Pro Football Draft History: The 1990s

The 1990sLike so many "dynasty teams," the Dallas Cowboys were a great example of building through the draft. With the acquisition of many extra picks, the team returned to dominance in the 1990s as they built through the draft and assembled a team that won three Super Bowls during the decade.

The number of rounds in the draft was reduced to eight round in 1993 and then the current seven rounds one year later.

Select among the years below to see more in-depth coverage of that year's draft:

1990Linebacker Marvcus Patton followed in his mother’s footsteps! Drafted in the 8th round by Buffalo, he became a professional football player just like his mother, who starred for the Los Angeles Dandelions in the 1970s.
1991The Dallas Cowboys continued to build through the draft with 18 selections. Among those drafted were first-rounders Russell Maryland, Alvin Harper, and Kelvin Pritchett; Erik Williams in the 3rd round, Leon Lett in the 7th round, and future Super Bowl MVP Larry Brown in the 12th round.
1992The Washington Redskins traded picks with the Cincinnati Bengals to obtain Heisman Trophy-winning wide-receiver/kick-returner Desmond Howard. As a member of the Green Bay Packers, Howard was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXI.
1993With the 40th pick overall, the New York Giants grabbed defensive end Michael Strahan in the 2nd round. The Giants also picked up linebacker Jessie Armstead in the 8th and final round.
1994The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted center Jim Pyne in the 7th round. He became the third generation of his family to play in the NFL. His grandfather played for the 1931 Providence Steam Rollers and his father was a member of the 1965 Boston Patriots.
1995The Denver Broncos found a gem in the 6th round when they selected Georgia running back Terrell Davis as the 196th player overall.
1996The Baltimore Ravens’ two first-round picks became the foundation of their Super Bowl team – tackle Jonathan Ogden and linebacker Ray Lewis.
1997Orlando Pace became the first offensive lineman taken first overall in the draft in 30 seasons. Class of 2001 enshrinee Ron Yary was the last when the Vikings took him first overall in 1968.
1998The Indianapolis Colts selected quarterback Peyton Manning as the first player overall. Peyton’s father Archie, also a quarterback, was selected second overall in 1971 by the New Orleans Saints.
1999Five quarterbacks were taken in the first round including the first three picks. Those first round QBs were Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and Cade McNown.


1990s Draft Notes


 Four out of the ten first overall picks in the 1990s were quarterbacks. Jeff George (Colts, ’90), Drew Bledsoe (Patriots, ’93), Peyton Manning (Colts’ ’98), and Tim Couch (Browns’ 99).

 Six of the 10 Super Bowl MVPs during the 1990s were first-round draft picks. Two of the MVPs (Mark Rypien and Terrell Davis) were sixth round picks while Larry Brown was a last-round (12th round) pick. Only Kurt Warner, who led the Rams to victory following the 1999 season, was not drafted.