Best First-Round Picks By Draft Slot

Dick Butkus
Photo: Neil Leifer/SI


Dick Butkus

LB, Bears, 1965

This was a close race between Butkus, the ultimate middle linebacker, and Barry Sanders, the third pick in 1989 and the most electrifying running back of all time. Butkus gets the nod, partly because of his toughness and partly because Sanders retired too early. Anthony Munoz, the No. 3 pick in 1980, gets consideration for his consistent excellence.

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