3) Mark Eaton in Round 4 (1982)
If snagging Gobert at No. 27 was crazy, the team’s drafting of Mark Eaton must have been a case of divine inspiration. After two good years of JUCO ball, Eaton transferred to UCLA and played in just 30 games from 1980-82, averaging 1.8 points and less than seven minutes per contest.
Nevertheless, former Jazz GM and coach Frank Layden liked his height and decided to take a flyer on the mechanic-turned-hoopster in the fourth round of the 1982 NBA Draft.
Eaton would go on to become one of the most intimidating defensive forces in the history of the league.
The 7-foot-4 center led the league in blocked shots on four occasions and averaged more than four per game in four different seasons. To this day, he holds the records for total blocks in a season (456 during the ’84-85 campaign), as well as blocks per game in a season (5.56 in that same year) and for his career (3.5).
Eaton twice received the DPOY trophy, was a five-time All-Defensive team selection and represented the Jazz in the 1989 All-Star Game.
Next: No. 2