Poll: The best sports draft class of all-time
The 1984 NBA Draft class is unquestionably the best the sport has ever produced. With a class that includes four Hall of Famers, who combined for eight NBA Championships, 46 All-Star game appearances and six NBA MVP awards, there's really no debate. Other sports, however, have had legendary draft classes that rival the 1984 class. Here are the best draft classes from other sports:
NFL • 1983 Draft
Stats • Seven Hall of Famers, 41 Pro Bowlers
Notable names • John Elway, Eric Dickerson, Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino
Just including Elway, Kelly and Marino would make this one of the best draft classes in the history of sports. The three combined for 148,303 passing yards, 957 touchdown passes, 23 Pro Bowl appearances, 10 Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl championships. Dickerson rushed for the most yards in a single season with 2,105, had 13,259 yards in his career and 90 rushing touchdowns, along with six Pro Bowl appearances and four rushing titles. Matthews is regarded as one of the best offensive linemen of all-time, starting 229 consecutive games with 14 Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl appearance. That goes without mentioning defensive Hall of Famers and four-time Super Bowl champions Darrell Green and Richard Dent, as well as Pro Bowlers Mark Clayton, Curt Warner, Henry Ellard, Roger Craig and Dave Duerson. Not bad at all.
MLB • 2005 Draft
Stats • Nine first-round All-Stars
Notable names • Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Jay Bruce, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen
This draft is nearly 10 years old and a decade into their careers, most of the first-round picks have made a big impact. Upton emerged almost immediately as a franchise player for the Arizona Diamondbacks before moving on to the Atlanta Braves, appearing in two All-Star games. Gordon has won three gold glove awards, while Tulowitzki is arguably the best hitting shortstop in baseball, appearing in three All-Star games and winning two gold glove awards. McCutcheon, Zimmerman, Bruce and Jacoby Ellsbury have all starred for their teams. This draft also included later-round gems like Chase Headley, Yunel Escobar, Brett Gardner and Travis Wood. The 1985 MLB draft certainly deserves praise, but looking back in another 10 years, this draft will be the best.
NHL • 2003 Draft
Stats • 25 All-Stars, 10 Stanley Cup titles
Notable names • Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Patrice Bergeron, Shea Weber, Zach Parise
Most of the players in this class are still in their prime, combining for playoff appearances and All-Star games left and right. So far, they've combined for 10 Stanley Cup titles and 16 of 30 of the first-round picks have made the All-Star roster. This draft also had depth, with Bergeron, Loui Eriksson and Shea Weber drafted as second-round picks. This class is still young, but when all is said and done, will stand alone at the top.