There have been 85 players selected with the 27th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Typically, the 27th pick belongs to a team that is coming off of a strong season; hence why they are picking near the end of the first round. And while many of the draft's top prospects are typically gone by then, there have been several productive NFL players who were had with the 27th pick.
We're breaking down the best draft picks of all time at each spot from 32-1. The entire rundown of the top-five picks at each spot can be found at our hub of all-time selections. This year, the Ravens are picking 27th, and our draft writers have pointed to prospects like Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau and wide receivers Terrance Marshall (LSU) or Kadarius Toney (Florida) as players who could go there.
In recent years, cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (2011), Byron Jones (2015), Tre'Davious White (2017) guard Kevin Zeitler (2012), and defensive tackle Kenny Clark (2016) were the 27th picks in their respective drafts. The 27th pick in the 2001 draft, running back Michael Bennett, jumped out to a successful start in Minnesota before injuries hindered his productivity. Two years later, fellow running back Larry Johnson -- also selected with the 27th pick -- emerged as a two-time Pro Bowler during the mid 2000s. During the 2006 and '07 seasons, Johnson's 3,539 rushing yards and 37 rushing touchdowns were first and second in the NFL during that span, respectively.
As good as those players are/were, they did not make the cut as the top-five players ever taken with the 27th pick. Here are the five players that did, starting with one of three running backs in history that have rushed for over 6,000 yards in both college and in the NFL.
5. DeAngelo Williams, RB
Following a stellar career at Memphis, Williams was a complementary piece during his first two years with the Panthers. His breakout season took place in 2008, when Williams rushed for 1,515 yards while scoring a league-high 18 rushing touchdowns. Williams earned Pro Bowl honors the following season after rushing for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns.
Williams had several more productive years with the Panthers before he was released after the 2014 season. In free agency, Williams inked a two-year deal with the Steelers to back up Le'Veon Bell. But after Bell suffered a season-ending injury midway through the 2015 season, Williams took over the starting role. In 10 starts, Williams rushed for 907 yards while leading the league with 11 rushing touchdowns. He also caught a career-high 40 passes for 367 yards. Williams' play that season helped the Steelers win the AFC's sixth playoff seed.
With Bell suspended at the start of the 2016 season, Williams amassed 347 total yards and three touchdowns during Pittsburgh's first three games. And while an injury forced him to miss seven games, Williams returned to score his first career playoff touchdown in Pittsburgh's AFC title game loss to New England. All told, Pittsburgh went 10-4 with Williams in the starting lineup. Williams' 8,096 career rushing yards (48th in NFL history) is more than Hall of Fame running backs Larry Csonka, Terrell Davis, Leroy Kelly, John Henry Johnson, and Floyd Little, among others.
4. DeAndre Hopkins, WR
Hopkins' breakout 2012 season at Clemson (he caught 82 passes for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Tigers) led to him being the second receiver selected in the 2013 draft. Hopkins tallied over 2,000 receiving yards in his first two seasons before his breakout 2015 season that saw him catch 111 passes for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Texans. In 2017, Hopkins started a streak of three consecutive All-Pro campaigns after leading the NFL with 13 touchdown catches that season. Hopkins set career highs with 115 receptions and 1,572 yards in 2018, the third and second-highest totals in the NFL, respectively.
Hopkins was traded from Houston to Arizona last offseason. During his first seasons in the desert, Hopkins caught 115 passes for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. Hopkins should have even bigger numbers in 2021 as he continues to strengthen his rapport with quarterback Kyler Murray.
3. Devin McCourty, DB
2010 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (Rutgers)
Team: Patriots (2010-present)
McCourty was the sixth of eight defensive backs taken in the first round of the 2010 draft. One of Bill Belichick's most successful draft picks, McCourty earned Pro Bowl honors during his rookie season after picking off seven passes and breaking up 10 more. McCourty helped New England reach the Super Bowl during his second season after recording 83 tackles, two interceptions and 13 passes defensed.
A cornerback during his first three seasons, McCourty switched to free safety before the start of the 2013 season. Following his position switch, McCourty helped New England win three Super Bowls and four AFC titles in a five-year span. He earned his second Pro Bowl selection in 2016 while helping the Patriots win their second Super Bowl of the decade. McCourty won a Super Bowl with his brother, cornerback Jason McCourty, after the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
McCourty's 92 pass breakups is the highest total in Patriots history. His 644 tackles is the third-highest total in franchise history. McCourty is currently in a tie with Hall of Famer Mike Haynes for sixth in Patriots history in interceptions (28).
2. Roddy White, WR
2005 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (UAB)
Team: Falcons (2005-15)
White's success at UAB in 2004 -- he caught 71 passes for 1,452 yards and 14 touchdowns that season -- led to him becoming the sixth and final receiver taken in the first round of the 2005 draft. The five receivers chosen before him? Braylon Edwards (third overall), Troy Williamson (seventh overall), Mike Williams (10th overall), Matt Jones (21st overall), and Mark Clayton (22nd overall) averaged 200 receptions for 2,756 yards and 18 touchdowns per season over the course of their careers. During his 11-year career with the Falcons, White caught 808 passes for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns.
White didn't let his smallish stature (he checked in at 6-foot and 211 pounds) stop him from being one of the most productive receivers of his era. During a six-year span from 2007-2012, White averaged 92 receptions for 1,296 yards and eight touchdowns per season. A four-time Pro Bowler during that span, White earned All-Pro honors in 2010 after leading the league with 115 receptions. White's success helped the Falcons win two division titles and four playoff berths during his time in Atlanta.
White is one of 49 receivers in NFL history with at least 10,000 career receiving yards. The second leading receiver in Falcons history, White has three more career touchdowns than his former teammate, Julio Jones.
1. Dan Marino, QB
1983 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (Pitt)
Team: Dolphins (1983-99)
A member of the NFL's famed quarterback class of 1983, Marino was the sixth and final quarterback taken in the first round. After leading Pitt to an 11-1 record and a Sugar Bowl win as a junior, Marino's underwhelming senior season was one of the reasons why he was selected behind fellow quarterbacks John Elway (first overall), Todd Blackledge (seventh overall), Jim Kelly (14th overall), Tony Eason (15th overall), and Ken O'Brien (24th overall). To the eternal regret of Steelers founder Art Rooney, the Steelers passed on drafting Marino (a Pittsburgh native) with the 21st pick.
While Elway and Kelly carved out their own Hall of Fame careers, Marino quickly made the 24 other teams that passed on him pay. Following a successful rookie season, Marino destroyed the NFL's passing records in 1984. He threw for then league records 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns while winning league MVP. Against the Steelers in the AFC Championship, Marino threw for 421 yards and four touchdowns in the highest-scoring AFC title game in history. In Super Bowl XIX, Marino played gamely but was unable to will his team past Joe Montana and the league's dominant team of the decade, the 49ers.
Miami never made it back to a Super Bowl, but Marino nevertheless continued to churn out a legendary career. A five-time passing champion, Marino also led the league in touchdown passes each year from 1984-86. In 1994, Marino won Comeback Player of the Year following a successful return after tearing his Achilles tendon the previous season. His touchdown pass off of a fake spike against the Jets that season is the stuff of legend. Marino passed Fran Tarkenton as the league's all-time career passing leader the following season.
A first-ballot member of the Hall of Fame, Marino is sixth all-time in career passing yards (61,361) and passing touchdowns (420). Arguably the best pure passer in league history, Marino was included in the NFL 100 All-Time Team in 2019.