In the 1953 National Football League Draft, the New York Giants selected a 1952 Black All-America tackle from little-known Morgan State College in the 27th round. His name was Roosevelt Brown and his youth and relative inexperience were obvious when he joined the Giants for his first summer training camp.
But even in the very early stages, Giants coach Steve Owen liked what he saw in Brown – his 6-3, 255-pound size, his powerful arms, his trim 29-inch waistline, his willingness to work hard and his ability to learn. So Rosey Brown, a true “sleeper pick” got his chance to make the Giants squad and he made it big. Soon he was the starting left offensive tackle and it was a job he held for 13 years until he retired following the 1965 season.
Rosey was a classic pass blocker and, on running plays, he could make the blocks that opened gaping holes in the enemy ranks. And he could do something few tackles are called upon to do – pull and lead on wide ground plays such as a pitchout to the halfback.
During the height of Rosey's career, the Giants were enjoying an unusual string of successes with six divisional crowns and one NFL title in an eight-year stretch. While no one player can be credited with the Giants' great victory ride, Rosey deserves as much credit as anyone. For eight straight years, he was a virtually unanimous All-NFL choice and was named to nine Pro Bowls. In the 1956 NFL Championship Game, Rosey handled the vaunted Chicago Bears' defenses so well that he awarded Lineman of the Game honors. In 1975, Rosey Brown became only the second player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the merits of his offensive line play alone.
Full Name: Roosevelt Brown, Jr.
Birthdate: October 20, 1932
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia
Died: June 9, 2004
High School: Jefferson (Charlottesville, VA)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 11, 1975
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 2, 1975
Presenter: Talmadge L. Hill, Brown's Coach at Morgan St.
Other Members of Class of 1975: George Connor, Dante Lavelli, Lenny Moore
Pro Career: 13 seasons, 162 games
Drafted: 27th round (321st overall) by New York Giants
Uniform Number: 79