Draft countdown: Pick No. 24

Posted April 04, 2011 @ 9:19 a.m.
Posted By Alex Mayster

Overview: There is no shortage of star power coming from the 24th overall pick. The defending Super Bowl MVP was selected at that spot, as well two of the best running backs the league has to offer. It doesn't end there, as PFW found some of the league's top talent came from the No. 24 spot, which is held by the Saints this year:

2010: Cowboys select Oklahoma St. WR Dez Bryant
Bryant looks like an elite receiver and already has shown signs of becoming just that. Immaturity is a concern, along with off-the-field issues, but he is more talented than WR Miles Austin and adds explosiveness in the return game.

2009: Falcons select Mississippi DT Peria Jerry
Jerry missed most of the 2009 season with a leg injury and wasn't completely healthy in '10, although he did play in every game. He hasn't been overly impressive when on the field but there is still hope that he can turn things around.

2008: Titans select East Carolina RB Chris Johnson
One of the greatest picks in recent years, Johnson was a steal with the No. 24 pick. As one of the fastest backs in the league, Johnson has made the Pro Bowl every year he has been in the league and rushed for more than 2,000 yards, with 11 consecutive games of more than 100 yards, in '09.

2007: Patriots select Miami (Fla.) DB Brandon Meriweather
A two-time Pro Bowler, Meriweather has excelled at playing over the top and making hard hits. He has 12 interceptions in the past three seasons and is considered the best safety in the Patriots' organization. That said, an off-the-field incident this offseason might have made his standing with the team tenuous.

2006: Bengals select South Carolina CB Johnathan Joseph
Joseph's career has been hampered by injuries, but he has been a good cover corner when given the chance on the field. Joseph is inconsistent at times, but seems to have a nose for the ball, making nine interceptions in the past two seasons.

2005: Packers select California QB Aaron Rodgers
Last year's Super Bowl MVP is playing as well as any quarterback in the league coming off a brilliant playoff run. He narrowly missed throwing for 4,000 yards for the third consecutive season in 2010, and has done nothing but impress since taking over for Brett Favre.

2004: Rams select Oregon State RB Steven Jackson
The Rams' career rushing leader has been the total package throughout his time in St. Louis. He has rushed for more than 1,000 yards every season since '05, has been named to three Pro Bowls and is an excellent receiving option out of the backfield.

2003: Colts select Iowa TE Dallas Clark
As one of the NFL's most prolific pass-catching tight ends, Clark has been a staple in Indianapolis since the day he arrived. His best season came in '09, when he caught 100-1,106-10 at the age of 30. Injuries have been an issue, however, and his absence after suffering a season-ending hand/wrist injury in ’10 severely hampered the Colts' offense.

2002: Ravens select Miami (Fla.) SS Ed Reed
Reed is one of the best safeties to ever play the game. The seven-time Pro Bowler has been making an impact since Day One and has shown no signs of slowing down. He has 54 career interceptions, eight of which came in an injury-shortened ’10 season in which he only played the last 10 games.

2001: Broncos select Minnesota CB Willie Middlebrooks
Middlebrooks made two starts in his career and never developed into an effective player. After spending four seasons with the Broncos, Middlebrooks played with the 49ers for a year before calling it quits.