The first ever NFL Draft took place in 1936. That draft only consisted of 81 players. Four of those players would become Hall Of Famers. Since then the NFL has developed the draft into a giant event. Another one of the players selected in that draft, Paul “Bear” Bryant would later give up playing football to become a coach. He would become one of the greatest college football coaches ever while at the University of Alabama. There have been many great draft classes in the years since but they all pale in comparison to one in particular.
The 1983 NFL Draft took place on Arpil 26th and 27th of that year in New York City. It included twelves rounds and 335 players were selected. Over 30 of those players selected would go to the Pro Bowl. Eric Dickerson, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green and Richard Dent who were all selected that day would later be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Other than all of the things I have mentioned the draft is remembered for another reason, the Quarterbacks.
This was the best draft class of quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. It also holds the record for most quarterbacks selected in the first round with six. Three of those six would make it into the Hall Of Fame. The standout quarterbacks of the class were by far John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
John Elway (Getty Images)
John Elway was taken with the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts. He was eventually traded before the season to Denver due to his unwillingness to play for the Colts head coach Frank Kush. During his career he established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When his career was over he won two Super Bowl Championships and was inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2004.
Jim Kelly (Getty Images)
With the fourteenth overall pick the Buffalo Bills selected Jim Kelly. Kelly played the season prior in the United States Football League after leaving the University Of Miami. Of the quarterbacks drafted that day Kelly made more Super Bowl appearances than any one else. Kelly lead the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl from 1990 through 1993. Unfortunately the Bills never won any of those Super Bowls. Nonetheless Kelly proved himself to be a great quarterback and was Inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2002.
Dan Marino (Getty Images)
The final legendary quarterback taken in this draft was Dan Marino. He was projected to go early in the first round but fell back on a lot of teams boards due to reports of him using marijuana in college. The Miami Dolphins were willing to take a chance on this young man with a powerful arm and selected him with the twenty seventh overall pick. Marino played 17 season but only made one trip to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins lost that game to the San Fransisco 49ers. Marino did however finish career holding almost every quarterback record that existed. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2005.
An interesting note about this draft is all of the first round quarterbacks went to AFC teams. Also the three half Of Fame quarterbacks all played for only one team during their NFL career.
The Draft is such an intriguing event. Full of Pro Bowlers, Busts and Hall Of Famers. There will probably never be a quarterback class this good again. Some might argue that the 2012 class will stand the test of time but until it does the 1983 Draft will remain the best ever.
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Tagged 1936, 2002, 2004, 2005, alabama, bear, best, bills, Broncos, colts, dan marino, dolphins, draft, drafted, first, first round, greatest, hall of famers, jim kelly, john elway, legends, marijuana, Miami, NFL, paul bryant, picked, pitt, players, pro bowl, quarterback, super bowl, who was the best
Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select from Michigan, quarterback Tom Brady. Those words spoken by then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would change the future of the the Patriots and the NFL. Tom Brady has gone on to have a great career and is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of not only his era but in football history. Brady has led the Patriots to 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Championships. He is the biggest late round draft pick ever, being selected in the 6th round. But their were 6 QB’s selected before Brady. Here is a look at the six that came before Brady and the teams that missed out on greatness.
18th Overall Pick – Chad Pennington, New York Jets
Pennington was the most hyped QB going into the draft. Pennington had a solid college career with Marshall. Pennington retired after the 2010 season. He played for the Jets the majority of his career and played his final 3 season with the Miami Dolphins. Pennington would play in 4 post seasons and had a post season record of 2 wins and 4 loses. Pennington did make history during his career, holding the record for career passing percentage among QB’s with more than 1500 pass attempts at 66.0%.
No Quarterbacks Drafted
65th Overall Pick – Giovanni Carmazzi, San Francisco 49ers
Carmazzi played at Hofstra during his college years. He would never play in a regular season NGL game. Carmazzi finished his pro football career in the CFL in 2005.
75th Over All Pick – Chris Redman, Baltimore Ravens
Redman has played for the Ravens, Patriots, Titans and most recently the Falcons before his release in August of 2012. He was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl ring as a backup to Trent Dilfer on the 2000 Ravens championship team. Redman would best be described as a career back up QB.
No Quarterbacks Drafted
163rd Overall Pick – Tee Martin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tee Martin played only one game for the Steelers and never started a game in his career. He spent the 2002 season in NFL Europe playing for the Rhein Fire. In 2003 he signed with the Oakland Raiders for his final NFL season. Martin ended his professional career in 2005 as a part of the CFL. In total Martin played only 3 games in the NFL.
168th Overall Pick – Marc Bulger, New Orleans Saints
Marc Bulger was the only Pro Bowl QB selected before Tom Brady. In the first of his two Pro Bowl appearances Bulger won the MVP award in that game. He went on a crazy ride after the draft by signing with the Saints, Falcons and the Ravens before the 2000 season began. Bulger took over at QB for the Rams when Kurt Warner retired. Bulger retired in 2010 with the Ravens.
183 Overall Pick – Spergon Wynn, Cleveland Browns
Spergon Wynn spent his career as a back up QB. He played for 2 NFL teams and 4 CFL teams. Wynn retired from football in 2006.
The list QB’s selected before Tom Brady is pretty shocking. Only one of those players made it to a Pro Bowl. The majority were career back up QB’s and none of these players are still professionally active. There was a lot of belief that Brady’s frame was not built for the NFL which was the greatest ding against him. The Patriots saw something in Brady that no other team did and they were able to reap the benefits of that faith. When Tom Brady retires he will undoubtedly head to the Hall Of Fame and the history books. While all of the others before him are just history.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
Tagged 2000, 49ers, 6, browns, bust, busts, cfl, chad pennington, chris redman, doubters, giovanni carmazzi, great pick, hall of fame, jets, legend, marc bulger, miss, new england patriots, NFL, nfl draft, pro bowl, qbs, quaerterback, ravens, ring, saints, selected before, spergon wynn, steelers, super bowl, tee martin, tom bady, who did they select