BACKDRAFT SERIES: For 16 days leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, we're rolling out capsule draft histories of each of the 32 NFL Teams.
2011 Draft Position:
First-Ever Draft Pick:
• Monty Stickles, E, Notre Dame (1960 AFL Draft). The AFL's first draft had a provision where each of the eight clubs received one "territorial" or "bonus" pick.
Most Recent Draft Pick:
• Dedrick Epps, TE, Miami (7th round, 235th overall, in 2010)
Hall of Famers Drafted:
• Jimmy Johnson – 4th Round, 1961 AFL Draft. (Also drafted in 1st Round, 6th overall, by San Francisco 49ers in NFL Draft.)
• Dan Fouts - 3rd Round (84th overall), 1973
• Fred Dean - 2nd Round (33rd overall), 1975
• Kellen Winslow - 1st Round (13th overall), 1979
First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:
• 2004 – Eli Manning, QB, Mississippi
Did you know?
The Chargers of the late '70s and into the 1980s were known for their high-flying "Air Coryell" offense. But, the other side of the line had some dominating players as well. Three of the Chargers' more notable stars on D were drafted in the first two rounds of the 1975 NFL Draft.
San Diego selected Gary "Big Hands" Johnson out of Grambling with the eighth pick of the draft. Then they added DT Louie Kelcher and future Hall of Famer Fred Dean three picks apart in the second round.
The 1990 NFL Draft is remembered as the "year of the linebacker" and the "year of the juniors." Seven linebackers were taken in the first round, all in the first 18 picks. That year also marked the first time that juniors were eligible for the draft.
This spelled good news for the Chargers as they nabbed USC linebacker Junior Seau with the fifth pick overall. Although most had him rated ahead of Alabama's Keith McCants, he landed with the Chargers only after he told the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the night before the draft that he was a self-professed "mama's boy" and wanted to get the chance to play for his hometown Chargers. So the Bucs who owned the fourth pick, decided not to risk the hassle and selected McCants. Seau fell into the lap of the Chargers as the fifth pick.
As for an underclassmen adjusting to the NFL, an exuberant Seau shared, "We're lacking experience. I'll be the first to say it. The lack of experience you can't make up. We're real young guys. But I'll add personality to the Chargers. I'm a guy who can learn a lot and just wants to have fun."
As it turned out 15 of the 38 underclassmen were selected in the draft which led then Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville to surmise, "You take the juniors out of this draft and it is a mediocre one at best."
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Who in '11?
Post your comment with who you think the Chargers should select in the first round on April 28. Why?
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