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Top five memorable draft moments

4/21/2010

Some of the NFL draft's most memorable moments are ones that come and go without any notice.

When the New England Patriots used the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2000 draft on University of Michigan quarterback Tom Brady, no one noticed.

When the Denver Broncos used the 196th overall pick in the sixth round of the 1996 draft on University of Georgia running back Terrell Davis, no one cared.

And when the Chicago Bears used the 203rd overall selection in the eighth round of the 1983 draft on Tennessee State defensive end Richard Dent, no one flinched.

But there also were notable occurrences that go down in draft lore, times no draftnik can forget. Here are five of the most memorable moments in draft history.

1. Bill Tobin rips Mel Kiper Jr.

When the Indianapolis Colts drafted Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts ahead of Fresno State quarterback Trent Dilfer in 1994, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ripped Indy. And Colts director of football operations Bill Tobin ripped back. Tobin got on TV and lit into Kiper worse than Kiper lit into his team. Said Tobin: "Who in the hell is Mel Kiper, anyway? I mean, here's a guy who criticizes everybody, whoever they take. In my knowledge of him, he's never even put on a jockstrap, he's never been a player, he's never been a coach, he's never been a scout, he's never been an administrator, and all of a sudden he's an expert. Mel Kiper has no more credentials to do what he's doing than my neighbor, and my neighbor's a postman and he doesn't even have season tickets to the NFL." Some unforgettable criticism. And by the way, Dilfer and Alberts each went on to work at ESPN.

2. Eagles fans boo McNabb for the first time

After the Eagles used the second overall pick in the second round of the 1999 draft on Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb instead of Texas running back Ricky Williams, Philadelphia fans booed as if they had seen Santa Claus. McNabb never seemed to win over Philadelphia's fans; he was one of the least appreciated players in football. And now Philadelphia can boo him all over again -- as McNabb plays quarterback for the Redskins.

3. Quinn and Rodgers wait it out

Two highly touted quarterbacks recently played the waiting game, one who's been far more successful in the NFL than the other. California quarterback Aaron Rodgers handled his slide down the draft board with grace, waiting patiently until the Green Bay Packers drafted him with the 24th overall pick of the 2005 draft. Two years later, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn was forced to wait until the 22nd selection before the Cleveland Browns traded up to grab him.

4. Manning has a New York state of mind

The look on quarterback Eli Manning's face when he was forced to hold up a San Diego Chargers jersey -- after having voiced his displeasure about playing in San Diego before the 2004 draft -- said it all. Manning wanted to be in San Diego less than Philadelphia's fans initially wanted McNabb. But a short time later, Manning was traded to the New York Giants and got to hold up the Giants jersey he wanted to be wearing all along. Philip Rivers got to grab the Chargers jersey.

5. Minnesota takes its time ... and then some

As Minnesota attempted to trade the seventh overall pick to Baltimore in the 2003 draft, time on the Minnesota Vikings' turn elapsed. And when it did, Jacksonville rushed in its card to draft quarterback Byron Leftwich. Not wasting any time, the Carolina Panthers did the same, drafting offensive tackle Jordan Gross. Finally, the Vikings handed in their card and drafted defensive tackle Kevin Williams at No. 9 instead of the No. 7 pick they were scheduled to have. The pick worked out well, but not without a public-relations hit and a draft gaffe that lives in infamy.

Honorable mention

Then-New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka trading his entire draft to Washington for running back Ricky Williams in 1999; the Houston Texans draft defensive end Mario Williams over Reggie Bush in 2006; running back Cedric Benson breaks down and cries at going to the Chicago Bears in 2005; running back Willis McGahee overcomes a major knee injury to go to Buffalo in the first round of the 2003 draft; Dan Marino slides down the draft board of the 1983 draft, all the way to the Miami Dolphins at No. 27.