AFC East: Karl Mecklenburg

'83 Dolphins, '85 Bills advance in draft tourney

April, 11, 2009
4/11/09
7:10
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Two AFC East clubs remain alive in SportsNation's NFL draft class tournament.

The third-seeded 1985 Buffalo Bills and the eighth-seeded 1983 Miami Dolphins advanced to the quarterfinals. They'r coming out of different brackets and can face each other in the final to determine the best draft class of all-time.

But an all-AFC East championship doesn't appear likely. The Dolphins are up against the top-seeded 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers, a class that produced four Pro Football Hall of Famers: receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, center Mike Webster and linebacker Jack Lambert.

The '83 Dolphins class featured quarterback Dan Marino, receiver Mark Clayton and punter Reggie Roby.

The '83 Bills are matched against a surprise quarterfinal entrant, the 22nd-seeded 1983 Denver Broncos.

The Bills have defensive end Bruce Smith, receiver Andre Reed and quarterback Frank Reich. But the '83 Broncos featured one of the greatest draft picks ever. Linebacker Karl Mecklenburg was selected in the 12th round. John Elway doesn't factor because he was drafted by the Baltimore Colts.

ESPN Stats & Information ranked the top draft class from each of the 32 clubs and seeded them into a five-round bracket to determine the best of all-time. SportsNation visitors are voting for the winners of each matchup.

The 1977 New York Jets and 1973 New England Patriots were eliminated in the tournament's first round.

ESPN Insiders can click on each team for fascinating, detailed analysis on each team, including honorable mention classes and the greatest draft picks in franchise history.

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