Not Drafted In First Round? Don't Worry!
By Jerry Tapp
Did you know that of the 55 players who have 80 or more career NFL touchdowns, more than 40 percent of them were not first-round draft choices?
The NFL career TD list Top 10 includes nine players who were first-round draft choices, led by Jerry Rice, who had 208 career TDs. It also includes Terrell Owens, who ranks fifth on the list with 156 scores. Owens was a third-round draft choice.
We can take this a step further and note that three players who scored 80 or more career TDs in the NFL were not even drafted. They are Priest Holmes (94 TDs), Antonio Gates (87), and Joe Perry (84).
Here's a look at the players with 80 or more career NFL TDs that were not first round draft choices. (Note: Don Hutson, who ranks 18th on the list with 103 touchdowns, played his career before the NFL Draft was instituted. Cris Carter, who ranks eighth on the all-time list with 130 TDs, was selected in the 1987 supplemental draft.)
Career TDs, Player, Draft Round (overall selection)
156-Terrell Owens, 3rd round (89th pick overall)
130-Cris Carter, (1987 supplemental draft)
103-Don Hutson (no draft)
101-Steve Largent, 4th round (117th)
100-Curtis Martin, 3rd round (74th)
94-Priest Holmes, was not drafted
93-Jim Taylor, 2nd round (15th)
91-Bobby Mitchell, 7th round (84th)
91-Ricky Watters, 2nd round (45th)
91-Issac Bruce, 2nd round (33rd)
90-Leroy Kelly, 8th round (110th)
89-Corey Dillon, 2nd round (43rd)
88-Thurman Thomas, 2nd (40th)
88-Andre Reed, 4th round (86th)
88-Don Maynard, 9th round (109th)
87-Antonio Gates, was not drafted
86-Hines Ward, 3rd round (92nd)
85-Tommy McDonald, 3rd round (31st)
85-Mark Clayton, 8th round (223rd)
84-Herschel Walker, 5th round (114th)
84-Joe Perry, was not drafted
82-Art Powell, 11th round (123rd)
82-Pete Johnson, 2nd round (49th)
81-Maurice Jones-Drew, 2nd round (60th)
80-Clinton Portis, 2nd round (51st)
Note: Of the 2013 NFL draft choices who scored eight or more TDs, only one was a first-round draft choice — Minnesota's Cordarelle Patterson with nine. Five other rookies scored eight or more touchdowns, none of whom were first-rounders: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (11 TDs, second-round draft choice); Le'veon Bell, Pittsburgh (8 TDs, second-round draft choice); Zac Stacy, St. Louis (8 TDs, fifth-round draft choice); Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati (8 TDs, second-round draft choice); Keenan Allen, San Diego (8 TDs, third-round draft choice).
Note No. 2: Of the 23 players who scored 10 or more touchdowns in the 2013 NFL season, two (Buffalo's Fred Jackson and Denver's Wes Welker) were undrafted free agents. Of the other 21 players, 10 were first-rounders, three were second-rounders, four were drafted in the third round, three were drafted in the fourth round, and one was a fifth-round draft choice.