Okay, so last time I wrote one of these lists, we had the 1980 NFL MVP, and the lowest drafted player in the Hall of Fame. This time we have a Super Bowl MVP, a player involved in the blockbuster Herschel Walker trade in 1989, and the linebacker who picked off Ron Jaworski three times in Super Bowl XV. So, enough of my rambling, let’s get to the list, this time with picks #320 thru 301:
12th round-320th pick. Dallas Cowboys-Larry Brown, CB, Texas Christian, 1991
He started at cornerback since his rookie season, with 13 starts, a rarity for a player drafted so low. He spent his first five seasons as a Cowboy, and had a breakout season just in time for free agency. In 1995 he had six interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. After being named the MVP of Super Bowl XXX, he was one of the most prized free agents of 1996. He immediately signed a lucrative contract with the Raiders. However, thanks to injuries and trouble adjusting to the Raiders defensive scheme, he played in only 12 games in two years. He intercepted only one pass in two years with the Raiders and got released. He went back to Dallas for one last season in 1998 before retiring.
Other notable players also drafted 320th: Oakland Raiders-Reggie Kinlaw, DT, Oklahoma, 1979; Miami Dolphins-Brian Kinchen, TE, Louisiana State, 1988; New Orleans Saints-Chris Port, G, Duke, 1990
12th round-319th pick. Kansas City Chiefs-Bob Gagliano, QB, Utah State, 1981
For those of you who haven’t heard of him, just think of him as the 1980’s version of J.T. O’Sullivan. He threw only 30 passes in the NFL from 1981 to 1988. He played for the Chiefs (1981-1983), the USFL’s Denver Gold (1984-1985), 49ers (1986-1987), and Indianapolis Colts (1988). In 1989 he got his first extended playing time with the Detroit Lions thanks to a rash of injuries at quarterback. They wound up going through Chuck Long, rookie Rodney Peete, Rusty Hilger, and Gagliano. He started in 1989 and 1990 before going off to San Diego (1991-1992). He spent 1993 with Atlanta and 1995 with Green Bay, but was inactive with both teams.
Other notable players picked with the 319th pick: Detroit Lions-Ricky Porter, RB, Slippery Rock, 1982; Philadelphia Eagles-Steve Kaufusi, DE, Brigham Young, 1988; San Francisco 49ers-Antonio Goss, LB, North Carolina, 1989
12th round-318th pick. Minnesota Vikings-Jesse Solomon, MLB, Florida State, 1986
He started at linebacker for the Vikings from 1986 until he was traded to Dallas in 1989 as part of the blockbuster Herschel Walker trade. He then spent the rest of 1989 and 1990 starting for the Cowboys. He was traded to Tampa Bay in 1991 and played there before going to Atlanta for 1992 &1993. He finished up with one last year in Miami in 1994.
12th round-317th pick.Oakland Raiders-Rod Martin, LB, USC, 1977
He was an excellent all around linebacker for 12 seasons with the Raiders (1977-1988). He helped the Raiders win Super Bowls XV & XVIII, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1983 & 1984. He set a record in Super Bowl XV when he intercepted Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski three times. In 1983 he intercepted 4 passes for 81 yards and returned two of them for touchdowns. Although better known for making interceptions, he also had 11 sacks in 1984. His career total of 33.5 sacks would probably be higher, but the NFL didn’t count sacks as an official statistic until 1982, so his first five years are not listed. He retired after being released by the Raiders before the 1989 season.
12th round-316th pick. Cleveland Browns-Paul Farren, T, Boston U., 1983
He and Pro Bowler Cody Risien were the Browns bookend tackles during much of Bernie Kosar’s success as a Browns quarterback. He spent his entire nine year career with the Browns (1983-1991).
Other notable players picked with the 316th pick: Philadelphia Eagles-Bobby Morse, RB, Michigan State, 1987; Washington Redskins-Jimmie Johnson, TE, Howard, 1989
12th round-315th pick. Miami Dolphins-J.B. Brown, CB, Maryland, 1989
His emergence helped make veteran Tim McKyer expendable to Miami after only one season. He spent his first eight seasons as a Dolphin (1989-1996), then spent one season each with Pittsburgh (1997), Arizona(1998), and Detroit (1999). He made a total of 16 interceptions for 293 yards and a touchdown during his career, all with the Dolphins.
Other notable players picked with the 315th pick: Philadelphia Eagles-Mark Slater, C, Minnesota, 1978; Philadelphia Eagles-Reggie Singletary, G, North Carolina State, 1986; Detroit Lions-Gary Lee, WR/KR, Georgia Tech, 1987
12th round-314th pick. Green Bay Packers-Mike Bass, DB, Michigan, 1967
He was active for Detroit in only two games as a rookie with the Lions in 1967. In 1969, he joined the Redskins and played in every game for seven years. He had 30 interceptions in his seven years with the Redskins. He spent 1969 thru 1975 with the Redskins, and retired after the 1975 season.
Other notable players picked 314th: Washington Redskins-Clint Didier, TE, Portland State, 1981
12th round-313th pick. Atlanta Falcons-Ken Whisenhunt, TE, Georgia Tech, 1985
He spent his first four seasons in Atlanta (1985-1988), then with the Redskins in 1990, and last with the Jets from 1991 thru 1992. He mainly served as a backup tight end, posting a career high 20 catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns in 1986. After retiring from the NFL, he started coaching as an assistant for Vanderbilt for two seasons. He joined the Ravens staff in 1997, then the Browns in 1999, the Jets in 2000, and the Steelers from 2001-2006. He was named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2007.
12th round-312th pick. N. Y. Giants-Mike Lansford, K, Washington, 1980
I almost made the mistake of including him on a list of undrafted free agents. Since he first started playing for the Rams in 1982, I thought he was an undrafted rookie free agent. He didn’t stick on an NFL roster until he joined the Rams. During his career he was known for his accuracy despite not having the strongest leg. He was only 4 of 17 from 50+ yards, but other than that, he was generally reliable in clutch situations. He spent nine years as the Rams kicker, playing thru the 1990 season.
Other notable players chosen with the 312th pick: Green Bay Packers-Eason Ramson, TE, Washington State, 1978; Philadelphia Eagles-Paul McFadden, K, Youngstown State, 1984; Pittsburgh Steelers-Carlton Haselrig, G, Pittsburgh-Johnstown, 1989
12th round-311th pick. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Klaus Wilmsmeyer, P, Louisville, 1992
He didn’t end up making the roster in Tampa Bay, but he was quickly signed by San Francisco. He spent his first three years as a 49er, and was with them for their victory in Super Bowl XXIX. He then moved on to New Orleans for 1995 and 1996, followed by Miami in 1998. He wasn’t known for long punts, but he made up for it with his coffin corner kicks, landing 108 of 398 inside the 20.
Other notable players drafted 311th: Minnesota Vikings-Randy Poltl, DB, Stanford, 1974; Minnesota Vikings-Autry Beamon, DB, Texas A&M Commerce, 1975; L.A. Rams-Jeff Pahukoa, T, Washington, 1991
12th round-310th pick. Denver Broncos-Karl Mecklenburg, LB, Minnesota, 1983
Despite being drafted so low, he played 180 games and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. He made 79 sacks in his career, which is still second highest in Broncos history. He had a career high 13 sacks in 1985. He spent his entire 12 year career as a Bronco, retiring after 1994.
Other notable players picked 310th: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Victor Jones, LB, Virginia Tech, 1988; Atlanta Falcons-Bob Christian, FB, Northwestern, 1991
12th round-309th pick. Buffalo Bills-Charles Romes, DB, North Carolina Central, 1977
He didn’t play much during his rookie year, but he took off in his second year. He had two interceptions in 1978, and returned one 85 yards for a touchdown. He lasted ten years at cornerback for the Bills, playing from 1977 to 1986. In his 11 year career he had 28 interceptions for 493 yards and a touchdown. He finished his career by spending 1987 with Seattle and San Diego.
Other notable players picked 309th: N.Y. Giants-Robbie Jones, LB, Alabama, 1983; Washington Redskins-Dean Hamel, DT, Tulsa, 1985
12th round-307th pick. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-David Logan, NT, Pittsburgh, 1979
He had over 28 sacks in eight years starting for Tampa Bay at nose tackle. For some odd reason the stats list him having 4.8 sacks in 1982, is that even possible? His career stats say 28.3. He spent two games with Green Bay before hanging it up in 1987.
Other notable players picked 207th: San Diego Chargers-Tim Spencer, RB, Ohio State, 1983; Washington Redskins-Anthony Jones, TE, Wichita State, 1984.
11th round-306th pick. Dallas Cowboys-Dennis Thurman, CB, USC, 1978
He started as a safety but switched to cornerback in 1981 after Charlie Waters’ retirement triggered a shakeup in their secondary. Rookie free agent Michael Downs and Benny Barnes got the starting jobs at safety, so Thurman moved to corner. Add in another awesome rookie, free agent Everson Walls, and the Cowboys had an awesome secondary. They were nicknamed Thurman’s thieves thanks to Dennis Thurman. 1981 actually turned out to be his best season, he had nine interceptions for 187 yards. In his career he had 36 interceptions for 562 yards, and four touchdowns. He spent one last season with the Cardinals in 1986 before calling it quits. He’s been an assistant coach in the NFL since 1988, and is currently the Jets secondary coach.
Other notable players picked 306th: Miami Dolphins-Bud Brown, DB, Southern Mississippi, 1984; N.Y. Jets-Darrell Davis, DE/LB, TCU, 1990;
San Francisco 49ers-Ted Popson, TE, Portland State, 1991; Oakland Raiders-Bob Kruse, Wayne State (MI), 1967
12th round-305th pick. New Orleans Saints-Jim Wilks, NT, San Diego State, 1981
He spent his entire career with the Saints, from 1981 to 1993. Made 45.5 sacks in 13 years with the team. He had a career high 8 sacks in 1983.
Other notable players picked 306th: Seattle Seahawks-Louis Cooper, LB, Western Carolina, 1985; Chicago Bears-Glen Kozlowski, WR, Brigham Young, 1986; Buffalo Bills-Richard Harvey, LB, Tulane, 1989; Denver Broncos-Cedric Tillman, WR, Alcorn State, 1992; San Francisco 49ers-Paul Hofer, RB, Mississippi, 1976; Pittsburgh Steelers-Frank Pollard, RB, Baylor, 1980
11th round-304th pick. L.A. Rams-Terry Greer, WR, Alabama State, 1980
He spent his first 6 years (1980-1985) of pro football in CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. He joined the Browns in 1986, then signed with San Francisco in 1987, and stuck around for three years. He was with them for Super Bowls XXIII & XXIV, then went to Detroit in 1990 to finish off his career. Overall, in his career he got a Grey Cup ring and two Super Bowl rings.
11-304. Oakland Raiders-Chester Willis, RB, Auburn, 1981
11th round-303rd pick. Minnesota Vikings-Brad Baxter, RB, Alabama State, 1989
After being let go by the Vikings, Baxter joined the Jets in 1989. his emergence in 1990 led to the exit of former #1 pick Roger Vick, who was traded to the Eagles. After he ran for 698 yards and six touchdowns in 1992, he also made former second overall pick Blair Thomas expendable. Thomas wound up being cut after the 1993 season, while Baxter stuck around thru 1995.
Other notable players picked 303rd: L.A. Raiders-Steve Strachan, RB, Boston College, 1985; San Francisco 49ers-Chet Brooks, S, Texas A&M, 1988; New Orleans Saints-Mike Gisler, G, Houston, 1992
11th round-302nd pick. Chicago Bears-Jim Morrissey, LB, Michigan State, 1985
he was part of a strong group of linebackers for the Bears. As a rookie, he was one of the guys doing the Super Bowl Shuffle in their 1985 video. His first significant year playing was 1988, when he had three interceptions for 13 yards. He had at least one interception every year from 1988 to 1992. He played in two games with the Bears before being cut in 1993, then joined arch rival Green Bay for six games.
Other notable players picked 302nd: Philadelphia Eagles-Thomas Brown, DE, Baylor, 1980; N.Y. Jets-Randy Rasmussen, G, Kearney (NE), 1967
11th round-301st pick. Houston Oilers-Anthony Davis, LB, Utah, 1992
He made the active roster with the Seahawks in 1993, playing in ten games. In 1994 he signed with the Chiefs, playing in five games. His first significant playing time came in 1995, starting three games with the Chiefs and making one interception. He was a full time starter for the next three years, making a total of four more interceptions. He then joined Green Bay in 1999 for 14 games, with one start. he finished up his career playing with the Ravens in 2000.
Other notable players picked 301st: Cincinnati Bengals-Bob Trumpy, TE, Utah, 1968; L.A. Rams-Bill Goldberg, DT, Georgia, 1990
Information obtained using nfl.com, wikipedia, and pro-football-reference.com