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18 incredible facts you didn't know about the NFL draft
Posted 10:42 pm, 11/08/2018
18 incredible facts you didn't know about the NFL draft In the 1930s, team owner Bert Bell (who would later become NFL commissioner) was sick of his team losing and pitched an idea that would theoretically spread the wealth in the NFL: a draft of college players in which teams would pick based on the reverse order of finish from the year before. Said Bell:"Gentlemen, I've always had the theory that pro football is like a chain. The league is no stronger than its weakest link and I've been a weak link for so long that I should know. Every year the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Four teams control the championships, the Giants and Redskins in the East, and the Bears and Packers in the West. Because they are successful, they keep attracting the best college players in the open market - which makes them successful. I propose a change."From there, the NFL draft was born. Granted, it didn't initially help the Eagles - they'd finish last or second-to-last in the next seven seasons and every title was won by the Giants, Redskins, Bears or Packers.The franchise signed none of the nine. Philly wasn't alone though. Only 27 of the 81 picks from the '36 draft played an NFL game. Among those who didn't, a No. 3 pick named Bill Shakespeare and Bear Bryant, an end from Alabama who decided to get into coaching.Teams still selected in reverse order of finish but one team got an additional selection at the top. The team wasMarkus Kuhn Authentic Jersey
decided by a random lottery that could be won by any team, but only once. After 12 years, every team had received the bonus pick and the system was disbanded. So, no, the catch rule isn't the stupidest thing the NFL has ever done.We're counting shoo-in inductee Peyton Manning. Among players drafted since 2004, only Eli Manning, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck seem to have a realistic shot of making it to Canton. It's too early to speculate about Jadeveon Clowney, Jared Goff or Myles Garrett.Three of the eight selections made the Hall of Fame (Ron Yary, O.J. Simpson, TerryTom Brady Authentic Jersey
Bradshaw), four of the others made the Pro Bowl and the last one, Jim Plunkett, quarterbacked two teams to a Super Bowl title and was the game's MVP once. The worst stretch? Probably from 1990-1995 when there were two major busts (Steve Emtman, Ki-Jana Carter), three major disappointments (Jeff George, Russell Maryland, Dan Wilkinson) and Drew Bledsoe.AP ImagesObviously we're not counting recent drafts.The 1984 draft gets a huge asterisk though. In June of that year, the NFL held a special supplemental draft for players who'd already signed with the USFL or CFL. From that draft, Steve Young, Gary Zimmeman and Reggie White were selected. The regular draft featured Irving Fryar, Dean Steinkuhler, Carl Banks, Kenny Jackson and Bill Maas as the top five picks, respectively.The 1992 draft has no such excuses: The top five picks were Steve Emtman, Quentin Coryatt, Sean Gilbert, Desmond Howard and Terrell Buckley. The most productive players taken at any part of the draft were Jimmy Smith, Troy Vincent, Levon Kirkland, Darren Woodson and Brad Johnson.No quarterback was selected in the first https://www.robgronk...-1_74.html round, one of only five times that's happened in the common draft. There wasn't a QB taken in the second round either. It took 68 picks for the first one to be selected, the latest in history. With that selection (the 13th of the third round), the Cardinals took Tom Tupa. He'd later make an All-Pro team. As a punter.Robert Deutsch, USA TODAYThey were: Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. (Steve Young was the first player taken in the aforementioned 1984 supplemental draft.) The lowest drafted quarterback to win a Super Bowl is Bart Starr, who was taken No. 200 in 1956. That's one spot lower than Tom Brady, who went No. 199 in the 2000 draft. Then there's Kurt Warner, who wasn't taken at all in 1994 and went on to win a Super Bowl six years later.The top three QBs that year were Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. Less successful were the next 14, which included J.P. Losman, Craig Krenzel, Jim Sorgi, Jeff Smoker, John Navarre and Bradlee Van Pelt. The fewest quarterbacks taken in a draft is seven, which https://www.robgronk...-1_37.html happened in 2015, a year in which the top two overall picks were both quarterbacks.That dark time was 1998.Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesShaun Ellis, John Abraham, Chad Pennington and Anthony Becht were actually a respectable haul that year, serving as the backbone of all the sort-of-okay Jets teams of the aughts.It wasn't until 55 years later, when he was flipping through his local paper, that an elderly Michael saw a list of every Syracuse player selected by the NFL and learned he'd once been drafted.The scheduling went unappreciated by the NCAA - which is enough of a reason to consider doing it again. Later on, the AFL moved its draft to the same day as the NFL's.One excursion had 27 players staying in a hotel, unknown to AFL officials. NFL historian Michael MacCambridge called the program "equal parts auction, fraternity rush and velvet-gloved kidnapping."Astronaut and Houston native Frank Borman actually beamed a message from space during the Gemini 7 mission imploring a top prospect to sign with the AFL's Oilers. (He didn't.)NASAAfter a number of back-and-forths, Pete Rozelle ordered Los Angeles to make their second-to-last pick and instituted the "Salata Rule," (named after the Mr. Irrelevant founder) which dictated that a team with the last pick must use it.The team was debating between Booker Reese (a pass rusher from Bethune-Cookman) and Sean Farrell (a Penn State offensive lineman). Tampa Bay executive Ken Herock explained the situation to Sports Illustrated years later:"We thought we needed both of those players, but after we mulled it over and discussed it, the selection was to go with Booker Reese. So I told Pat, I said, 'Listen, Pat, you've got two names there.' I said 'We're not going with Sean Farrell, we're going with Booker Reese. Turn it in.' But he didn't hear the Booker Reese part of it because of the noise. He took it that we were going with Sean Farrell and turned it in.''Well, that just seems intentionally confusing.Two of those - Art Monk and Darrell Green - became Hall of Famers. The team liked to wheel and deal so much that coach George Allen was once fined $5,000 for trading the same pick to two different teams. The NFL didn't learn about it for a year.MORE:Lindsey VonnJulian Edelman Authentic Jersey