John Elway is one of only 14 players in the history of the National Football League draft to have gone from being the first overall pick of a draft to earning election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1983 - JOHN ELWAY, QB, STANFORD (BALTIMORE COLTS)
How the Colts landed the No. 1 pick:
The Colts finished 0-8-1 during the strike-shortened 1982 season. The club selected Stanford QB John Elway but when he indicated he would not play for the Colts, the team traded him to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Denver’s No. 1 pick T Chris Hinton, QB Mark Hermann and the Broncos’ first round pick in 1984 (Ron Solt-G-Maryland).
Scouting Elway’s college career:
Elway’s passing talents were honed in Stanford’s pro-style offense. By the end of his college career, he owned five major NCAA passing records. Elway was an all-around athlete who also played baseball and spent a season with the New York Yankees’ single-A farm team in Oneonta, N.Y.
Described as the “most publicized college prospect since Joe Namath in 1965,” Elway had to deal with that pressure while learning to adjust to the NFL. He started 10 games as a rookie but struggled for much of the year. He was replaced after five games before he returned to the starter’s role later in the season. He put together two impressive games in back-to-back victories during December that included him guiding the Broncos to a come-from-behind win over the Colts that clinched a playoff spot. Rallying from a 19-0 deficit, Elway threw for 345 yards and had three fourth quarter TDs in the 21-19 win. He finished his first season by completing 123 of 259 passes for 1,663 yards, 7 TDs and 14 interceptions.
NFL Career highlights:
A master of comebacks, Elway recorded 47 fourth-quarter comebacks during his career. In 1998, he became just the second player in NFL history to reach the 50,000-yard passing plateau. HOF Bio>>>
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