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Thursday, April 2, 2009
The best drafts of all time

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

If you share an interest in quantitative analysis, this latest effort from ESPN Stats & Information is worth your time.

The research staff ranked more than 13,000 draft choices to identify the best draft class in the history of each NFL franchise, dating to the start of the modern draft in 1967. Each team has been seeded 1-32, and a "tournament" will ensue to determine the best draft class of all time. Fans can begin voting Thursday.

The rankings are based on the following criteria: Hall of Fame, MVP awards, first- and second-team All-Pro selections, Pro Bowls, offensive and defensive player of the year, rookie of the year awards, and participation in the Super Bowl.

You need an Insider subscription to view the entire project, but I can give you the results for each NFC North team:

Chicago: 1981. Includes offensive lineman Keith Van Horne (Round 1) and linebacker Mike Singletary (Round 2).

Detroit: 1989. Includes running back Barry Sanders (Round 1) and cornerback Ray Crockett (Round 4).

Green Bay: 1990. Includes safety LeRoy Butler (Round 2) and linebacker Bryce Paup (Round 6).

Minnesota: 1967. Includes defensive lineman Alan Page (Round 1) and defensive back Bob Bryant (Round 7).