17. Emmitt Smith, 1990, Cowboys
The Cowboys should thank their lucky stars that the Bengals took linebacker James Francis, who’s the player Dallas really wanted in the First Round in 1990. Instead, they had to settle for Smith, who some believed was too small and too slow to replicate his college success with the Florida Gators in the NFL.
Of course, sometimes scouts get it wrong, and that was surely the case with Smith. He led the NFL in rushing four times and rushing touchdowns four times. He’s now the all-time leader in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, although, in fairness, he also has the most rushing attempts in league history. Of course, that’s a testament to Smith’s durability and longevity. Just for good measure, Smith has an MVP award and three Super Bowl rings.