In 1979 Monte Coleman was the Best Draft Pick, and the Biggest Steal

Tweet Joe Montana may have been the best player, but Coleman was the best draft pick. Three 1979 draftees later entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Joe Montana, Dan Hampton, and Kellen Winslow Sr.   Montana’s legacy speaks for itself, and he left the game generally considered the greatest quarterback in the history of the game.  Dan Hampton was the most important defender on one of the greatest defenses ever,…

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1978 Steal of the Draft is a Hardy Boys Mystery

Tweet How did Jets quarterback Pat Ryan playin 145 games, but start only nineteen? New York Jets quarterback Pat Ryan surprised me as much as any player I ever researched.  I never followed Jets football too much, but I kept hearing about Pat Ryan in the corner of my ear.  He seemed to play forever, and I imagined Ryan and Richard Todd battling it out for the starting job on…

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Rod Martin was the Steal of the Draft in 1977

Tweet The 1977 Raiders draft class was their best ever, and Rod Martin was a big part of the greatness.   Minnesota’s Scott Studwell stands as the best draft pick in the 1977 draft.  Oakland’s Rod Martin stands as the biggest steal of the draft although Studwell counts as a steal as well.  Were either one of them the best player in the draft?  Hard to say.  Oakland also drafted…

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“Only if I Win.” Donald Trump

Tweet For Trump and his fellow travelers, it doesn’t matter how you play the game as long as you win. In 1983 many people in the U.S. expressed outrage when the Australia II defeated the American yacht Liberty to win the America’s Cup yacht race.  Americans defended the America’s Cup twenty-four consecutive times, a span of one hundred thirty-two years.  Until the Australia II’s victory most people in the U.S….

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1976: Cardinals DB Lee Nelson was Steal of the Draft

Tweet Even when they do it right, the Cardinals remain uninteresting.   In 1976 the NFL drafted four hundred eighty-seven players.  From pick three hundred eighty-eight through four hundred eighty-seven only thirteen players made an NFL roster.  Of those thirteen, only one of them made the list of the biggest steals in the draft, defensive back Lee Nelson of the St. Louis Cardinals.  The last one hundred picks were of…

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1975: Roland Harper was the Steal of the Draft

Tweet The NFL drafted 442 players.  The 420th, 421st, and 422nd picks all had solid careers.  No other picks 400 or later played enough to matter. Among Chicago fans of a certain age Roland Harper holds a special place.  After watching the Bears make one bad draft pick after another over the years, we watched Jim Finks run his first draft and excel.  With the 4th pick the Bears took…

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1974: Charles DeJurnett was the Steal of the Draft

Tweet Kicker Bob Thomas finished second, while kick returner Billy “White Shoes” Johnson finished third. Before Devin Hester established himself as the greatest kick returner in NFL history, there was Deion Sanders.  Before Deion Sanders there was Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.  Before Billy Johnson I supposed there was Gale Sayers, but the Bears stopped using Sayers to return kicks because he was too valuable as a halfback.  Sanders was the…

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1973: Giants LB Brian Kelley was the Steal of the Draft

Tweet Ray Guy was the best draft pick in 1973.   In 1973 the Giants chose the steal of the draft in linebacker Brian Kelley.  Taken with the 353rd pick, Kelley played for eleven years and one hundred forty-three games.  1979 and the hiring of General Manager George Young marks the most important divide for the Giants in the Super Bowl era.   Before 1979 they rarely chose great or even…

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1972: Stan White was the Steal of the Draft

Tweet The big mystery is how the NFL keeps Dave Dalby out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame When trying to identify the steal of the 1972 draft, one name jumped off the page, Brian Sipe.  Sipe doesn’t belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he played quarterback well.  He even achieved greatness for a few seasons.  The idea of the Browns using the 327th pick in…

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Law & Order & Trumpian Prostitutes

Tweet prostitute something/yourself:       to use your skills, abilities, etc. to do something that earns you money but that other people do not respect because you are capable of doing something better. Definition of prostitute verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary   Two kinds of people pursue fame and wealth in the public spotlight, those who want to display the trappings of financial and social success, and those who view fame and wealth…

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Don Nottingham: The Steal of the 1971 Draft

Tweet It helps to have a great coach like Don Shula in your corner. As I muddle my way through determining which players proved to be the steals of the draft during different years, a few guidelines begin to emerge.  For example, in 1971 the Vikings drafted punter Ken Duncan with the 439th pick, and he finished tied for 188th place, a rise of 251 slots, all because he played…

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