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Teams that got most value out of draft classes in last decade


After examining the best and worst team draft classes of last 10 years (2005-2014), we now take a look at those teams that got the most out of their draft classes; not in terms of overall talent, but value in amount of on-field time the teams got from their draft picks.

The reasons why this is important are two-fold: 1) It shows that a good number of players from a draft class actually made the roster, and 2) A good number of those players had lengthy NFL careers.

Here are the most combined career games played by a single team's draft class since 2005.

1. 2006 Green Bay Packers -- 869

Games played by draft picks:A.J. Hawk (142), Daryn Colledge (141), Greg Jennings (127), Tyrone Culver (80), David Tollefson (78), Jason Spitz (75), Will Blackmon (66), Tony Moll (63), Johnny Jolly (61), Abdul Hodge (35), Ingle Martin (1), Cory Rodgers (0).

The skinny: This is an underrated draft class due to the conflicting feelings many might harbor as to Hawk's overall impact on the field for the Packers. That being said, Hawk was a regular starter during his nine years in Green Bay. Three players from this draft class -- Hawk, Colledge and Jennings -- started in the team's win in Super Bowl XLV, and a fourth -- Spitz -- was a member of that championship team. Tollefson's 78 games played all came with the New York Giants, with whom he was a part of two Super Bowl-winning teams.

2. 2005 Tennesse Titans -- 849

Games played by draft picks:Michael Roos (148), David Stewart (116), Adam Jones (100), Courtney Roby (92), Bo Scaife (90), Vincent Fuller (76), Brandon Jones (59), Daniel Loper (58), Roydell Williams (56), Reynaldo Hill (48), Damien Nash (6).

The skinny: The Titans got some serious mileage out of two of the offensive linemen that they selected in the 2005 draft. Roos spent each of his 10 NFL seasons with the Titans, starting all 148 games he played in. He announced his retirement from the game this offseason. Stewart also started each of his 116 games played with the team over his eight seasons with the Titans.

3. 2005 San Francisco 49ers -- 808

Games played by draft picks:Frank Gore (148), Adam Snyder (141), David Baas (122), Billy Bajema (120), Alex Smith (110), Ronald Fields (87), Daven Holly (32), Derrick Johnson (19), Rasheed Marshall (12), Marcus Maxwell (9), Patrick Estes (8).

The skinny: Gore left San Francisco this offseason as the team's all-time rushing yardage leader, easily outpacing Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Perry (11,073 to 8,689). Smith ranks sixth in 49ers franchise history in passing yards with 14,280, just behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle (16,016) and ahead of Frankie Albert (10,795).

4. 2005 Dallas Cowboys -- 802

Games played by draft picks:DeMarcus Ware (157), Chris Canty (139), Kevin Burnett (136), Marcus Spears (124), Jay Ratliff (120), Marion Barber (99), Rob Petitti (27), Justin Beriault (0).

The skinny: Before being released in 2014 by the Cowboys in a move to save salary-cap space, Ware had already established himself as the franchise's career sacks leader (117; Jim Jeffcoat is No. 2 with 94.5). Barber ranks sixth on the team's rushing yardage list with 4,358 yards, ranking just ahead of Walt Garrison and Herschel Walker on the list.

5. 2006 New York Jets -- 780

Games played by draft picks:D'Brickashaw Ferguson (144), Nick Mangold (141), Leon Washington (126), Brad Smith (125), Eric Smith (96), Drew Coleman (83), Kellen Clemens (42), Anthony Schlegel (17), Jason Pociask (4), Titus Adams (2).

The skinny: Ferguson enters his 10th season with the Jets riding a 144-game consecutive starts streak. Mangold enters his 10th season having missed just three starts. Smith was a dual-threat college quarterback at Missouri, but found a niche early in his NFL career as a wildcat quarterback (back when the wildcat was en vogue). Even though that's been a recurring role for Smith during his career, he's also contributed as a receiver and return specialist.

6. 2006 New Orleans Saints -- 745

Games played by draft picks:Jahri Evans (142), Marques Colston (133), Zach Strief (125), Roman Harper (124), Reggie Bush (116), Rob Ninkovich (103), Mike Hass (2), Josh Lay (0).

The skinny: Colston was three picks away from being Mr. Irrelevant in the 2006 draft. Nine years later, he's the Saints' all-time leading receiver with 9,239 yards (Eric Martin is second with 7,854). Like Colston, Evans and Strief are still on the team.

7. 2006 San Francisco 49ers -- 720

Games played by draft picks:Vernon Davis (133), Delanie Walker (129), Manny Lawson (127), Parys Haralson (118), Michael Robinson (112), Marcus Hudson (62), Brandon Williams (23), Melvin Oliver (16), Vickiel Vaughn (0).

The skinny: While Davis (5,446 yards) ranks just ahead of Brent Jones (5,195) as the 49ers' all-time leading receiving yardage leader for a tight end, Walker has emerged as a dangerous receiving threat after signing as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans in 2013.

8. 2005 Philadelphia Eagles -- 718

Games played by draft picks:Trent Cole (155), Mike Patterson (147), Todd Herremans (127), Sean Considine (99), Reggie Brown (72), Matt McCoy (65), Ryan Moats (38), Scott Young (14), Keyonta Marshall (1), Calvin Armstrong (0), David Bergeron (0).

The skinny: Cole rose from fifth-round draft pick to become second on the Eagles' all-time sacks list with 85.5; Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White is No. 1 with 124. After 10 seasons in Philadelphia, Cole was released by the Eagles following the 2014 season. Cole's longtime Eagles teammate, Herremans, rejoins him with the Indianapolis Colts.

9. 2006 Baltimore Ravens -- 715

Games played by draft picks:Sam Koch (144), Chris Chester (137), Haloti Ngata (135), Dawan Landry (130), Derrick Martin (73), Demetrius Williams (46), Quinn Sypniewski (31), Ryan LaCasse (12), David Pittman (7), P.J. Daniels (0).

The skinny: Koch has been the Ravens' punter since joining the team in 2006. Ngata was traded to the Detroit Lions in 2015 after nine seasons -- including five as a Pro Bowl selection -- in Baltimore.

10. 2005 St. Louis Rams -- 695

Games played by draft picks:Richie Incognito (102), Oshiomogho Atogwe (101), Ryan Fitzpatrick (97), Ron Bartell (96), Alex Barron (87), Madison Hedgecock (84), Reggie Hodges (64), Jerome Carter (33), Claude Terrell (20), Dante Ridgeway (8), Jerome Collins (3).

The skinny: After nearly a year and a half away from the game, Incognito was signed by the Buffalo Bills this offseason. Fitzpatrick has had a vagabond existence in the NFL as an on-again, off-again starting quarterback. An offseason trade to the New York Jets placed Fitzpatrick on his sixth NFL team.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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