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Draftback: 1983 NFL Draft

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Vern asked for it so here it is. All the attention goes to the quarterbacks in the draft but there are some pretty impressive players at other positions that came out of this draft. This draft did live up to the hype.


IPB Image

1. Baltimore - John Elway, QB, Stanford

Right FBI Agent: Don't worry Mrs. Simpson we've helped hundreds of people in danger. We'll give you a new name, a new job, new identity.


Homer: (Raising hand) Oooh, I want to be John Elway! (Homer starts day dreaming about being John Elway. The ball is snapped to Homer and he dives over the pile into the endzone.)


Announcer: Elway takes the snap and runs it in for a touchdown! Thanks to Elway's Patanent last second magic the final score of Super Bowl XXX is Denver 7, San Francisco 56.


Homer:(Back to reality) Woo Hoo!


2. L.A. Rams - Eric Dickerson, RB, SMU

Probably due to his numerous contract holdouts Dickerson gets left out a lot now when talking about the greatest running back of all-time but he deserves consideration. How about that the #1 and #2 picks lived up to the hype? Doesn't happen very often.


3. Seattle - Curt Warner, RB, Penn State

A Penn State running back who wasn't a bust, strange. Had two 1400+ yards seasons.


4. Denver - Chris Hinton, T, Northwestern

Obviously didn't stay in Denver as he was traded to Baltimore in the Elway trade. Seven time Pro Bowl selection.


5. San Diego - Billy Ray Smith, LB, Arkansas

Took us to the 5th pick to find a non-Pro Bowl player but Smith was decent. Now an awful analyst on FSN's college football show that no one watches.


6. Chicago - Jimbo Covert, T, Pittsburgh

Certainly sounded like an offensive lineman. Two Pro Bowl selections.


7. Kansas City - Todd Blackledge, QB, Penn State

First true bust of the draft and it's fitting he was the one true bust of the famous quarterback class.


8. Philadelphia - Michael Haddix, RB, Mississippi State

Now we're getting some busts. Career high in rushing yards was 311.


9. Houston - Bruce Matthews, G, USC

Simply one of the greatest offensive lineman ever. Selected to 14 Pro Bowls.


10. N.Y. Giants - Terry Kinard, S, Clemson

Decent, 31 career interceptions.


11. Green Bay - Tim Lewis, CB, Pittsburgh

Had 12 interceptions in his first two years but a neck injury forced him into early retirement in 1986.


12. Buffalo - Tony Hunter, TE, Notre Dame

Only lasted four years.


13. Detroit - James Jones, RB, Florida

Hung around for a while but never cracked 1000 yards and only 3.6 career ypc.


14. Buffalo - Jim Kelly, QB, Miami

Didn't join the Bills until 1986 as he spent three years in the USFL with the Houston Gamblers. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.


15. New England - Tony Eason, QB, Illinois

You'll get differing opinions on whether Eason was a bust or not though he had a couple of good years but flamed out pretty quick.


16. Atlanta - Mike Pitts, DE, Alabama

Played 12 years despite not being all that good.


17. St. Louis - Leonard Smith, DB, McNeese State

Lasted nine seasons.


18. Chicago - Willie Gault, WR, Tennessee

Never really broke out as a star but was a big time deep threat.


19. Minnesota - Joey Browner, S, USC

37 career interceptions, six Pro Bowls.


20. San Diego - Gary Anderson, RB, Arkansas

Solid all-purpose back who had almost as many receiving yards as rushing.


21. Pittsburgh - Gabriel Rivera, DT, Texas Tech

Paralyzed in an accident while driving drunk during his rookie year. Take a bow loser.


22. San Diego - Gill Byrd, CB, San Jose State

Holds franchise record for interceptions with 42.


23. Dallas - Jim Jeffcoat, DE, Arizona State

Never a star but lasted 15 seasons and had 102 career sacks.


24. N.Y. Jets - Ken O'Brien, QB, UC Davis

I don't believe in '83 the draft had an audience yet but it would have been pretty fun to have seen Jets' fans react to them drafting a QB from UC Davis. Selected to two Pro Bowls.


25. Cincinnati - Dave Rimington, C, Nebraska

Unspectacular seven year career.


26. L.A. Raiders - Don Mosebar, T, USC

Played every o-line position in his 12 year career.


27. Miami - Dan Marino, QB, Pittsburgh



28. Washington - Darrell Green, CB, Texas A&I

Another all-time great to close out the first round.


Other Players of Note


32. L.A. Rams - Henry Ellard, WR, Fresno State

37. N.Y. Giants - Leonard Marshall, DT, LSU

39. Buffalo - Darryl Talley, LB, West Virginia

49. San Francisco - Roger Craig, RB, Nebraska

61. Kansas City - Albert Lewis, CB, Grambling

64. Chicago - Dave Duerson, S, Notre Dame

84. Washington - Charles Mann, DE, Nevada

110. L.A. Raiders - Greg Townsend, DE, TCU

167. Miami - Reggie Roby, P, Iowa

203. Chicago - Richard Dent, DE, Tennessee State

223. Miami - Mark Clayton, WR, Louisville

276. Cincinnati - Tim Krumrie, DT, Wisconsin

289. San Francisco - Jesse Sapolu, C, Hawaii

310. Denver - Karl Mecklenburg, LB, Minnesota

334. Miami - Anthony Carter, WR, Michigan

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It's amazing to see the teams that passed on Kelly and Marino. I'm sure KC, NYJ and NE regret that. Yeah, but this was a pretty damn good draft year. I wonder what the NBA, MLB and NHL equivilents of the '83 draft would be.

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Yeah, I never realized how good it was until seeing all those names. Less than a handful of busts, and even few marginal players in there.

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Nice draft for the Bears. All five guys helped the team win the Super Bowl.


Other league equvilents. Gotta be 1984 NBA draft.2003 with LeBron and Co could make a strong case ten years from know. The 1985 baseball draft had the likes of Bonds, Johnson, Grace, Palmeiro, Surhoff. The 2001 draft as potential. Too early to call it one of the best of all-time.

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