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Draftback: 1988 NFL Draft

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NFL Draft is only three weeks away and this year it might actually go by at a relatively brisk pace with the shortened draft times. Since it is that time of year it's time for me to pick out a past NFL Draft and run down the first round from that year with little to no insight. I picked 1988 because it was 20 years ago, simple enough? 1988 featured several great wide receivers but little depth overall after the first two rounds. It's also the draft where there wasn't a single quarterback taken in the first two rounds and the first one taken in the 3rd round was Tom Tupa who would later become a punter.

 

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1. Atlanta - Aundray Bruce, LB, Auburn

 

Lasted 11 years but only two of them were spent as a starter so that would definitely would equal to a bust for a #1 pick overall.

 

2. Kansas City - Neil Smith, DE, Nebraska

 

Good pick. Six Pro Bowls and over 100 career sacks.

 

3. Detroit - Bennie Blades, S, Miami

 

Halfway decent defensive back but not quite the career you'd hope for a pick this high. His brother Brian was taken in the 2nd round of this draft.

 

4. Tampa Bay - Paul Gruber, T, Wisconsin

 

12 year starter but kind of surprising he never went to a Pro Bowl as I seem to remember him being regarded as one of the better left tackles in the league during his prime. Maybe he just has a good rating Tecmo Super Bowl and that's why I thought he was good.

 

5. Cincinnati - Rickey Dixon, S, Oklahoma

 

Lasted five years, doing nothing of note.

 

6. L.A. Raiders - Tim Brown, WR, Notre Dame

 

Slam dunk future Hall of Famer.

 

7. Green Bay - Sterling Sharpe, WR, South Carolina

 

Was on his way to a Hall of Fame career it seemed before a neck injury cut it short in 1994.

 

8. N.Y. Jets - Dave Cadigan, G, USC

 

I honestly never heard of him but apparently he was a five year starter.

 

9. L.A. Raiders - Terry McDaniel, CB, Tennessee

 

Five time Pro Bowl selection.

 

10. N.Y. Giants - Eric Moore, G, Indiana

 

Another guard for a New York team that I have no memories of.

 

11. Dallas - Michael Irvin, WR, Miami

 

I don't think there is a football player I despised more than him.

 

12. Phoenix - Ken Harvey, LB, California

 

Selected to four Pro Bowls but he went to Cal and therefore he sucks.

 

13. Philadelphia - Keith Jackson, TE, Oklahoma

 

Very good receiving tight end who went to five Pro Bowls.

 

14. L.A. Rams - Gaston Green, RB, UCLA

 

Short career. Rushed for over 1000 yards in 1991.

 

15. San Diego - Anthony Miller, WR, Tennessee

 

Obviously overshadowed by the three receivers taken ahead of him but had a very good career as well.

 

16. Miami - Eric Kumerow, DE, Ohio State

 

Pretty impressive that we got 15 picks in before getting to a complete bust.

 

17. New England - John Stephens, RB, Northwest State

 

Made the Pro Bowl as a rookie but did little else after that.

 

18. Pittsburgh - Aaron Jones, DE, Eastern Kentucky

 

Played eight years but did anyone notice?

 

19. Minnesota - Randall McDaniel, G, Arizona State

 

12 Pro Bowl selections and should be a future Hall of Famer.

 

20. L.A. Rams - Aaron Cox, WR, Arizona State

 

Well the great run of wide receivers in this draft had to end eventually.

 

21. Cleveland - Clifford Charlton, LB, Florida

 

Bust.

 

22. Houston - Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State

 

Had one great year in 1992 but didn't see a whole lot of carries in his career playing in the run and shoot.

 

23. Chicago - Brad Muster, RB, Stanford

 

Decent fullback who, like most running backs, had a short career.

 

24. New Orleans - Craig Heyward, RB, Pittsburgh

 

Very popular, fat fullback who died at age 39 due to brain cancer.

 

25. L.A. Raiders - Scott Davis, DT, Illinois

 

Not quite as good as the Raiders first two picks.

 

26. Denver - Ted Gregory, DT, Syracuse

 

Was cut during training camp. Seriously how does a team fuck up so bad on it's first pick that the guy can't even make it out of camp?

 

27. Chicago - Wendell Davis, WR, LSU

 

Pretty good receiver who's best known for having his career ended when he tore both ACLs while running a pass route on the god awful Veterans Stadium turf in 1993.

 

Other Notable Picks

 

29. Detroit - Chris Speilman, LB, Ohio State

30. Philadelphia - Eric Allen, CB, Arizona State

31. Cincinnati - Ickey Woods, RB, UNLV

36. N.Y. Giants - Jumbo Elliott, T, Michigan

39. San Francisco - Pierce Holt, DE, Angelo State

40. Buffalo - Thurman Thomas, RB, Oklahoma State

41. Dallas - Ken Norton, LB, UCLA

43. New England - Vincent Brown, LB, Mississippi Valley State

44. Pittsburgh - Dermontti Dawson, C, Kentucky

46. L.A. Rams - Flipper Anderson, WR, UCLA

49. Seattle - Brian Blades, WR, Miami

50. Cleveland - Michael Dean Perry, DT, Clemson

63. N.Y. Jets - Erik McMillan, S, Missouri

68. Phoenix - Tom Tupa, QB, Ohio State

74. N.Y. Jets - James Hasty, CB, Washington State

76. Indianapolis - Chris Chandler, QB, Washington

80. San Francisco - Bill Romanowski, LB, Boston College

125. Houston - Chris Dishman, CB, Purdue

159. Washington - Stan Humphries, QB, Louisiana-Monroe

239. Miami - Jeff Cross, DE, Missouri

252. Pittsburgh - John Jackson, T, Eastern Kentucky

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I really have no idea but there was a fairly recent example in 1999 when the Vikings cut their first round pick Dimitrius Underwood before the regular season started as he had serious mental issues and left training camp after just one day. For that Ted Gregory guy the Broncos cut in '88, all I could find is apparently they didn't even scout the guy and Dan Reeves drafted him based on the recommendation of a friend. With the money that is thrown at first round picks that's something that simply couldn't happen today.

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