Who was the greatest second-round NFL draft pick ever?
G Larry Allen. Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in 1994, Allen became a rare two-time NFL all-decade selection, being voted to both the 1990s and 2000s teams. Allen joined a Super Bowl championship team in 1994 but still started 10 games as a rookie at both tackle positions because of injuries. The Cowboys allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL that season with 20. Allen settled in at guard in 1995 and wound up going to 11 Pro Bowls there. He was enshrined in Canton in 2013.
WR Lance Alworth. Selected by Oakland in 1962, the Raiders traded his rights to San Diego. He also was the eighth overall pick of the NFL draft by San Francisco. Like Gregg, Alworth was selected to the NFL’s 75th anniversary team and also won a Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys in 1971. Nicknamed “Bambi” because he was so fleet afoot, Alworth made the right choice in signing with the pass happy AFL. He averaged 18.9 yards per his 542 catches with 85 TDs. He was enshrined in Canton in 1978.
QB Brett Favre. Selected by Atlanta in 1991, Favre spent his rookie season as a third-stringer with the Falcons, throwing only four passes with no completions. But new Packers GM Ron Wolf sent a first-round pick for Favre in 1992 for one of the best trades in NFL history. Favre went on to become the NFL’s all-time leading passer with his 71,838 yards and 508 touchdowns. He also became an 11-time Pro Bowler and a three-time NFL MVP.
OT Forrest Gregg. Vince Lombardi coached 11 Hall of Famers in Green Bay and claimed Gregg was the “finest player I ever coached.” Did the five Super Bowl rings of Charles Haley impress you? Gregg won six championship rings – five with the Packers and one in his final season with the Cowboys in 1971. Selected by the pre-Lombardi Packers in 1956, Gregg went to nine Pro Bowls and was named to both the 1960s all-decade team and the NFL’s 75th anniversary team. He was enshrined in Canton in 1977.
OLB Jack Ham. Selected by Pittsburgh in 1971, Ham was the most complete and technically sound linebacker in NFL history. As adept against the pass as he was against the run, Ham played on two Steel Curtains that led the NFL in scoring defense and five others that ranked in the Top 5 during his 12-year career. He intercepted 32 passes and won four Super Bowls rings. Ham was named to the 1970s all-decade team and also the NFL’s 75th anniversary team. He was enshrined in Canton in 1988.