From the NFL Draft to Canton – The Redskins, NFL Trivia Game
By Jonathan Eig
1. We begin with a trick question. Well, not exactly a trick. More like a question of definition. The answer is either 13 or 14. The 13 are Bill Dudley (1942, and one of two players on this list to have suited up for the Redskins), Charley Trippi (1945), Chuck Bednarik (1949), Paul Hornung (1957), Ron Yary (1968), O.J. Simpson (1969), Terry Bradshaw (1970), Lee Roy Selmon (1976), Earl Campbell (1978), John Elway (1983), Bruce Smith (1985, the other Redskin), Troy Aikman (1989), and Orlando Pace (1997). The 14th is Buck Buchanon, who was drafted 256th in the NFL Draft in 1963, but was simultaneously selected 1st overall in the AFL draft. And, FYI, should you be reading this in 2021, there will be one more once Peyton Manning is inducted.
2. The 1964 NFL Draft has the most Hall of Fame players. Four in the first round (Bob Brown, Charley Taylor – HTTR!, Carl Eller, and Paul Warfield). Two in the second (Mel Renfro, and Paul Krause – an abbreviated HTTR). One in the third (Dave Wilcox). One in the seventh (Bob Hayes). One in the eighth (Leroy Kelly). And one in the tenth (Some guy named Staubach). That makes ten. If we throw in another draftee who would ultimately make it to Canton as a coach, we’d get to eleven. But we’re not counting coaches – and not just because it’s Bill Parcells.
3. The answer is three. 1943, 1984, and 1992. I don’t know what was going on back in 1943, but I have it on good authority that in both 1984 and 1992, a Mr. “V. Cerrato” was heavily involved in advising NFL franchises on who to pick. Of those years, I expect ’92 to eventually get either Troy Vincent or Darren Woodson in. ’84 is basically a train wreck.
4. And yet right before the disaster of 1984, there was 1983. The draft of the QB. Six QBs were taken in the first round, and three went on to the Hall – Elway, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino. Plus, four other non-QBs from that magical first round would make it – Eric Dickerson, Jimbo Covert, Bruce Matthews, and the final pick in Round 1 that year: A speedy cornerback by the name of Darrell Green. Seven of 28 picks in Canton.
5. This gets deep into the draft, and if you remember Question 1, there are multiple answers. The 200 cutoff is key, since some of you may know that in 2000, a QB from Michigan named Brady was selected 199th. Above 200, there is no question about the following: Andy Robustelli, Rosey Brown, Raymond Berry, Chris Hanburger (HTTR), Kenny Houston (HTTR), and Richard Dent. That’s six. You can add Buchanon, who, as mentioned above, was drafted very late in the NFL Draft of 1963. That’s seven. Lou Creekmur and Art Donovan are complicated, since both were drafted multiple times and would come into the league through a dispersal draft of a failed league in 1950. But before that, each had been drafted after the 200th pick in an earlier NFL Draft. We’re up to nine. And since I did not specify “players’ this time, you can add Don Shula and John Madden to this list, bringing the total to eleven. But I’ll accept any of those answers. Or any other for that matter. I’m an easy grader.
6. It has to be one the guys from the previous question, right? This man was a first-team All-Pro six times and a second-team All-Pro three times during his thirteen year career. So how was it that 320 other football players were selected in 1953 before the Giants grabbed stalwart Rosey Brown?
7. You have a 50/50 chance of getting this question right. The answer is yes, and if you want to know more, do a little reading about Chris Carter’s tumultuous and ultimately triumphant journey through football and life.
8. That magical year was 1989 when Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, and Deion Sanders went 1, 3,4, and 5. Well, magical for everyone but Green Bay GM Tom Braatz, who took Tony Mandarich with the 2nd pick. (Braatz may have used up all his magic when he picked Don Majkowski in the 10th round of 1987).
9. That would be Troy Polamalu, from the 2003 NFL Draft. But next year, there will be a new answer to this question.
10. Not really a draft question at all, is it? But there have been a great many UDFAs to make it into the Hall. If you interpret the question to mean the most recent to have played, the answer is Kurt Warner, who went undrafted in 1994. If you interpret it to mean the most recent inductee, four players from this year’s Seniors class were not drafted, though one, Duke Slater, predates the draft.
11. Counting their days in Boston, the Redskins have drafted nine players who eventually were enshrined. It began in the very first draft in 1936, with the selection of Wayne Millner in the eighth round. They followed that up with Sammy Baugh the next year. They didn’t find another HOFer until 1964, but what a coup – Charley Taylor in Round 1 and Paul Krause in Round 2. Then, in 1965, Chris Hanburger. Then came the glorious early eighties. Monk – 1980. Grimm – 1981. Green – 1983. The final home run came in 1999, with the selection of Champ Bailey.
12. McKeever, a ‘60s era linebacker from USC, and Portis, the second leading rusher in Redskins history, share a dubious honor. Two of the Redskins draft picks who went on to make the Hall were traded after a few years in burgundy and gold. Though there were other assets involved, McKeever was the primary player in the Paul Krause trade with Minnesota, and Portis was the return on Champ Bailey from Denver.
13. Four pretty good trades and one free agent signing brought the Redskins five of their most iconic players. Bobby Mitchell, Sonny Jurgenson, Sam Huff, and Kenny Houston came via trade. And John Riggins came as a free agent signing after he and the Jets parted ways.
14. These moves didn’t turn out to be quite as effective. Stan Jones, Deacon Jones, Deion Sanders, and Jason Taylor weren’t especially productive for the Skins.
15. He has already appeared in several questions. That’s because I really, really liked Champ Bailey. At various points, it looked like Sean Taylor and Trent Williams might replace Bailey as the answer to this question. Of course, Taylor’s tragic murder prevented his ascendency. And Williams has been standing at the crossroads of a potential HOF career for more than a season now. The way his final years play out will determine whether Canton is a destination, or just a place he might wave at as he cruises down I-77.
Enjoy the draft.