Class of 1983

– This refers to the first round of the 1983 NFL draft, which is considered by most to be the best group of quarterbacks ever taken in a single round. It included future Hall of Famers John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, along with Tony Eason, Todd Blackledge and Ken O’Brien. This phenomenal first round also includedthree more Hall of Fame players: running back Eric Dickerson, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews and cornerback Darrell Green.

Tony Mandarich

– One of the all-time NFL draft busts. He was taken with the second overall pick in 1989 by Green Bay, ahead of future Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Derrick Thomas and ahead of superstar cornerback Deion Sanders. Eventually revealed to be a steroid user, Mandarich, a 304-lb. offensive lineman with seemingly impossible physical abilities, simply could not play NFL football, struggling to even get on the field for the Packers and eventually being cut after three seasons.

Ryan Leaf

– Another all-time NFL bust, there was ample speculation before the 1998 NFL draft about which “great” quarterback would be selected first, Leaf or Peyton Manning. Obviously, the Colts took Manning who was described as the more “polished” quarterback, as opposed to Leaf, who supposedly had much better physical skills. Leaf was awful, lasting just three seasons and compiling a career won-lost record of 4-17.

Randy Moss

– A projected top 10 pick in 1998, off the field and “attitude” issues plagued the talented Wide Receiver, causing 20 teams to pass on him in the first round before maverick coach Dennis Green of the Minnesota Vikings finally took him at No. 21. The irony was that the Vikings did not need a wide receiver, but Green recognized that Moss was no ordinary player, and he was instantly justified with Moss’ on the field performance. In another ironic turn, the Tennessee Oilers (now Titans) were the only team to actually pick a wide receiver ahead of Moss, taking Kevin Dyson at No. 16. Dyson later became famous for getting stopped just inches from the goal line, sealing the St. Louis Rams win over Tennessee in the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady

– The three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback was drafted in 2000 by the New England Patriots, but it took until the second day of the draft for it to happen. Brady wasn’t taken until the sixth (next to last) round, and in all 198 players were selected ahead of him.

“Mr. Irrelevant”

– The name given to the last player taken in the NFL draft each year. It has become something of a badge of honor to be Mr. Irrelevant and, in any case, the moniker is somewhat misleading. While it is certainly a long shot for players taken in the seventh round to make NFL rosters, every year there are low-round players who do so and, on almost every NFL roster, players who do not get drafted at all make the team (these players are known as “undrafted free agents”). Consequently, Mr. Irrel-evant can at least take solace in the fact that a team felt strongly
enought about them to use a pick at all to add him to the roster.

“Workout warrior”

– A phrase used to describe a player who excels at the combine, but is just not that good on the field. It is perhaps most closely associated with former Eagles defensive end Mike Mamula, who, it was later revealed, spent weeks practicing the specific drills he would be running at the scouting combine to artificially iNFLate his performance.