Breakfast: The best draft picks...17-32 edition


I said last week that I absolutely love to take a 20/20 hindsight analysis at past drafts. So, in my last BWTB, I posted the best draft picks over the past 15 drafts (2000 - 2014) for numbers 1-16.

Today, in part two, I'll take a look at numbers 17-32, so without further ado…

#17 - G Steve Hutchinson, Seahawks (2001) - This hasn't been a gold mine of a spot to start the second half of the draft but Hutchinson was one of the best overall guards in the league during his tenure. He finished his career having gone to seven Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro seven times.
Honorable mention: K Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders (2000) & ILB C.J. Mosley, Ravens (2014)

#18 - C Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers (2010) - the former Florida product has gone to four Pro Bowls in five years and just nudged out AFC North foe QB Joe Flacco.
Honorable mention: QB Joe Flacco, Ravens (2008)

#19 - NT Casey Hampton, Steelers (2001) - although WR Jeremy Maclin knocked on the door last year, this is truly a two man race - Hampton and former Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander. I went back and forth on this before deciding for Hampton's additional Pro Bowls and Super Bowl rings over Alexander's dominant 2005 season. Tough call.
Honorable mention: Alexander, Seahawks (2000), Maclin, Eagles (2009)

#20 - OLB Tamba Hali, Chiefs (2006) - still going like the Energizer bunny, Hali will begin his tenth year in Kansas City in 2015. The five time Pro Bowler has been All-Pro twice and led the league in sacks in 2010.
Honorable mention: CB Aqib Talib, Bucs (2008) & WR Javon Walker, Packers (2002)

#21 - DT Vince Wilfork, Patriots (2004) - arguably, Wilfork has been the most dominant big man for his eleven years in the league. He begins his 12th in Houston hoping to make his sixth Pro Bowl and win his third Super Bowl ring. Without question, he's head and shoulders above the rest of the group.
Honorable mention: C Alex Mack, Browns (2009)

#22 - WR Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (2010) - there is literally no other option as spot No. 22 reads like a Cleveland Browns QB cemetery. The Browns have spent three No. 22 picks over the last eight years and still haven't found a starter. Either way, Thomas is clearly the best pick at this spot for the past 15 years.
Honorable mention: WR Percy Harvin, Vikings (2009)

#23 - RB Willis McGahee, Bills (2003) - a scant few months after the nation witnessed his gruesome knee injury in the national championship game, McGahee's name was called by the Bills. He "redshirted" as he rehabbed his knee during the 2003 season and was Comeback Player of the Year in 2004. In his career, he was named to two Pro Bowls and ran for 8,474 yards for the Bills, Ravens, Broncos and Browns.
Honorable mention: T Bryan Bulaga, Packers (2010)

#24 - QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers (2005) - To think, he sat in the Green Room for hours before the Packers finally selected him. He's, arguably, the best quarterback in the NFL and he represents this spot well. A Super Bowl ring in 2010. Four Pro Bowls. A Super Bowl MVP. But, after a drought, the No. 24 spot is OUT-STAND-ING. Just look at the Honorable mention listing. Whoa!
Honorable mention:
S Ed Reed, Ravens (2002),
TE Dallas Clark, Colts (2003)
RB Steven Jackson, Rams (2004)
CB Johnathan Joseph, Texans (2006)
S Brandon Meriweather, Patriots (2007)
RB Chris Johnson, Titans (2008)
WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys (2010)
DE Cameron Jordan (2011)

**Starting with Reed in 2002 through Bryant in 2010, every single draftee went to a Pro Bowl (minus 2009 pick Peria Jerry). Furthermore, there are two potential slam dunk Hall of Famers on the list (Rodgers and Reed) and if Bryant can stay on track, he'll make it hard to keep him out of Canton.

#25 - WR Santonio Holmes, Steelers (2006) - I once saw Holmes play in a Florida HS State Championship game and he was thought to be the second or third best WR on his own team. But, he was the one that made it out of the Muck, that's for sure. His tippy-toe catch v. the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII will go down in history as one of the best three catches of all-time.
Honorable mention: CB Vontae Davis, Colts (2009), LB Jon Beason, Panthers (2007) and LB Dont'a Hightower, Patriots (2012)

#26 - OLB Clay Matthews, Packers (2009) - the former USC Trojan didn't even start in college yet became one of the most dynamic pass rushers in the game. He's been to five Pro Bowls, was All Pro once and has one Defensive Player of the Year award in 2010.
Honorable mention: LT Duane Brown, Texans (2008) and DE Anthony Spencer, Cowboys (2007)

#27 - WR Roddy White, Falcons (2005) - a four time Pro Bowler, White's heading into his eleventh year in Atlanta. He has 765 receptions for well over 10k yards and 62 TD. He takes the nod rather convincingly.
Honorable mention: RB Larry Johnson, Chiefs (2003), RB DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (2006) and WR DeAndre 'Nuk' Hopkins, Texans (2013)

#28 - LT Joe Staley, 49ers (2007) - Staley has been the foundation of the 49ers OL since he took over as a rookie in 2007. He's been voted each year to the NFL Top 100 Player list, has made four Pro Bowls and has been named All Pro three times.
Honorable mention: RB Mark Ingram, Saints (2011) and TE Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (2006)

#29 - C Nick Mangold, Jets (2006) - the former Buckeye standout clearly stands out in this group littered with "WHOA, he went at No. 29? Really?" picks. Mangold is a six time Pro Bowler and a three time All Pro selection.
Honorable mention: LB Nick Barnett, Packers (2003)

#30 - WR Reggie Wayne, Colts (2001) - the recently retired Wayne was the Colts selection three years after Peyton Manning and it paid huge dividends. Just ask all the Texans fans that had to suffer through years of Manning-Harrison-Wayne twice a year. Ugh.
Honorable mention: TE Heath Miller, Steelers (2005) and DE Muhammed Wilkerson, Jets (2011)

#31 - CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders (2003) - this one the Raiders got 100% absolutely correct. He went to three Pro Bowls and was voted All-Pro four times before he became the most coveted free agent in the lockout summer of 2011. But, this is a fairly solid group near the end of the first round.
Honorable mention: C Travis Frederick, Cowboys (2013), RB Doug Martin, Bucs (2012), DE Jerry Hughes, Colts (2010), TE Greg Olsen, Bears (2007) and TE Todd Heap, Ravens (2001)

#32 - G Logan Mankins, Patriots (2005) - before getting traded to Tampa in 2014, he went to six Pro Bowls, was named to five All-Pro teams and played in two Super Bowls. He was one of my favorites heading into the 2005 draft and when he didn't get his name called earlier in the day, I thought I missed on my evaluation. But, the Patriots made the right call and it panned out even better than any of us thought.
Honorable mention: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings (2014) and TE Ben Watson, Patriots (2004).

Texans analyst and radio sideline reporter John Harris unveiled his top 100 prospects for the NFL Draft. (Photos courtesy of AP)

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