5 best No. 54 overall picks in NFL Draft history: Browns can find a stud

The 54th pick in the NFL Draft has had some success stories
Anqaun Boldin
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For the third year in a row — and hopefully the last for a long time — the Cleveland Browns enter the 2024 NFL Draft without a pick in Round 1. They traded back in 2022 and sent their second-round pick to the New York Jets in 2023 as part of the Elijah Moore trade, so they’ve also been without a pick in Round 2 for the past two seasons.

As of now, they're slated to pick at No. 54 overall. Given their lack of early selections over the past two years, it's been exciting to dig into the potential prospects they could draft. And if history is any indicator, the Browns could find a potential stud.

Here we look back at the history of the NFL Draft and highlight the top five players chosen at No. 54 all-time.

5. Darrin Smith, LB, Miami (Dallas Cowboys, 1993)

Taken out of Miami in 1993, Darrin Smith never developed into a superstar but he played in the NFL for 12 years and was a starter for the majority of his career.

Smith began with the Dallas Cowboys, Smith won two Super Bowls but wasn't re-signed in 1997. Dallas had a history of letting linebackers walk, and Dexter Coakley replaced Smith.

He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles for one season, the Seattle Seahawks for two, and finally spent five years with the New Orleans Saints. In all, Smith had 782 tackles, 24 sacks, 11 interceptions, and four defensive touchdowns. 

Not a bad career at all for Smith and even though they didn't keep him long-term, the team that originally selected him was happy with their results.