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Draft trivia article from last year (1 Viewer)



Some people think Utah quarterback ALEX SMITH could be the No. 1 overall selection in next Saturday’s NFL Draft -- the 70th draft in NFL history.

No matter when he is chosen, Alex will add to the lead the "Smith" clan holds over the first 69 NFL Drafts as the most-selected surname – 251 times. That ranges from Alabama halfback RILEY SMITH by the Boston Redskins in the first NFL draft in 1936 to Georgia Tech wide receiver JONATHAN SMITH, the most recent Smith chosen (in round 7 last year by Buffalo).

A total of 21,575 selections* have been made since the first NFL Draft on February 8, 1936 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. The first was halfback JAY BERWANGER of the University of Chicago (by Philadelphia). The 21,575th was Colorado State linebacker ANDRE SOMMERSELL, the final player selected last year (by Oakland).

Over 69 years of drafting, there has been a wealth of information accumulated. A sampling:

Two of the top three winningest head coaches in NFL history were low-round draft choices.

DON SHULA, who leads all coaches with 347 victories, was a ninth-round selection as a defensive back by Cleveland in 1951. TOM LANDRY (halfback from Texas) was drafted in 1947 in round 18 by the New York Giants. Landry ranks third on the all-time win list with 270 victories. Second is GEORGE HALAS of the Chicago Bears (324 wins), a founder of the NFL in 1920 before the draft was instituted.

Six of the past seven No. 1 overall picks have been quarterbacks (other than Cleveland defensive end COURTNEY BROWN in 2000). The past four years mark the first time a quarterback has been chosen No. 1 overall in four consecutive years (2001-2004).

Since the T-formation became the standard offensive formation in the NFL in 1946, there have been six drafts in which a quarterback was not selected in the first round: 1947, 1974, 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1996.

The latest the first quarterback has been drafted was in 1988 when CHRIS CHANDLER of Washington was selected by Indianapolis with the 21st pick of the third round, 76th overall.

The Buffalo Bills have drafted eight players with the first name "Bill" or "Billy."

The Cleveland Browns have drafted 11 players with the surname "Brown."

In 69 years of the NFL Draft, the most selected surname has been "Smith" -- 251 times. The five most popular last names in NFL Draft history:


Smith 251

Williams 242

Johnson 229

Jones 198

Brown 182

Alphabetically leading the draft’s 21,575 selections is end PETE ABODIE (Tulane, 28th round by Cleveland in 1959), while defensive end LEW ZYZDA (Purdue, 16th round by Detroit in 1956) is last on the all-time draft alphabet.

Defensive end ERIC SWANN is the only player in NFL Draft history never to attend college.

Thirteen No. 1 overall picks are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Numerous Pro Football Hall of Fame members were low-round selections, such as JOHNNY UNITAS (9th round), ROGER STAUBACH (10th), "DEACON" JONES (14th), BART STARR (17th), RAYMOND BERRY (20th) and ROOSEVELT BROWN (27th).

Notre Dame has been well represented in nearly every draft, with at least two players selected every year except for two: 1937 (none), and 2000 (QB JARIOUS JACKSON).

A total of 16 players on the rosters of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX were non-Division I players, including Patriots kicker ADAM VINATIERI (South Dakota State), whose kick for the third time proved to be the deciding points in a Patriots Super Bowl victory.

The man believed to be the oldest offensive lineman in NFL history – 42-year-old RAY BROWN of the Washington Redskins – was an eighth-round selection almost 20 years ago (by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986). He started 14 of 16 games last season.

Forty years ago (1965), the Chicago Bears had arguably the greatest draft in NFL history. The Bears chose future Pro Football Hall of Famers consecutively in the first round – Illinois linebacker **** BUTKUS, No. 3 overall, and Kansas running back GALE SAYERS, No. 4.

It is believed that the first draft-day trade of draft choices in the same draft that involved no players occurred in 1972, when Oakland and New Orleans completed a trade that permitted the Raiders to move up in the second round.

The Raiders acquired the 33rd selection in the draft from New Orleans in exchange for the 39th and 74th selections. The Raiders then selected defensive tackle KELVIN KORVER from Northwestern, who played three seasons for them.

USC wide receiver MIKE WILLIAMS this year could add to the Trojans’ lead as the school with the most first-round selections in the history of the draft (61). The first-round rundown:


College Total

College Total

USC 61

Michigan State 31

Notre Dame 60

Nebraska 31

Ohio State 59

Florida State 27

Miami 56

LSU 27

Florida 40


Michigan 39

Arizona State 25

Tennessee 35

Texas A&M 24

Alabama 33

Colorado 23

Texas 33

Arkansas 20

Oklahoma 32

Pittsburgh 20

Penn State 32

Minnesota 19

Figured it's still an interesting read


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