001) | Houshmandzadeh put collectively a powerful 11-year NFL profession, eight with the Bengals. He ended his profession with the fifth-most receptions (507), ninth-most receiving yards (5,782) and sixth-most receiving touchdowns (37) in Cincinnati’s franchise historical past.

CLEVELAND BROWNS | Kicker Zane Gonzalez (2017) | Cleveland has an inglorious historical past of seventh-round picks, with the very best of the bunch being Gonzalez, who solely performed in 18 video games with the Browns. Over a seven-year career, which included stops in Arizona and Carolina, he had 400 factors and a field-goal proportion of 80.5.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS | DE Brett Keisel (2002) | Keisel was a cornerstone and fan favourite on the Steelers’ line of defense for 13 seasons. He recorded 408 tackles, 30 sacks, seven compelled fumbles, two interceptions and one landing and helped Pittsburgh win two Tremendous Bowls (XL and XLIII). — Aaron Becker

AFC South 

HOUSTON TEXANS | CB Andre Hal (2014) | Hal didn’t spend a lot time in Houston, however in his 5 seasons, he made a strong impression within the secondary. He had 12 interceptions in his final 4 seasons (with three or extra INTs in three of these 4 years) and 31 passes defensed, two compelled fumbles and a pick-six. 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS | WR Alvin Moore (1983) | The Colts don’t have a wealthy historical past of hitting on seventh-round picks. Moore performed simply two seasons for the group, totaling 332 dashing yards and three touchdowns on 95 carries and including 15 receptions and 90 yards receiving.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS | DE Bobby McCray (2004) | Getting a double-digit sack season out of a seventh-rounder is probably going greater than Jacksonville hoped for when it took McCray out of Florida. In 4 seasons with the Jags, McCray logged 93 tackles, 25 QB hits, 22 sacks (together with 10 in 2006), eight compelled fumbles and one fumble restoration. 

TENNESSEE TITANS | CB Cortland Finnegan (2006) | Finnegan performed six seasons for the Titans (largely as their CB1), totaling 472 tackles, 68 passes defensed, 14 interceptions, 4 defensive touchdowns, 4 fumble recoveries and three compelled fumbles. He was a first-team All-Professional and Professional Bowl choice in his third season. — Michael Gallagher

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