5 best undrafted offensive NFL players of all-time
It's NFL Draft week, but remember, not everyone that is drafted is going to turn out to be remembered when it's all said and done. On the flipside, there will be future stars not selected in one of the seven rounds from April 28-30 that will be key contributors for future title teams.
For every Matt Leinart, Vince Young, and Reggie Bush (not to pick too much on the 2006 Rose Bowl), there is a player that no one saw coming--hence, not being selected with one of the 260+ picks of the NFL Draft that becomes great--that does perform like a first-round draft pick.
Today, we highlight those on the scoring end of the ball that defied scouting reports and pre-draft evaluations to carve out an important role in the history of the league.
Here are the 5 best undrafted offensive NFL players of all-time
#1 - WR Wes Welker
Deemed undersized, not speedy enough to lineup in the slot at the NFL, and not worth a draft pick, Wes Welker defied all of the knocks on his game to become a 2x NFL All-Pro First-Teamer and a 2x NFL All-Pro Second-Teamer.
He never did win a Super Bowl, though. He was a passing ship in the night during his New England Patriots career, coming on board two years after the Patriots' 2005 Super Bowl triumph and leaving the Denver Broncos two years before their 2016 Super Bowl win.
Welker retired in 2015. Despite never winning the big one, he finished his career leading the league in receptions during three different seasons, while catching passes from Tom Brady in Bill Belichick's offense.
#2 - TE Antonio Gates
Antonio Gates wasn't even scouted in high school by football coaches. Instead, he ending up at Kent State playing power forward and showing a well-rounded game (16 points, eight rebounds, three assists per game) in the process. Gates had his number retired, despite playing only two seasons for the Golden Flashes.
Luckily, he was convinced to trade in his basketball shoes for some cleats and ended up becoming one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the NFL, despite having a goal of being drafted in the NBA.
Undrafted in the NFL as well, Gates earned the record for most touchdowns from the TE position with 116.
#3 - OT Jason Peters
Jason Peters will never have to buy a beer in the city of Philadelphia ever again after being a part of the 2017-18 Super Bowl Champion Eagles squad that upset Tom Brady's New England Patriots in their back-to-back title bid.
Originally recruited as a tight end out of college, the former Arkansas Razorback was a far superior blocker than he was a pass-catcher. He has started every game he has appeared in since his third season with Buffalo, who signed him following the 2004 NFL Draft.
Currently a free agent, Peters could have played his last NFL game. If his 17-year NFL career is over, Peters will go down as one of the greatest undrafted OL in the history of professional football.
#4 - QB Tony Romo
Wildly enough, it is possible that Tony Romo will be seen as a commentator, first and foremost, when he is done being involved with the NFL at all. Luckily, he is at the top of his game right now and won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Romo is currently a crucial part of CBS Sunday broadcasts, providing the best color commentary in the game. Few, if any, analysts have the know-how Romo does behind the booth, oftentimes accurately predicting what a QB, or even a defensive player, might do next.
Let's not completely overshadow his playing career, though. Romo was a four-time Pro Bowl entry and started every game he was available for the Cowboys for the next nine seasons after replacing Drew Bledsoe as QB1 under Bill Parcells midway through the 2006 season.
#5 - QB Kurt Warner
When you play quarterback for Northern Iowa, you know you're in the top 1% of people in the United States that can throw a football. That said, you're still not expecting to one day win a Super Bowl MVP.
Kurt Warner was clearly a different breed, though, and his legendary work ethic would not be denied in the late 1990s after he was passed over in the 1994 NFL Draft.
Warner was a legend on the St. Louis Rams after going through the IFL and NFL Europe leagues before reaching Pro Bowls in his first NFL act in 'the Gateway to the West' and then in his final act in the desert, leading the Arizona Cardinals to a 2009 NFC Championship game win.