1969 NFL Draft

1. OJ Simpson – USC; Buffalo Bills RB: One of the greatest Running Backs to ever play the game whose name has sadly been ruined forever due to off field issues. First NFL player to top 2,000 yards rushing in a single season and finished with 11,236 yards rushing in the NFL which was second to the immortal Jim Brown at the time. The Juice is currently in prison.

2. George Kunz – Notre Dame; Atlanta Falcons OT: The big Californian, Kunz, was a consensus All American in 1968 and after being drafted with the second pick became one of the era’s elite

Offensive Tackles making the Pro Bowl 8 out of 9 seasons and making All Pro several times.  He played 12 years in the NFL, the first 6 with Atlanta before finishing up with Baltimore.

3. Leroy Keyes – Purdue; Philadelphia Eagles RB: Keyes played some both ways in college and made All American in 1967 and 1968. He was runner up in the 1968 Heisman Trophy race. He started at Running Back for the Eagles in 1969, but sat mostly in 1970 before moving to Safety which was probably his best position. He had 6 Interceptions as a Safety. He finished his career at Kansas City.

4. Joe Greene – North Texas; Pittsburgh Steelers DT: Mean Joe Greene headed to then North Texas State University because of Southern Segregation at the time. Hall of Fame member and one of the top Defensive Tackles of all time.  Something of a celebrity also for his Coke commercials. North Texas changed it’s school name and the mascot changed to the Mean Green named after legendary Defensive Tackle Mean Joe Greene.

5. Greg Cook – Cincinnati; Cincinnati Bengals QB: Ohio legend Paul Brown decided to draft Cook after seeing him play briefly in one game. You might label Cook a bust, but he did injure his shoulder severely during his rookie season and never recovered from that. He threw for over 1,800 yards as a rookie and was rookie of the year. Surgeries failed to fix his shoulder and he retired from football not long afterwards. Just an unlucky break for Cook and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cook was a talented artist, but passed away in 2012 from Pneumonia.

6. Ron Sellers – Florida State; Boston Patriots WR: Sellers was a 2 time All American for the Seminoles in 1967-1968. He caught 212 passes at Florida State and he still holds many Seminole receiving records. He was a big receiver in his day at 6-4, 205. In the 1972 season, Sellers caught 2 Touchdown passes from Roger Staubach to lead the Cowboys to a come from behind playoff victory over San Francisco. To thank him, Dallas traded him to Miami. He only played 5 years in the NFL.

7. Ted Kwalik – Penn State; San Francisco 49ers TE: A two time All American at Penn State, Kwalik was a 3 time Pro Bowler for the 49ers. Kwalik took a break from the NFL and played in the new World Football League for a year before finishing up his brilliant career at Oakland with the Raiders. He has been a successful business owner since leaving the game.

8. Larry Smith – Florida; Los Angeles Rams RB: Smith was most famous for his 94 yard Touchdown run in the Orange Bowl when he struggled to keep his pants from falling off. He was a big back at 6-3, 220 for his time. He was not hugely successful in the NFL, but he did run for over 2,000 yards in 6 seasons in the NFL. He added to his rushing yardage with 1,100 receiving yards. His first 5 years were in Los Angeles and he finished up in Washington. After football, he returned to his home in Tampa and became a lawyer.

9. Marty Domres – Columbia; San Diego Chargers QB: A rare draft pick from Columbia, Domres did little with San Diego. At Baltimore, in 1972, he replaced the famous Johnny Unitas. After that, he lost his job to Bert Jones from LSU. Domres played 9 pretty much uneventful years in the NFL with 4 different NFL teams. He was never liked in Baltimore for replacing Unitas and was booed regularly. Domres was an Ivy league guy and worked as a Financial Adviser after he retired from football. He and Unitas remained good friends for life.

10. Jim Seymour – Notre Dame; Los Angeles Rams WR: Seymour was an amazing three time All American at Notre Dame and he teamed up with Terry Hanratty to form a deadly combination. Neither of them did well in the NFL, but Seymour caught 138 passes at Notre Dame, but he never played a down for the Rams. Instead, he spent 3 seasons with the Chicago Bears. With the Bears, he only caught 21 passes. Tragically, Seymour died of cancer in 2011.

11. Bill Stanfill – Georgia; Miami Dolphins DE: The 1968 Outland Trophy winner was also a consensus All American. At Miami, he was a major part of the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Dolphins. He was a multi selection to the All Pro team and was one of the NFL’s leading

Quarterback sack artists. After football, Stanfill moved to Albany, Georgia and became a Real Estate Broker.

12. Rich Moore – Villanova; Green Bay DT: A really huge guy for his day at 6-6, 280. Football players just weren’t all that big in the 1960s. Moore had a decent start at Green Bay, but was injured in 1970 and missed the end of the season. In 1971, the Packers supposedly tried him on offense in 1971 and then traded him to the Patriots who then cut him. He only played 2 seasons in the NFL.

13. Fred Dryer – San Diego State; New York Giants DE: Dryer was 6-6, 240 and really quick coming off the edge. He is the only player in NFL history to record 2 sacks in one game. Dryer played 2 seasons in junior college before transferring to San Diego State and helped them to a 19-1-1 record while there. He played 13 seasons in the NFL before getting into acting. He is most famous for playing a cop in the TV series Hunter.

14. Rufus Mayes – Ohio State; Chicago Bears OT:  One of the better players on Ohio State’s 1968 national championship team. He played Tight End for two seasons before moving to Tackle. He played for the Bears for one season before they traded him to the Cincinnati Bengals for 2 players that never made it and Mayes became a fixture at Left Tackle for the Bengals. After football, Mayes became a marketing rep for Hewlett Packard. But, his life was cut short when he died in 1990 at the age of 42 from bacterial meningitis.

15. Ron Pritchard – Arizona State; Houston Oilers LB: Pritchard started for the Oilers in his second and third season before he was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals. There, he started for a few seasons and he wound up playing 9 years in the NFL. Football is year round for NFL players these days, but back then there was actually an off season. In Ron Pritchard’s off season, he was a professional wrestler. After he retired from football, he became an Athletic Director and later got into high school coaching.

16. Gene Washington – Stanford; San Francisco WR: An early day Long Beach Poly product, Washington was a great receiver at Stanford. He played Quarterback in his first year of eligibility and then moved to receiver as a junior. He caught 122 passes with 71 coming as a senior in 1968 and those passes came from future Heisman winner Jim Plunkett. In 10 seasons as an NFL Wide Receiver, Washington caught 385 passes and scored 60 Touchdowns. Washington did some acting while playing football, but after he retired from the game he went to work for the NFL. He was director of football operations for the NFL up until 2009.

17. John Shinners – Xavier; New Orleans Saints OG: You’d have to be a really hard core football fan to remember John Shinners. He was an All American at Xavier, that school’s first and only. At New Orleans, Shinners played but only started a few games. He was traded to the Baltimore Colts and then traded again mid season to the Cincinnati Bengals. In Cincinnati, he became more of a regular starter. He played 9 seasons in the NFL. After retirement, he joined his father in the newspaper business and took that over eventually.

18. Bob Babich – Miami of Ohio; San Diego Chargers LB: Not to be confused with Bob Babich the football coach that was recently fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sadly, the NFL did not keep proper defensive stats back in the day, so it’s hard to tell just how good Babich was. He played 3 seasons with the Chargers after they drafted him. In 1973, Babich was traded to the Cleveland

Browns where he played for 6 years.

19. Roger Wehrli – Missouri; St Louis Cardinals DB: Three guys from this first round were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, OJ Simpson, Joe Greene and Roger Wehrli. At Missouri, Wehrli was a consensus All American in 1968 and made all Big 8 two years plus was the Big 8 Defensive Player of the year. He was an instant starter in the NFL and played 14 seasons for the Cardinals. He was All Pro 5 times and made the Pro Bowl 7 times. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. He finished with 40 career Interceptions.

20. Ron Johnson – Michigan; Cleveland Browns RB: Johnson was a man about being the first. At Michigan, he was the first black captain. He then ran for 2,491 career yards with most of that coming in his junior and senior seasons. He was picked by Cleveland with the 20th pick of the 1st round and was a holdout during training camp.. He did play as a rookie, but the Browns made a Fullback out of him and he only gained 472 yards as a rookie. The Browns traded him to the New York Giants and he moved back to his natural position. As a man of firsts, he became the first New York Giant to rush for over 1,000 yards in 1970. The following year was plagued by injuries and he missed most of the year. 1972 was his best year in the NFL with nearly 1,200 rushing yards. He had only one more good year and then his production dropped off dramatically. After football, Johnson started a successful food service company, but then was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2008.

21. Bob Klein – USC; Los Angeles Rams TE: This 6-5, 235 Tight End was a starter at USC in 1967 on their national championship team and in 1968 and blocked for Heisman winner OJ Simpson. With the Rams of Los Angeles, he was a back up to veteran Tight End Billy Truax his first 2 seasons. Truax was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for Lance Rentzel and Klein moved into the full time starting role. He then started for the Rams at Tight End for 6 seasons before being traded to the San Diego Chargers where he finished up his NFL career. Klein was a great blocker, but his receiving

totals increased in San Diego because of their passing offense. After 3 seasons there, he was replaced by the great Kellen Winslow. Klein wound up with 11 years of experience in the NFL.

22. Art Thoms – Syracuse; Oakland Raiders DT: Jersey guy that found his way to Syracuse and became a first round draft pick by the Raiders. Thoms was 6-5, 260 and a force in the middle for the Raiders for 8 seasons. He finished his career with the Philadelphia Eagles and was in the NFL for 9 total years. He was a part of the 1976 Oakland Raider Super Bowl champion team.

23. Jim Marsalis – Tennessee State; Kansas City Chiefs DT: Marsalis was the 1969 NFL Defensive rookie of the year for the Chiefs. He started at Cornerback and was a difference maker from day one. He helped the Chiefs beat defending Super Bowl champion New York Jets and then the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings to win Super Bowl IV. Marsalis played for the Chiefs through 1976 and then he finished his career up in New Orleans with the Saints. He picked off 15 passes in his 9 year NFL career.

24. Calvin Hill – Yale; Dallas Cowboys RB: Bronx native Hill was a talented 6-4, 225 high school Quarterback that wanted to be the first black Quarterback at Yale. They turned him into a Running Back and a 1st round draft pick. The Cowboys drafted him with the intention of playing him elsewhere, but all of their Running Backs were either unavailable or injured and Hill got the job. He didn’t disappoint and was the NFL Offensive rookie of the year. In 1972, Hill became the first Dallas Cowboy to run for over 1,000 yards and he did it again in 1973. In 1974, he left the Cowboys for the pesky new World Football League. But, he injured his knee and that league soon folded leaving Hill with only the NFL as a playing opportunity. He went to Washington, but was never the same. After 2 seasons there, he finished his career with the Cleveland Browns. Hill wound up playing 12 years and ran for over 6,000 career yards. He may be better known as the father of NBA great Grant Hill.

25. Eddie Hinton – Oklahoma; Baltimore Colts WR: At Oklahoma, Hinton caught 119 passes in three seasons with 60 of them coming in his senior season. Hinton played 4 years with the Baltimore Colts with his best season coming in 1970 when he caught 47 passes. In Baltimore, he was a part of the Colt Super Bowl V championship. After Baltimore, he played for the Houston Oilers for a season and then the Patriots for a year. He left football after 6 years and 111 receptions.

26. Dave Foley – Ohio State; New York Jets OT:  The Buckeyes and their Super Sophomores were national champions in 1968 when they beat USC and OJ Simpson in the Rose Bowl. Their other Offensive Tackle, Rufus Mayes, went with the 14th pick earlier in this draft and had a successful career. Foley played 3 seasons in New York, but was traded to the Buffalo Bills and finished up his career there. He was an All Pro in 1973 and he played 9 seasons in the NFL.

2 thoughts on “1969 NFL Draft

    1. Brad Post author

      Thanks for visiting, Bert. You and I both love the old school stuff. College football fans weren’t concerned with guys leaving for the NFL back then with eligibility left over.

      Reply

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