NFL Draft History: 5 best NFL players ever drafted 25th Overall

Ted Washington, Buffalo Bills (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Ted Washington, Buffalo Bills (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /
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NFL Draft
Stanley Morgan, New England Patriots (Mandatory Credit: Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports) /

Stanley Morgan (1977 NFL Draft – New England Patriots)

Stanley Morgan was the first 25th overall pick since the merger to really have long-term success in the NFL. The wide receiver out of Tennessee was selected by New England in the 25th slot in 1977 and played all but one of his 14 seasons in the NFL with the Patriots.

Morgan had a fantastic stretch from 1978 to 1987, earning four Pro Bowl selections and two Second-Team All-Pro selections in that time frame. Morgan cracked the thousand-yard mark three times in his career (1979, 1981, and 1986), and topped 800 yards three times in addition to those seasons (1978, 1980, and 1983).

Morgan caught at least 40 passes in six of his fourteen seasons, with a career-high of 84 catches in 1986. In the seasons where he was healthy, Morgan was a reliable target for his quarterbacks.

In three consecutive seasons from 1979 to 1981, Morgan led the league in yards per catch, averaging 22.8 in 1979, 22.0 in 1980, and 23.4 in 1981. Morgan caught 67 touchdowns throughout his time in New England and caught a career-best of 12 touchdowns in 1979. His productivity and efficiency are some of the reasons why it can be argued that he is New England’s best receiver ever.

Another reason that Morgan can be considered the best Patriots receiver ever is where his accolades stand in franchise history. He has the most receiving yards in franchise history (10,352) and yards per reception (19.4). He is also second in all-time touchdowns and fourth in all-time receptions (534).

Morgan being able to stand out as one of the best players in Patriots franchise history is a testament to what he did throughout his career in New England, and he is certainly worthy of a spot amongst the best players to ever be picked 25th overall.