They have made a science of picking the right players at the right time.
No team in the NFL is perfect when it comes to making the right calls in the NFL Draft, but for some reason, time after time these franchises have taken painstaking steps to make better choices than others year after year.
For most, it has meant winning records, division titles and Super Bowl appearances.
For others, it has been a step in the right direction. The NFL Draft can be the luckiest stock market there is for teams that have crack staff members who have scouted, made notes and pleaded their case for taking the best players out there – regardless of need and regardless of position.
These teams are in no particular order, but they have shown they are the best in the business at what they do when it comes to college selection.
When you get Andrew Luck and then are able to find rookies to put around him that not only make plays, but also work well in the team concept, that is how you build a winning franchise. Luck, T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener have been gems on this roster.
Year after year, the Steelers stick to their roots and find players who can make them better. The team is especially conscious of the need for depth on the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker. Ziggy Hood, Lamarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons have been great examples of players in the middle or later part of the first round who have been solid picks.
Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, two good tight ends, Geno Atkins – the list is deep. This is as solid a team as there is in football and Marvin Lewis and his staff continue to move up the draft ladder for success. Now the team must take the success of this roster and move it past the first round of the playoffs.
The secondary is out of sight. Karlos Dansby, Calais Campbell. Darnell Dockett and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals have also found two exciting young runners and Michael Floyd who no one knows about. The Cardinals could be the best team in football that no one knows about.
New England Patriots
The things about New England isn’t the players they snatch up in the first round, it’s about the second round and beyond that makes them great. Captain Hoodie finds players who make this team functional and then leaves the rest to Tom Brady – enough said.
By far the best team at drafting players in the past five seasons. Richard Sherman and a vaunted secondary of late round picks. The magic of Pete Carroll and his staff has formulated a team that functions on every level and plays as a team, not individual units.
Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Fletcher Cox and some guy named LeSean McCoy. It’s all about knowing when to pull the trigger and find the right player who will fit your franchise. Philadelphia continues to do it and do it well.
Despite the team record, this is still a team that knows how to draft quality players. J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, DJ Swearinger, Ben Tate. Another good draft this year and the Texans will be playoff contenders again in a year or two.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers are another one of those teams who use the Draft to fill in depth and use free agency to find need. They are as old school as you get and when you can take Aaron Rodgers and have him sit for a few years before playing him that speaks volumes about how stellar a team you are.
St. Louis Rams
A surprise team here, but it makes sense. The Rams are building through the Draft for the future. Sam Bradford may be let go next season but Zac Stacy has panned out, the secondary is solid and the play of Robert Quinn was outstanding last season. The Rams are a team on the rise.