The League

Dan Levy
Sports Media Guru

Dan Levy

The host of On the DL with new episodes every weekday.

The Eyes Have It


Let me first start by saying this is the most impossible question to answer. There are more than 100 defensive players taken in the Draft every year. Which means just in the time I've been watching football there have been more than 2,500 defensive players picked. Assuming I started when I was six.

How can we determine the best?

Let's go through the steps together, shall we. The best draft pick has to be a great player, right? Okay, so that narrows it down to the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Next, while perusing the names on the list a few will pop out. Bruce Smith for example. Man that guy was great. Reggie White was pretty great too. But those players were taken at the top of the first round. Smith was the top overall pick in 1985 and White was fourth overall in the 1984 Supplemental Draft.

They were supposed to be good. And they were. I'm not sure how great a draft pick that makes them.

Then I thought about Redskins cornerback Darrell Green. He was taken in the first round, but with the 28th pick, which means nearly every team passed on him before the Redskins took him.

But what about a player who EVERYONE passed on? What about a guy who nobody thought was good enough to be picked in as their first choice. A guy who was taken in the second round and ended up in the Hall of Fame and as one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of the sport.

Mike Singletary is the best defensive draft pick. Not only was Singletary taken in the second round, he was taken 38th overall. He was the fifth linebacker taken that year. Granted, three of the four taken before him made the Pro Bowl and one -- Lawrence Taylor -- is also in the Hall of Fame.

There may be others who were drafted lower and went on to the Hall of Fame -- Howie Long, who was drafted 10 picks after Singletary is one of those men. But Singletary was the leader of the best defense in the history of the sport. And his intensity beamed out of those piercing eyes right into the opponent's backfield, and our living rooms.

By Dan Levy  |  April 10, 2009; 10:44 AM ET  | Category:  Chicago Bears , Dan Levy , Draft Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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