1968 NFL Draft

Recruiting and the NFL Draft are two of my favorite factors of football and a huge determination on the future of any football team you happen to support. Now days, there is Free Agency, but that wasn’t really around back in the early days of the game. Teams drafted players and they traded for players and the team that picked you was pretty much your future if you were fortunate enough to make the squad.

My Blog is all about 1967 up to present time, and the first draft concerning 1967 was the 1968 NFL Draft. The old NFL and the AFL had not officially merged yet, but this was the second year in which they combined their draft.

If you read this, be prepared to be geeked out.

1. Ron Yary – USC; Minnesota Vikings OT: Yary was one of the greatest Offensive Tackles of all time and is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

2. Bob Johnson – Tennessee; Cincinnati Bengals C: All American in 1966 and 1967, he was the

first player ever picked by the expansion Bengals and he was huge for his day at 6-5, 262. He was good enough that the Bengals retired his number when he hung up his cleats after 12 seasons.

3. Claude Humphrey – Tennessee State; Atlanta Falcons DE: Humphrey in in the NFL Hall of Fame. Totaled 126.5 sacks for Atlanta and later Philadelphia. His number is retired by his high school and college and he is on the ring of honor for the Falcons.

4. Russ Washington – Missouri; San Diego Chargers OT: Speaking of huge, Washington was 6-6, 289 and he made the All Pro team several times. He is in the San Diego Hall of Fame after playing for them for 15 seasons.

5.Fred Carr- Texas El Paso; Green Bay Packers LB: Junior college transfer, Carr may have been the best Linebacker in the history of the UTEP Minors. He played 9 seasons for the Green Bay Packers.

6. Dennis Byrd – North Carolina State; Boston Patriots DT: The Wolfpack’s first 2 time All American, Byrd only played one season in the NFL due to a knee injury. He got into high school coaching at that point and became the head coach at Lincolnton, North Carolina. He passed away in 2010 from a heart attack while having totally unrelated back surgery.

7. Kevin Hardy – Notre Dame; New Orleans Saints DE: At 6-5, 272, one would have thought that Hardy would have succeeded in the NFL for the Saints. But, he never played for them and bounced around the league for 4 unglamorous seasons before being gone. Total bust.

8. Larry Csonka – Syracuse; Miami Dolphins FB: Too big and too slow, but he broke all of the

Syracuse rushing records and that included Jim Brown and Ernie Davis among others. Csonka ran for over 8,000 career yards and led the Dolphins to 2 Super Bowls. Pro Football Hall of Fame member and one of the all time greats.

9. Haven Moses – San Diego State; Buffalo Bills WR: Moses was a big receiver at 6-2, 208 and he played 5 seasons for the Bills before being traded to the Denver Broncos. He finished with 488 career receptions for over 8,000 yards and 57 Touchdowns. A Ring of Fame member in Mile High Stadium.

10. Mike Taylor – USC; Pittsburgh Steelers OT: The Steelers grabbed the other Trojan Offensive Tackle off of their national championship team, but he didn’t quite measure up to Ron Yary. Taylor lasted 6 seasons in the NFL playing with the Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins and St Louis Cardinals.

11. Greg Landry – UMass; Detroit Lions QB: First Quarterback taken in the draft and he played for the Lions for 11 seasons even making All Pro. He later played for the Baltimore Colts for 3 seasons and then the short lived United States Football League USFL for a couple of seasons before finishing up with the Chicago Bears. Landry threw for over 16,000 yards in the NFL.Surprisingly, Landry also ran for over 2,600 yards while Quarterbacking.

12. Jim Smith – Oregon; Washington Redskins DB: Neck injury ruined his career before it actually got started in his rookie season. Hard to call a guy a bust that was injured severely like that.

13. MacArthur Lane – Utah State; St Louis Cardinals RB: Junior college transfer played 2 seasons at Utah State. Lane was a bigger Running Back for his time at 6-1, 220 and he made All Pro in 1970. He was traded to the Green Bay Packers after 4 years for Donny Anderson. He played at

Green Bay for 3 seasons before being traded to Kansas City where he finished out his career. Lane finished with 4,656 yards rushing and 2,786 yards receiving.

14. Tim Rossovich – USC; Philadelphia Eagles DE: The college roommate of Tom Selleck was an All American in 1967 and a beast on and off the field both. Rossovich was an All Pro at Philly before moving on to the Chargers and the Oilers in between stints in the WFL. Played a great bad guy in the movies for quite a few years before retiring. I wrote about him here: http://collegefootballcrazy.com/tim-rossovich-old-player-of-the-week/

15. Forrest Blue – Auburn; San Francisco, California C: The 6-6, 260 Blue was All Pro 4 times for San Francisco and played in the NFL 11 seasons. Blue died in 2011 in an assisted care facility from brain injuries suffered while playing football.

16. Mike Hull – USC; Chicago Bears FB: OJ Simpson’s blocking Fullback at USC, the 6-3, 220 Hull played 7 seasons in the NFL with Chicago and later with the Washington Redskins.

17. Lee White – Weber State; New York Jets RB: White played for the Jets for 4 seasons before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams. He played one more season with San Diego and then gave up the game.

18. Jim Hill – Texas A%I; San Diego Chargers DB: Hill played for the Chargers, the Packers and the Browns. He was a good football player, but is better known as a broadcaster. He played 8 seasons in the NFL.

19. Mo Moorman – Texas A%M; Kansas City Chiefs OG: Moorman played 6 seasons for the Chiefs and started for them in the 4th Super Bowl when the Chiefs beat the Vikings. He moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became a large beverage distributor after he retired from football.

20. Dennis Homan – Alabama; Dallas Cowboys WR: Homan was a bit of a disappointment with the Cowboys and wanted to be traded. He was traded to the Chiefs where he also wanted to be traded. He retired from football, but got back in when the new World Football League was formed and he played for the Birmingham Americans.

21. Marvin Upshaw – Trinity; Cleveland Browns DE: The younger brother of Gene Upshaw, Marvin played 9 seasons in the NFL.

22. George Daney – UTEP; Kansas City Chiefs OG: Unusual season for 2 UTEP players to be picked in the 1st round and Daney played 7 seasons for the Chiefs. He passed away in 1990.

23. John Williams – Minnesota; Baltimore Colts OT: Played in 3 Super Bowls, 2 with the Colts and 1 with the Rams. Good player on every level. He passed away in 2012 while walking.

24. Earl McCullouch – USC; Detroit Lions WR: The last of 5 players taken in the first round from

USC demonstrating what kind of talent they had that season. McCullouch was the rookie of the year in 1968. McCullouch finished his career with 124 receptions in a time when they didn’t throw the ball like they do today.

25. Eldridge Dickey – Tennessee State; Oakland Raiders QB: 2 Tennessee State players taken in the 1st round. Dickey was the first black Quarterback taken in the first round. He was an outstanding athlete and able to throw accurately with either arm. Sadly, the world wasn’t quite ready for a black Quarterback in the NFL and he moved to Wide Receiver at the end of training camp and he never played a down at Quarterback. Supposedly, Dickey never recovered from the shock of not being given the opportunity to play Quarterback and turned to drugs. Later, he became a minister and then passed away in 2000 from a stroke.

26. Bill Lueck – Arizona; Green Bay Packers OG: Lueck played 7 seasons for the Packers and then another for the Philadelphia Eagles.

27. Doug Crusan – Indiana; Miami Dolphins OG: A team captain for the Indiana Hoosiers team that was the only one in the history of their school to make it to the Rose Bowl. Crusan played 8 seasons for the Dolphins and was a starting Offensive Tackle on the only NFL team in history to finish undefeated. A team leader, Crusan is still a leader and businessman and part of the Player’s Association for the NFL.

In the second round, the Broncos selected Curly Culp who is in the Hall of Fame.

Kenny Stabler was also drafted in the 2nd round and supposedly fellow rookie, Eldridge Dickey, outplayed Stabler but was moved to Wide Receiver while Stabler got famous.

Round 3 produced Hall of Fame members Elvin Bethea, Charlie Sanders and Art Shell.

Rocky Blier of Pittsburgh Steeler and Vietnam fame was taken in the 16th round.

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