NFL teams use the NFL Draft to replenish their rosters and replace free agents they may have lost. They are usually guaranteed a starting player from the first round, although you could also land a lemon sometimes (JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Trent Richardson, etc). The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft are good for snagging players who drop out of the first round for a variety of reasons and project players. Rounds four through six are where some teams try to find a steal and others build up their depth charts with rotational pieces.
The seventh round of the draft is where most players are taken who are likely to end up on the practice squad or even as a backup on the active roster if they are lucky. As we have seen in the past, even someone picked in the final round of the NFL Draft can find success and, sometimes, as a starter.
Top 5 NFL players drafted in 7th round of NFL Draft
#1 - TE Shannon Sharpe - 1990 NFL Draft
Shannon Sharpe is currently one of the main voices of FS1, but he was also once a seventh-round selection in the 1990 NFL Draft. The Denver Broncos drafted him out of Savannah State, and Sharpe turned out to be a much better star than the first tight end taken in the draft. Eric Green went 21st overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sharpe played from 1990 to 2003, with two separate stints with the Broncos and a two-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens. He won two consecutive Super Bowls with Denver and even won one with the Ravens. As a four-time First-Team All-Pro, 8-time Pro Bowler, and the record holder for the most receiving yards in a game by a tight end (214), it is no surprise that he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. To this day, Sharpe is still regarded as one of the best tight ends in NFL history.
#2 - WR Julian Edelman - 2009 NFL Draft
Julian Edelman was a quarterback at Kent State for four seasons, but played wide receiver for the New England Patriots when they drafted him in the seventh-round of the 2009 NFL Draft. When you have Tom Brady, no other quarterback really stands a chance. Knowing this, Edelman made the slow transition into a wide receiver. The rest is history, as we now know.
Edelman didn't have more than 37 catches in a season through his first four years. But then in 2013, he broke out with 105 catches, 1,056 yards, and six touchdowns. He quickly became one of Brady's favorite targets for the next seven seasons, having a total of three 1,000-yard seasons along the way. More importantly, Edelman became one of the best postseason receivers in history with five 100-yard games and going over 300 in two of them.
#3 - K Gary Anderson - 1982 NFL Draft
Gary Anderson made the list despite getting drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 and failing to make the roster. He bounced back by making the roster for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played 13 seasons. Anderson played 23 total seasons with five different teams and currently ranks third all-time in points scored.
Anderson's career field goal percentage is 80.1%, and he only missed seven extra points in 827 attempts. In 1998, he became the first kicker to convert every field goal and extra-point attempt in a single regular season. However, Vikings fans will forever remember him as the man who missed the critical field goal in the 1998 NFC Championship Game.
#4 - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - 2005 NFL Draft
Ryan "FitzMagic" Fitzpatrick has had quite the storied career since entering the league in 2005. He has become the most historic journeyman quarterback in league history, with stints on nine different teams in 18 years. The Harvard graduate was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, but was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals after two seasons.
Fitzpatrick is the only NFL player to have thrown a touchdown pass with eight different franchises and became the first quarterback to throw for 400+ yards in three consecutive games. This sentence basically sums up his entire career.
#5 - RB Bo Jackson - 1987 NFL Draft
Bo Jackson was the first overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but how did he make the list? After refusing to sign his contract, Jackson took his talent to the Kansas City Royals to play baseball. In the 1987 draft, the Raiders decided to draft him in the seventh round in a gamble. Jackson agreed to sign if he could play both baseball and football.
Jackson played only four seasons, but averaged 5.4 yards per carry in his career. A hip injury cut his career short, but Jackson was still a highly notable seventh-round pick.