Five classes to remember

A trade, a risk, a surprise, a haul and a no-brainer highlight the best drafts

Originally Published: November 28, 2012
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
Eli Manning and Ben RoethlisbergerAP Photo/John Marshall MantelEli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have made the 2004 draft one for the ages.

When picking the five top draft hauls of the last 10 drafts, the whole idea, the focus of a draft, is to select the important parts who will not only help you win but win Super Bowls.

Going back to 2003 and through 2012, there were a lot of intriguing draft classes I considered, such as the 2004 Arizona Cardinals with Darnell Dockett and Larry Fitzgerald. There were several intriguing individual picks in the last 10 years, and there were some drafts that had some good picks in the third through seventh rounds.

But if you're asking me for the best classes, I strongly favored the classes that were the most important and most integral to accomplishing the ultimate goal, which is to win a Super Bowl.

Here, in chronological order, are my picks to represent the five best draft classes of the last 10 years:


2004 New York Giants

Technically, their first overall pick was Philip Rivers, but Giants GM Ernie Accorsi came through with his legacy draft. Trading Rivers to San Diego for Eli Manning solidified that legacy.

Eli, as you know, has been the MVP of two Super Bowl wins (XLII and XLVI), both against the New England Patriots. Chris Snee was a three-time Pro Bowl choice and played in their two Super Bowl wins. Torbor and Wilson were also part of the Giants' first Super Bowl win against the Patriots.

Overall it was a solid class, but there was all that drama surrounding the Rivers-Manning deal at the time. It was critical that they got that deal done.


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