Bednarik goes No. 1

Hall of Famers Published on : 1/1/2005

Chuck Bednarik 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.


How the Eagles landed the No. 1 pick:

From 1947 through 1958, the NFL instituted a bonus pick into the draft. It was awarded randomly and once a club was awarded the pick, they were eliminated from future draws.

Scouting Bednarik’s college career:

The most highly touted player coming out of college at the time, Bednarik was a two-way star at Penn. An All-America at center, he also excelled at linebacker on defense and intercepted seven passes in 1946 and six more the following year. In 1948, he was named the College Player of the Year by numerous organizations.

Rookie debut:

Bednarik battled sickness to start his rookie season. He ignored a high fever to play a key role in the Eagles win in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Annual Classic preseason game just before the start of the regular season. Soon thereafter, he found his permanent spot in the Eagles roster and, like in college, starred on both sides of the ball.

NFL Career highlights:

The last of the two-way stars in the NFL, Bednarik played 58 minutes in the Eagles’ 1960 NFL Championship win. HOF Bio>>>