Ranking the best NFL draft picks of all time: Marvin Harrison headlines top five ever taken at No. 19 overall
The history of some NFL first-round draft picks is a bit bleak, but that’s not the case with # 19 overall. In trimming the list, there were some Multi-Pro Bowl talents that were left out due to the talent of other contestants.
This year, the Washington Football Team is expected to be number 19 overall. The team has needs for offensive tackle, linebackers and wide receivers, among other things. Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and offensive tackle Teven Jenkins are some of the players who joined the team during the preliminary draft. Washington has ranked 19th overall in franchise history only once: Notre Dame defense attorney Tom Carter in 1993. Could any of them make that list one day?
With each pick in the first round, CBS Sports breaks down the best pick ever. The full overview of the top 5 picks at each point can be found in our hub with a selection from all times.
5. RB Shaun Alexander
2000 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 19 (Alabama)
Team (s): Seattle Seahawks (2000-2007), Washington Football Team (2008)
Alexander’s career didn’t last as long as other players ranked number 19 overall, but he does have the distinction of being named the league’s MVP in 2005. As a result, he gets the nod over other deserving candidates like Steeler’s defensive tackle Casey Hampton and Raiders defending Jack Tatum.
The Kentucky native led the NFL once in a rush and twice in his career in lavish touchdowns. The three-time All-Pro went to three Pro Bowls and was named a member of the NFL 2000 All-Decade Team. Over the course of his career, he accumulated nearly 2,000 yards and 112 touchdowns. Alexander is the eighth all-time career touchdown list and was the first athlete to appear on the covers of NCAA Football and Madden NFL video games.
4. S Joey Browner
1983 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 19 (USC)
Team (s): Minnesota Vikings (1983-1991), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1992)
The list goes on with Browner, who was one of three brothers who played in the NFL (another was designed by the Chicago White Sox). USC’s previous first-round selection was named the Trojans MVP in 1982 on a team with Hall of Fame selections, Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith first-round and future head coach Jeff Fisher. His success as a professional carried over.
The native Georgian made six trips to the Pro Bowl and was named All-Pro four times. He grabbed 37 interceptions and scored three touchdowns in his career. While not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Browner was inducted into the PFRA Hall of Very Good class by the Professional Football Researchers Association in 2019.
3. CB Roger Wehrli
1969 NFL Draft: Round 1, # 19 (Missouri)
Team (s): St. Louis Cardinals (1969-1982)
Wehrli may be one of the lesser-known names on this list, but his career awards speak for themselves. His work throughout his career made it easy for him to choose Alexander and Browner, but it fell short of the top of the list.
The candidate, inducted into the Pro Football and College Hall of Fame, amassed 40 interceptions, 22 fiddly restores and two defensive touchdowns in his illustrious career. Wehrli was a six-time All Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection. The former cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach called him a “switch-off corner”.
“After a while you just stopped challenging him. There was no point. He was the best cornerback I played against. The term ‘Shutdown Corner’ comes from Roger Wehrli,” said Staubach of the St. Louis Post- Dispatch in 2007.
2. AND Randall McDaniel
1988 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 19 (State of Arizona)
Team (s): Minnesota Vikings (1988-1999), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1999-2001)
The # 1 name on this list will have more brand equity than McDaniel, but it was a difficult choice between the two. McDaniel is one of two Arizona-born players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He attended nearby Arizona State University, where he played for the Sun Devils.
His former strength trainer claims the lineman only had 9% body fat.
“He can squat 425, incline 375, dead lift 650, and 640 in competition. He also rides a 4.68 40, has only 9% body fat, and a vertical jump of 37 inches in one step,” said Ron Jones of the House of Sparky.
McDaniel went to 12 consecutive pro bowls from 1989 to 2000 and was named a first-team all-pro for nine consecutive years. Its degree of persistence is seldom reached. He started an impressive 220 games over the course of his career.
1. WR Marvin Harrison
1996 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 19 (Syracuse)
Team (s): Indianapolis Colts (1996-2008)
Harrison is one of the most successful wide-angle receivers in league history, and it’s a timely time to honor him, considering so many comparisons have been made between Harrison and the incoming Alabama wide-angle receiver Devonta Smith. The broad receivers in Harrison’s draft were generally really impressive. It’s a list that includes Keyshawn Johnson, Joe Horn, Terrell Owens, Muhsin Muhammad, and many others.
The names Peyton Manning and Harrison go hand in hand for what they have achieved during their respective careers. The latter is a Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee and led the NFL to receive yards for two separate years. Harrison is another Syracuse product, as do Jim Brown and Ernie Davis. He was a member of the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI championship team with Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne and Manning. As an individual, he was eight times All-Pro and eight times Pro Bowl.
During his career, he made 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns.