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:
• Johnny Drake, B, Purdue
Most Recent Draft Pick:
• Stevie Brown, DB, Michigan (7th round, 251st overall, in 2010)
Hall of Famers Drafted:
• Bob Waterfield - 5th Round (42nd overall), 1944
• Elroy Hirsch - 1st Round (5th overall), 1945
• Tom Fears - 11th Round (103rd overall), 1945
• Dante Lavelli - 12th Round (103rd overall), 1947
• Norm Van Brocklin - 4th Round (37th overall), 1949 (Also drafted in 11th round - 78th overall - in 1949 AAFC Draft by the Chicago Hornets.)
• Andy Robustelli - 19th Round (228th overall), 1951
• David "Deacon" Jones - 14th Round (186th overall), 1961
• Merlin Olsen - 1st Round (3rd overall), 1962 (Also drafted in 1st round - 2nd overall - of 1962 AFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.)
• Tom Mack - 1st Round (2nd overall), 1966
• Jack Youngblood - 1st Round (20th overall), 1971
• Jackie Slater - 3rd Round (86th overall), 1976
• Eric Dickerson - 1st Round (2nd overall), 1983
First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:
• 2010 – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
• 1997 – Orlando Pace, T, Ohio State
• 1963 – Terry Baker, QB, Oregon State
• 1960 – Billy Cannon, RB, Louisiana State
• 1952 – Bill Wade, QB, Vanderbilt
• 1938 – Corbett Davis, FB, Indiana
Did you know?
Uncertainty surrounded the status of an expansion team in the NFL following the 1936 season. Some of the cities vying for a new franchise included Buffalo, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. The decision on where to locate the team was also in limbo based on what would happen to the Boston Redskins. That team's owner George Preston Marshall was insistent that the club would not return to Boston. Two options were that he would move the team to Philadelphia and merge with the Eagles; the other was that he would take his team to Washington. Had the merger taken place, the NFL would have probably granted a team to Cleveland and Buffalo. But, as it turned out, when the Redskins relocated to the nation's capital and only one team was added to the pro circuit. That marked the birth of the Cleveland Rams.
Fortunate for the new team was that the NFL had drafted players on behalf of a proposed expansion team during the 1937 NFL Draft held on December 12, 1936. The Rams began operation knowing that they would have Purdue's superstar back Johnny Drake in the fold. He proved his worth in the NFL after building a reputation of scoring TDs in college. He found the end zone 27 times in his five-year NFL career including leading the league in rushing scores in 1940.
"We worked our butts off to get him, but recruiting is a little intense down there (in Texas)," quipped Los Angeles Rams coach John Robinson. As coach of Southern Cal, he tried mightily in 1979 to land a running back by the name of Eric Dickerson. But the Sealy, Texas native opted for Southern Methodist.
So Robinson had to wait four more years before he could get Dickerson to play for him. By that time Robinson had become head coach of the Rams. L.A. traded with the Houston Oilers to move up to the number two spot of the 1983 NFL Draft. So confident were they that would land their prized pick, the Rams traded running back Wendell Tyler up the west coach to the San Francisco 49ers. After the Baltimore Colts took Stanford QB John Elway, the Rams quickly selected Dickerson.
He had a memorable tenure with the Rams as he rushed for a rookie record 1,808 yards followed by the all-time single season mark of 2,105 in his second year.
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Who in '11?
Post your comment about who you think the Rams should select with their first overall pick next week.