You don’t need to be a first-rounder to be on the NFL career TD list


(Terrell Owens is the only player in the NFL Career TD Top 10 list who wasn’t drafted in the first round)

Did you know that of the 55 players who have 80 or more career NFL touchdowns that over 40% of them were not first round draft choices?

The NFL career TD list Top Ten includes nine players who were first round draft choices, led by Jerry Rice, who had 208 career TDs. It also includes Terrell Owens, who ranks fifth on the list with 156 scores. Owens was a third round draft choice.

We can take this a step further and note that three players who scored 80 or more career TDs in the NFL were not even drafted. The three: Priest Holmes, who has 94 TDs, Antonio Gates, 87 TDs, and Joe Perry who had 84.

Here’s a look at the players with 80 or more career NFL TDs that were not first round draft choices. (Note: Don Hutson, who ranks 18th on the list with 103 touchdowns, played his career before the NFL draft was instituted. Cris Carter, who ranks 8th on the all-time list with 130 TDs, was selected in the 1987 supplemental draft.)

Career TDs, Player, Draft Round (overall selection)
156-Terrell Owens, 3rd round (89th pick overall)
130-Cris Carter, (1987 supplemental draft)
103-Don Hutson (no draft)
101-Steve Largent, 4th round (117th)
100-Curtis Martin, 3rd round (74th)
94-Priest Holmes, was not drafted
93-Jim Taylor, 2nd round (15th)
91-Bobby Mitchell, 7th round (84th)
91-Ricky Watters, 2nd round (45th)
91-Issac Bruce, 2nd round (33rd)
90-Leroy Kelly, 8th round (110th)
89-Corey Dillon, 2nd round (43rd)
88-Thurman Thomas, 2nd (40th)
88-Andre Reed, 4th round (86th)
88-Don Maynard, 9th round (109th)
87-Antonio Gates, was not drafted
86-Hines Ward, 3rd round (92nd)
85-Tommy McDonald, 3rd round (31st)
85-Mark Clayton, 8th round (223rd)
84-Herschel Walker, 5th round (114th)
84-Joe Perry, was not drafted
82-Art Powell, 11th round (123rd)
82-Pete Johnson, 2nd round (49th)
81-Maurice Jones-Drew, 2nd round (60th)
80-Clinton Portis, 2nd round (51st)

Note: Of the 2013 NFL draft choices who scored eight or more TDs, only one was a first round draft choice… Minnesota’s Cordarelle Patterson with nine. Five other rookies scored eight or more touchdowns, none of whom were first rounders: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (11 TDs, second round draft choice); Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh (8 TDs, second round draft choice); Zac Stacy, St. Louis (8 TDs, fifth round draft choice); Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati (8 TDs, second round draft choice); Keenan Allen, San Diego (8 TDs, third round draft choice).

Note #2: Of the 23 players who scored 10 or more touchdowns in the 2013 NFL season, two (Buffalo’s Fred Jackson and Denver’s Wes Welker) were undrafted free agents. Of the other 21 players, 10 were first rounders, three were second rounders, four were drafted in the third round, three were drafted in the fourth round, and one was a fifth-round draft choice.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


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