The Great 2004 NFL Draft Class

The NFL Draft is one of the most anticipated off-season spectacles around. It's a time where teams have a chance to identify their future in hopes of building a Super Bowl championship team. Scout.com's Chris Steuber says that the 2004 NFL Draft is one of the best ever and names 25 players to back up his premise.

The NFL Draft is not an exact science, and when teams make their selections, they all think they hit the jackpot. But in reality, it generally takes three years to give a draft class an appropriate grade, and in many respects, it takes four years for the players to cash in on their talent.

The 2004 draft class rivals the 1989 draft class to the effect that it has redefined the National Football League. It’s only been four years, now entering year five, but players like Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Bob Sanders have helped their respective teams realize the ultimate glory of winning the Super Bowl, and those players, along with the other 25 key players from the ’04 draft that I’ve listed currently, have contracts that total up to a billion dollars.

Looking back to 2004, it was an amazing class that’s produced many star players who are now among the elite, if not the top, players at their position. Fourteen of the 32 players selected in the first round have had a significant impact on their teams. Not to mention, 11 other players selected between rounds two and seven have become impact, if not superstar, players in the league.

One of the players I listed is no longer with us, former Redskins great Sean Taylor. Even though he’s gone, Taylor had a lasting effect on his team, the league and fans across the nation. Taylor had the talent to be one of the greatest defensive backs of all-time, and it will always be one of the most devastating instances in professional sports.

Here are the 25 players from the 2004 NFL Draft that make this class one of the best of all-time:

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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com.


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