Once again, I found one Hall of Famer picked in this group of draft picks. From picks 260-279, I found a combined 13 Super Bowl wins from eight players. Also in this group is one innovator that started a trend in touchdown celebrations, the original target for the immaculate reception, and a very unlucky journeyman quarterback who kept landing with teams that had high draft picks brought in to push him out the door. There’s no NFL MVP’s this time, but there was one CFL Outstanding Player Award Winner. As usual, not everyone in this group is an all star, but there’s plenty of familiar names for the best players drafted between picks 260-279:
10th round-279th pick. Washington Redskins-Keith Griffin, RB, Miami, 1984
He is the younger brother of former Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. He got most of his playing time with the Redskins in his first two seasons, rushing for over 400 yards in 1984 & 1985. I was actually surprised to see that he lasted 5 years in spite of the team adding Kelvin Bryant, then trading for George Rogers, drafting Timmy Smith in 1987, and drafting Mike Oliphant and Jamie Morris in 1988. He was out of the league after the 1988 season, i’m guessing the trades for Earnest Byner and Gerald Riggs sealed his fate in 1989. At least he was around for their Super Bowl XXII victory.
20th round-278th pick. N.Y. Giants-Homer Jones, WR, Texas Southern, 1964
He only played seven seasons, but he was impressive when he was in his prime, and he created an important part of modern touchdown celebrations. He originally planned to start his career with his hometown team, the Houston Oilers, but he suffered a knee injury in camp and was cut. The Giants offered him a bus ticket to New York and they offered to pay for his knee surgery, so he went for it. The 1965 season was his breakthrough, as he caught 25 passes for 709 yards, a 27.3 yard per catch average, and scored 6 touchdowns. On one of his touchdowns, he threw the ball really hard into the ground in the end zone, and called it a “spike”. Most modern touchdown celebrations originated from Homer doing this. He went on to star for the Giants for six seasons, but got traded to the Browns in 1970. His playing days were limited after the trade as injuries caught up to him. He retired after the 1970 season, but went out with 224 catches, 4,986 yards, a 22.3 yard average, and 36 touchdowns.
10th round-277th pick. L.A. Raiders-Mervyn Fernandez, WR, San Jose State, 1983
He spent his first five seasons of pro football playing for the British Columbia Lions of the CFL. He won the CFL’s Most outstanding Player Award in 1985 after being an all star in 1984 & 1985. In 1987, he was finally convinced to move south to the NFL and play for the Raiders. His breakthrough season was 1988, when he had 31 catches for 805 yards, a 26 yard per catch average, and four touchdowns. He stepped it up a notch in 1989, catching 57 passes for 1,069 yards, an 18.8 yard per catch average, and nine touchdowns. He left the Raiders after the 1992 season to go north for one last season with the B.C. Lions in 1993. In his six year NFL career he had 209 catches for 3,764 yards, an 18 yard per catch average, and 19 touchdowns.
Other notable players picked 277th: Oakland Raiders-Marv Hubbard, TE, Colgate, 1968
10th round-276th pick. Cleveland Browns-Frank Winters, C, Western Illinois, 1987
He went through three teams before becoming Brett Favre’s center in 1992, starting 11 games in his first year as a Packer. He spent his first two years with the Browns, then spent 1989 with the Giants, and the next two seasons with the Chiefs before heading to Green Bay. He missed only eight games from 1993 through 2000. He played in only four games in 2001, then came back in 2002 to start 10 of the 16 games before retiring after the 2002 season. He started 141 of the 231 games he played in during his 16 year career.
Other notable players picked with the 276th pick: Cincinnati Bengals-Tim Krumrie, NT, Wisconsin, 1983; Oakland Raiders-Frank Hawkins, RB, Nevada, 1981; San Francisco 49ers-Martin Harrison, DE, Washington, 1990
10th round-275th pick. Dallas Cowboys-Steve DeBerg, QB, San Jose State, 1977
Most people that watched him play probably either forgot or didn’t know he was ever drafted by the Cowboys. He didn’t make the roster in Dallas, but he got signed by the 49ers before the end of the season. He played in 39 games with the 49ers from 1978-1980, but couldn’t overcome his mistakes, throwing 37 touchdowns and 61 interceptions. He was eventually replaced by a young man named Joe Montana, so he got traded to the Broncos.
This time he played in 33 games for the Broncos, throwing 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. It was an improvement for him, but he eventually got beat by a rookie named John Elway. He was then traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to try to help replace Doug Williams. He did a little bit better again, throwing for 12 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions in 1987. Unfortunately for him, once again there was a young prospect that replaced him, the first pick in the 1987 draft-Vinny Testaverde.
He got traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988, where he replaced Bill Kenney. He produced some of his best numbers as he started for the Chiefs for four years. In 1990 he threw for 3,444 yards, 23 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. What made this even more impressive was the fact that three of the four interceptions came in one game. After the 1991 season, he returned to Tampa Bay to be a backup behind Vinny Testaverde again. After being cut by the Buccaneers in 1993, he was picked up by the Dolphins to fill in for an injured Dan Marino. He had retired after the 1993 season, and was working for the Falcons as a quarterbacks coach when an injury to Chris Chandler convinced him to try coming back in 1998. He played in eight games and started one, throwing three touchdowns with only one interception. He was the oldest player ever included on a Super Bowl roster at 45 years and 12 days. He did retire again after the 1998 season.
Other notable players picked 275th: Philadelphia Eagles-Hubie Oliver, RB/KR, Arizona, 1981; L.A. Raiders-Reggie McKenzie, LB, Tennessee, 1985
10th round-274th pick. L.A. Rams-Duval Love, G, UCLA, 1985
He started on a particularly strong Rams offensive line, with Pro Bowlers Tom Newberry at the other guard spot, Doug Smith at center, Hall of Famer Jackie Slater and Irv Pankey at tackle. Love played for the Rams from 1985-1991, the Steelers from 1992-1994, and the Cardinals from 1995 to 1996. He did play in one Pro Bowl before he retired, but he really didn’t get enough credit since there were so many great linemen around him.
Other notable players selected with the 274th pick: Denver Broncos-Ken Woodard, LB, Tuskegee, 1982; Miami Dolphins-Mark Dennard, C, Texas A&M, 1978; N.Y. Jets-Dan Fike, G, Florida, 1983; L.A. Raiders-Andrew Glover, TE, Grambling State, 1991
11th round-273rd pick. N.Y. Giants-John Fuqua, RB, Morgan State, 1969
I can’t believe I almost skipped over “Frenchy” Fuqua for a backup Oilers lineman that only played three years! I’m glad I looked to see who this “other guy” was before I tried writing a bio on a guy that never started. Frenchy played for the Giants as rookie, then got traded to the Steelers in 1970. He played on two of their Steelers Super Bowl winning teams in Super Bowls IX & X. He is perhaps best known nationwide as the intended target of the play now known as the immaculate reception. Raiders safety Jack Tatum was closing in to hit him, & the ball went up in the air. Franco Harris caught it right before it would’ve hit the ground, and he ran it in for the game winning touchdown.
Fuqua played for the Steelers from 1970 thru 1976, and ran for 3,031 yards on 719 carries, with a 4.2 yard average, and 18 touchdowns.
Other notable players picked 273rd: Dallas Cowboys-Eric Moran, T, Washington, 1983
10th round-272nd pick. Philadelphia Eagles-Mark McMillian, CB, Alabama, 1992
In spite of his small size (5’7″, 154 lbs), McMillian became a valuable nickel corner as a rookie with the Eagles. He picked off eight passes in his four seasons with the Eagles, and started 47 games. He signed with the Saints as a free agent in 1996, and started all 16 games, but only picked off two passes for four yards. He joined the Chiefs in 1997 and had his best year yet. In spite of only starting two games, he picked off eight passes and led the NFL in interception yardage with 274 yards and scored three touchdowns. The next season he picked off three passes and started ten games. He split 1999 between San Francisco (6 games) and the Washington Redskins (9 games), then retired after the season.
Other notable players picked 272nd: Washington Redskins-George Starke, T, Columbia, 1971; Miami Dolphins-Mike Kozlowski, RB, Colorado, 1979; San Diego Chargers-Bruce Mathison, QB, Nebraska, 1983; Denver Broncos-Bobby Micho, TE, Texas, 1987; Cleveland Browns-Brian Washington, S, Nebraska, 1988
10th round-271st pick. Chicago Bears-Shaun Gayle, S, Ohio State, 1984
Yet another member of that deep secondary the Bears had in 1985 when they won Super Bowl XX. He played for the Bears from 1984-1994, then spent one last season with the Chargers in 1995. In his 12 year career he had 16 interceptions for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
Other notable players picked 271st: Houston Oilers-Tracy Johnson, RB, Clemson, 1989; Minnesota Vikings-Donald Smith, DB, Liberty, 1990; Kansas City Chiefs-Jerry Ostroski, G, Tulsa, 1992; Cleveland Browns-Dean Prater, DE, Oklahoma State, 1981
10th round-270th pick. N.Y. Giants-Rich Baldinger, T, Wake Forest, 1982
He played in only three games with the Giants in 1982-83. He joined Kansas City early in 1983 and stuck around for ten years. He spent one last season with the Patriots in 1993. He started 107 of the 157 games he played in from 1982 to 1993.
Other notable players picked 270th: New England Patriots-Ricky Feacher, WR, Mississippi Valley State, 1976; Denver Broncos-Virgil Seay, WR, Troy, 1980; Seattle Seahawks-Louis Clark, WR, Mississippi State, 1987; Indianapolis Colts-O’Brien Alston, LB, Maryland, 1988
10th round-269th pick. St. Louis Cardinals-Tim Lucas, LB, California, 1983
He didn’t make the active roster for a team until joining the Broncos in 1987, but he stuck around through the 1993 season when he did. He had five sacks and an interception in seven seasons with the Broncos.
Other notable players picked 269th: San Francisco 49ers-Dana McLemore, DB, Hawaii, 1982; Pittsburgh Steelers-Ariel Solomon, T, Colorado, 1991
11th round-268th pick. Pittsburgh Steelers-Mike Wagner, DB, Western Illinois, 1971
A regular on the Steelers awesome defense of the 70’s, Wagner lasted ten seasons and spent his entire ten year career in Pittsburgh. He made interceptions in Super Bowls IX & X, and played on all four Super Bowl winning teams. He was also chosen to the Steelers fiftieth season all time team. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1975 & 1976. In his career he made 36 interceptions for 491 yards, 12 fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles. I’m laughing as I write this because I almost picked Derrick Fenner for this draft pick, but checked Wagner’s stats first because the name rang a bell.
Other notable players picked 268th: Atlanta Falcons-Ralph Giacomarro, P, Penn State, 1983; Seattle Seahawks-Derrick Fenner, RB, North Carolina, 1989
10th round-267th pick. New England Patriots-Tom Ramsey, QB, UCLA, 1983
He didn’t make the team during his first two years, but finally made it in 1985. He threw three passes in 1986, then finally played in games in 1987. He threw for 898 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. He got cut in 1989 when they were overstocked with quarterbacks Doug Flutie, Marc Wilson, Steve Grogan, and Tony Eason. He played in seven games with the Colts in 1989 and that was it for his NFL career.
Other notable players picked 267th: New Orleans Saints-Ernest Spears, DB, USC, 1990; Washington Redskins-Allan Kennedy, T, Washington State, 1981; Kansas City Chiefs-Jeff Smith, RB, Nebraska, 1985
19th round-265th pick. N.Y. Giants-Buck Buchanan, DT, Grambling, 1963
This one almost feels like i’m cheating since he never played for the Giants. He signed with the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie in 1963, and stuck around thru 1975. He was an AFL All Star six times, and was named to the Pro Bowl twice after the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. He had rare speed for his time, running a 4.9 second 40 yard dash. That was unusual for a 270 pound lineman back in the 60’s. His height (6’7″) made him an obstacle for quarterbacks; he batted down 16 passes in 1967. He retired after the 1975 season, and was finally elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with lung cancer a week before being inducted. He died in 1992 at the age of 51.
Other notable players picked 265th: Seattle Seahawks-Ron Essink, T, Grand Valley State, 1980; New England Patriots-Toby Williams, DT, Nebraska, 1983; L.A. Raiders-John Gesek, G, Sacramento State, 1987; Buffalo Bills-Mike Lodish, DT, UCLA, 1990
10th round-264th pick. Minnesota Vikings-Brian Habib, T, Washington, 1988
He didn’t play in 1988, but he made the active roster in 1989, and started 23 games from 1991-1992. He signed with the Broncos in 1993, and played five years. He missed only two games in five years as a Bronco, and played in their Super Bowl XXXII victory. He signed with the Seahawks in 1998, and spent his last two years there, starting all 16 games each season.
Other notable players picked 264th: Dallas Cowboys-Beasley Reece, DB, North Texas, 1976, Minnesota Vikings-Brad Culpepper, DT, Florida, 1992
10th round-263rd pick. Washington Redskins-Mark Schlereth, G, Idaho, 1989
He made his first start as a rookie with the Redskins in 1989. He went on to start 140 of the 156 games he played in his career. He made a name for himself by playing through pain. He had 29 surgeries during his career, and 20 of them were knee operations. He spent six years each with the Washington Redskins (1989-1994), and the Denver Broncos (1995-2000). He made the Pro Bowl twice, and was on Super Bowl winning teams three times. He got his first with the Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI, then two in with the Broncos: XXXII & XXXIII. He retired in 2001 after missing half of the 2000 season with injuries.
Other notable players picked 263rd: Washington Redskins-Terry Orr, TE, Texas, 1985; New Orleans Saints-Robert Clark, WR, North Carolina Central, 1987
11th round-262nd pick. N.Y. Giants-George Martin, DE, Oregon, 1975
A regular on the Giants defensive line, Martin made 96 sacks in his 14 year career with the Giants. Officially, he’s only listed as having 46 since the sack wasn’t recognized as a stat until 1982. He played on their championship team that won Super Bowl XXI. He also had one unusual stat-he only intercepted three passes in his career, but he returned all three for touchdowns. He had the record for touchdowns by a defensive lineman with six before Jason Taylor broke it in November of 2006.
Other notable players picked 262nd: Atlanta Falcons-Jeff Van Note, LB, Kentucky, 1969; N.Y. Jets-Kerry Glenn, DB, Minnesota, 1985; Buffalo Bills-Martin Mayhew, CB, Florida State, 1988
10th round-261st pick. Philadelphia Eagles-Mark Kelso, FS, William & Mary, 1985
He didn’t play as a rookie, but he made the Bills team in 1986. He had three consecutive years as a ballhawk, intercepting six passes in 1987 and 1989, and seven in 1988. He made seven interceptions again in 1992, and played on all four of the Bills Super Bowl teams. He finished his career with 30 interceptions for 327 yards and one touchdown.
other notable players picked 261st: Miami Dolphins-Steve Folsom, TE, Utah, 1981; Philadelphia Eagles-Junior Tautalatasi, RB, Washington State, 1986; Pittsburgh Steelers-Merril Hoge, RB, Idaho State, 1987; San Francisco 49ers-Tommy Hart, LB, Morris Brown, 1968
10th round-260th pick. N. Y. Jets-Guy Bingham, C, Montana, 1980
He barely missed the chance at a Super Bowl, joining the Redskins the season after they won Super Bowl XXVI. He spent his first nine years with the N.Y. Jets. He signed with the Falcons in 1989, and played there for three years. He joined the Redskins in 1992, and retired after the 1993 season.
Other notable players selected 260th: Minnesota Vikings-Stu Voight, TE, Wisconsin, 1970, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Donald Igwebuike, K, Clemson, 1985
Information obtained using nfl.com, wikipedia, and pro-football-reference.com