1. Terry Bradshaw; Louisiana Tech – Pittsburgh Steelers QB: Even though Terry Bradshaw had some rough early years in Pittsburgh, he went on to lead the Steelers to 4 Super Bowl championships and he’s a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Steelers were a power running, ball control offense with Franco Harris at Running Back. But, Bradshaw still threw for almost 28,000 yards and 212 Touchdowns. Anytime you use a first pick on a Quarterback that leads you to 4 Super Bowl wins, it was clearly a great pick. Bradshaw is one of the more entertaining talking heads on
2. Mike McCoy; Notre Dame – Green Bay Packers DT: Erie, Pennsylvania native was a consensus All American at Notre Dame. McCoy led the Packers in sacks in 1973 and 1976 and he was a success playing 11 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants.
After football, McCoy started Mike McCoy Ministries and he works with Catholic schools across the country. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Council on Sports for a Drug Free America. He is one of the good guys.
3. Mike Phipps; Purdue – Cleveland Browns QB: After a brilliant college career at Purdue, Phipps finished 2nd in the Heisman race and then was picked by the Browns. Phipps played 12 seasons in the NFL, but he was never the star he was expected to be. He threw for 10,506 yards and 55 Touchdowns. He also completed only 49% of his passes and 108 Interceptions.
4. Phil Olsen; Utah State – Boston Patriots DT: How many Olsens are there in Utah? Phil is the younger brother of Pro Football Hall of Fame Defensive Tackle Merlin Olsen. Younger brother was recruited by everybody in high school and decided to stay near home just like Merlin and play for Utah State. Supposedly Mike McCoy fell on Olsen in the college all star game and severely injured the knee of Olsen which ruined his rookie season. The Boston Patriots traded Olsen to the Los Angeles Rams where he teamed up with his older brother. Thanks to injuries, Phil Olsen was never quite as good as older brother Merlin. There was another Olsen brother that played in the NFL as well, Orrin. Together, the brothers ran a football camp all through the 1970s and then Phil got his real estate license and sold real estate in California and then later in Montana.
5. Al Cowlings; USC – Buffalo Bills DE: Cowlings grew up in the same neighborhood as O.J. Simpson and played high school football with him. Both Cowlings and Simpson also played at San Francisco City College and at USC where he was an All American Defensive Lineman. To keep the ball rolling, the Buffalo Bills also drafted Cowlings so he teamed up with the Juice yet again in Buffalo. Cowlings started for 3 seasons at Buffalo but was then traded to the Houston Oilers. From there, Cowlings bounced around the league for a while. Most people will remember him from the OJ Simpson murder trial.
6. Steve Zabel; Oklahoma – Philadelphia Eagles TE: From a former Texas player, Zabel was an incredible blocker at the Tight End position. He hauled in 64 receptions as a three year starter at Oklahoma and he made the All American team. Zabel played Tight End as a rookie, but moved to Outside Linebacker as a 2nd year man. He played for the Eagles, the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Colts before getting out of football after the 1979 season. At 6-4, 235, Zabel was a big Linebacker for his times. After football, Zabel started helping the homeless in Oklahoma City which he does to this day.
7. Mike Reid; Penn State – Cincinnati Bengals DT: The Defensive Tackle from Altoona,
Pennsylvania was an All American at Penn State. He also won the 1969 Outland Trophy and the Maxwell Award. The Nittany Lions went 22-0 in Reid’s last two seasons in college under Joe Paterno. Reid was also a great college wrestler. Reid was an instant impact player for the Cincinnati Bengals and was one of the top pass rushers from his Tackle position. After 5 seasons, Mike Reid quit while in his prime to pursue his true passion which was music. He has made a nice career in country music and especially writing songs.
8. Larry Stegent; Texas A%M – St Louis Cardinals RB: Stegent was a three year starter rushing for 568 yards as a sophomore, 492 yards as a junior and 676 as a senior. Not exactly huge numbers, but he also caught 71 passes over 3 seasons for 739 yards. Stegent injured his knee as a rookie in a preseason game and missed the entire year. He caught 1 pass for 12 yards as a second year man and then he was out of football. After his football career was over Stegent entered the insurance business.
9. Cedric Hardman; North Texas – San Francisco 49ers DE: Because of racism in the 1960’s the University of North Texas was one of the few schools in the South that offered scholarships to black players. Hardman played his first two seasons in Denton with Mean Joe Greene who was the 4th guy selected in the 1969 NFL Draft. Although he wasn’t as famous as Mean Joe Greene, he was a star or the 49ers and later the Oakland Raiders. He was one of the better sack artists in NFL history and still holds 49er records for Quarterback sacks.
10. Ken Burrough; Texas Southern – New Orleans Saints WR: Burrough was a star out of
Jacksonville Raines High School and he went to Texas Southern because of similar reasons that Hardman and Joe Greene went to North Texas. The 6-4, 210 Burrough was drafted by the Saints and then played 12 seasons for the Houston Oilers. I always liked Burrough because he wore the jersey numbered 00. Burrough finished his career with 421 receptions for 7,102 yards and 49 Touchdowns. He was one of the game’s greats even though he’s not in the Hall of Fame.
11. Bobby Anderson; Colorado – Denver Broncos RB: The younger brother of Dick Anderson who played on the Miami Dolphins undefeated team of 1972. Bobby Anderson was an All American at Colorado in 1969 after moving to Running Back from Quarterback in the 3rd game. He had been a Quarterback during is first 3 seasons at Colorado and in high school at Boulder High. In the NFL, Anderson gained 1,281 yards in mostly 3 seasons. He also had 84 receptions for for 861 yards. He played 5 years total in the NFL. His NFL career was a disappointment, but he suffered a few injuries. After his football career was over, Anderson played in a couple of movies and he was a commentator in broadcasts for Colorado football games.
12. John Small; The Citadel – Atlanta Falcons LB: There hasn’t been a lot of talent coming out of The Citadel and John Small was a rare 1st round draft pick. Small was not small at all and especially for a Linebacker at 6-4, 270. Small played 3 seasons in Atlanta and started a few games and mostly during his second season. Small only played 5 years in the NFL and his last 2 seasons were with the Detroit Lions. When he left football, Small started a Christian Ministry to help problem and troubled kids. He passed away at the age of 66 in 2012.
13. Jim Files; Oklahoma – New York Giants LB: Files was a huge Linebacker for his time at 6-4, 240. Files started as a rookie and was a good player, but he lost his heart for football in his 3rd season and he quit football after 4 seasons. He returned to his home in Fort Smith, Arkansas and became a preacher.
14. Doug Wilkerson; North Carolina Central – Houston Oilers OG: He would be considered
small by today’s standards at 6-3, 255, but Wilkerson played 15 seasons in the NFL. After playing for the Oilers during his rookie season, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers where he started for most of his 14 seasons. Some people age better than others, and Wilkerson later played in Europe. He was the highest player ever selected out of North Carolina Central and the Chargers got a bargain.
15. Walker Gillette; Richmond – San Diego Chargers WR: The 6-5, 200 Gillette didn’t get much action in San Diego, but his career took off somewhat with the St Louis Cardinals and New York Giants. He finished with 153 receptions for 2,291 total yards. He was the son of former NFL player Jim Gillette.
16. Rich McGeorge; Elon – Green Bay Packers TE: McGeorge of nearly unknown Elon University was the first Tight End taken in the 1970 Draft. McGeorge wound up playing 9 seasons for the Packers and started most of them. He caught 175 passes over his NFL career which was good for 2,370 yards and 13 Touchdowns. After football, McGeorge got into coaching and he coached in college football and the NFL.
17. Bruce Taylor; Boston University – San Francisco 49ers CB: Taylor was a good sized Cornerback and he also returned punts for the 49ers. He played 8 seasons total in the NFL with all of them with the 49ers. While playing football, the Boston University grad worked off seasons as a stock broker. But, after he was done with football, he bought some Burger King franchises which are doing really well for him.
18. Norm Bullaich; TCU – Baltimore Colts RB: Running for just over 1,000 yards in 3 seasons,
I’m not sure what the Colts saw that merited a 1st round pick but the 6-1, 220 Bullaich ran for over 3,000 yards in 10 seasons with the Colts, the Eagles and the Dolphins. He also caught 224 passes for 1,766 yards. Overall, the power back scored 41 NFL Touchdowns.
When he was out of football, Bullaich went into the business world and he currently works for a Waste Management company in Texas.
19. Steve Owens; Oklahoma – Detroit Lions RB: Heisman Trophy winning Steve Owens was the 3rd Sooner picked in the 1st round of the draft. At Oklahoma, he ran for 869 yards as a sophomore. Then, he improved to 1,536 yards as a junior with 21 Touchdowns. During his Heisman winning senior season, Owens ran for 1,523 yards and 23 Touchdowns. At the time, he held the all time career college rushing record with 3,928 yards with 57 rushing Touchdowns. The 6-2, 216 Owens did very little as a rookie in 1970. But, in 1971, he was the first Detroit Lion Running Back to surpass 1,000 yards rushing. He was forced to quit the game and retire after 5 seasons because of bad knees. After football, Owens was the Athletic Director for Oklahoma for a while.
20. Steve Tannen; Florida – New York Jets DB: Known as a confident and cocky guy at Florida, Tannen was 1st team All SEC and 1st team All American in 1969. Tannen had a nose for the football as a DB and as a punt or kick blocker. He had shoulder problems in the NFL which slowed him down and he retired after 5 seasons with the New York Jets.
Tanner was a big hitter and a big talker back before there were many big talkers.
21. Bob McKay; Texas – Cleveland Browns OT: McKay was the Left Tackle on those Texas teams that invented the Wishbone Offense. Some Offensive Linemen were pretty small back in these years, but McKay was 6-5, 260 and even that is considered small by today’s standards. At Cleveland, McKay was a fixture on their Offensive Line for 9 seasons. Bad knees drove him out of football. When he retired from the game, he got into the tire business.
22. Jack ‘Hacksaw’ Reynolds; Tennessee – Los Angeles Rams LB: Maybe one of the more famous none Quarterbacks of all time. He supposedly gained the name Hacksaw after a loss with the Vols in college when he sawed a junk car in half. Whether that actually really happened, I cannot say and it’s probably a myth. But, the nickname stuck for the rest of his career, at least. Reynolds was a star for the Rams for 11 seasons before finishing with the San Francisco 49ers. He played there for 4 more seasons and was a part of 2 Super Bowl championships. Today, Reynolds splits time between his house in Miami and his other house in the Caribbean.
23. Duane Thomas; West Texas State – Dallas Cowboys RB: The 6-1, 220 Thomas was a remarkable Running Back, but very troubled. He was the offensive rookie of the year in 1970 for the NFC while running for over 800 yards. He sat out the following preseason because of a contract dispute and then the Cowboys tried to get rid of him by trading him to the Patriots. But, that didn’t work out and he returned to the Cowboys were he spoke to nobody during the entire season. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl but had grown tired of Thomas and his moodiness. They sent him to San Diego but he never played there and he finished his promising but disappointing career in Washington. He rushed for just over 2,000 yards in 3 full seasons.
24. Raymond Chester; Morgan State – Oakland Raiders TE: Chester was one of the NFL’s great Tight Ends even though he was never the biggest at 6-3, 235. Over his career with the Raiders, the Baltimore Colts and back to the Raiders, Chester caught 364 passes for 5,013 yards and 48
Touchdowns. He played 12 seasons in the NFL and then briefly with the USFL. Some time during his playing days, Chester became addicted to golf and when he retired from football he became a golf course manager. There is a push on to get Chester into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
25. John Ward; Oklahoma State – Minnesota OT: The Tulsa, Oklahoma native chose to play football with the Big 8’s Oklahoma State Cowboys. The 6-4, 260 Ward played 5 1/2 seasons with the Vikings, then a season and a half with the Bears and finally ended up in Tampa Bay for a total of 8 seasons. He started some, but was never really the big star that he was expected to be. In 2012, Ward died of cancer at a way too young age of 64.
26. Sid Smith; USC – Kansas City Chiefs OT: Another year, another USC Offensive Lineman drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Smith, however, was a bit of a disappointment in the NFL and only played 4 seasons. He was in Kansas City for 3 seasons and in Houston for his last year. According to Pro Football Reference.com he only started 1 game in his career. When Smith got out of playing football, he became a high school football coach.