Campbell goes No. 1

Hall of Famers Published on : 1/1/2005

Earl Campbell 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 Oilers landed the No. 1 pick:

The Oilers dealt tight end Jimmie Giles and four draft picks – No. 1 in 1978 (Doug Williams, QB, Grambling, 17th overall), No. 2 in 1978 (Brett Moritz, G, Nebraska, 44th overall), No. 3 in 1979 (Reggie Lewis, DE, North Texas State, 78th overall) and No. 5 in 1979 (Chuck Fusina, QB, Penn State, 133rd overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the first overall pick that Tampa owned after finishing 2-12 in 1977.

Scouting Campbell’s college career:

Campbell, the highly-touted fullback from Texas, was the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner. A four-time consensus All-Southwest Conference pick, he rushed for 4,444 yards during his college career that included topping the 100-yard mark 18 times.

Rookie debut:

Campbell made an immediate impact in the NFL as he rushed for 137 yards and scored on a 73-yard run in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. He went on to gain 1,450 yards that year to become the first rookie since Jim Brown in 1957 to lead the NFL in rushing. He also scored 13 TDs. For his efforts, he was voted to the Pro Bowl and named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, All-NFL, and Rookie of the Year. His rookie season was highlighted by a memorable 199-yard, 4-TD performance against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.

NFL Career highlights:

Campbell had an incredible three-year period to start his career where he led the NFL in rushing, was named All-Pro and AP Offensive Player of the Year each season. HOF Bio>>>