The Chicago Bears selected Mike Ditka from the University of Pittsburgh in the first round (5th overall) of the 1961 draft.
Ditka quickly changed the tight end position when he became one of the first to catch a large number passes.
Ditka earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1961 after catching 56 passes for 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Mike Ditka moved into a starting role with the Bears early in his rookie season and didn't miss another start with the team for 84 straight games.
Mike Ditka was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967 and spent two seasons with the club.
Ditka joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and in 1971 he helped lead the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl championship.
He completed his 12-year career with 427 receptions for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns.
Mike Ditka was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He was the first tight end to earn the honor.
Mike Ditka's Hall of Fame mural.
Mike Ditka's Hall of Fame bust.