Charley Trippi 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.
1945 - CHARLEY TRIPPI, HB, GEORGIA (CHICAGO CARDINALS)
How the Cardinals landed the No. 1 pick:
The Cardinals were planning ahead when they tapped Trippi as a future draft selection in 1945. The Cards, then located in Chicago, had not won a game in two years having gone 0-10 in 1943 and winless again in 1944 playing as combined team with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Scouting Trippi’s college career:
He had two stints at Georgia. It started with his star performance in the 1942 Rose Bowl before he entered the Air Force during World War II. He returned to Georgia in 1945 and one season later, the two-time All-America led the Bulldogs to its first undefeated season and a Sugar Bowl win.
With the NFL competing against the rival All-America Football Conference, Cardinals owner Charles Bidwill offered Trippi an astonishing four-year, $100,000 contract. He joined the team in 1947 and his versatility helped the Cardinals to the NFL title that season. It marked the franchise’s last NFL championship.
NFL Career highlights:
Trippi, an integral piece of the Cardinals’ famed “Dream Backfield,” rushed for 200 yards and scored a 44-yard TD run and 75-yard punt return as the Cardinals beat the Eagles in the 1947 NFL Championship Game. HOF Bio>>>
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