The best draft classes in NFC West history?
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
ESPN Stats & Information ranked the 49ers' 1981 draft class as the best since 1967 among current NFC West teams using a formula rewarding points for career milestones.
The formula values only past performance, one reason Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin do not yet qualify among the top 10 draft choices in Cardinals history. This package is available to Insider subscribers, but I'll summarize the NFC West results here:
- 1981 49ers draft (5th overall): Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright and Carlton Williamson helped make this one of the NFL's best draft classes over the last four decades.
- 1971 Rams draft (12th): Isiah Robertson and Jack Youngblood were both first-round choices that year.
- 1971 Cardinals draft (23rd): Dan Dierdorf and Mel Gray enjoyed long and productive careers.
- 1990 Seahawks draft (26th): Cortez Kennedy and Chris Warren set apart this class.