Here’s the first installment of our five-part series looking back at the best drafts by a team each decade.
We opted to start with the 1970s because explaining the NFL (and AFL) drafts before then become somewhat complicated. As we know, the competing league held its own separate drafts from 1960-66 before the Common Draft was implemented in 1967.
For instance, quarterback Joe Namath was a first-round selection of the AFL’s New York Jets and the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals in 1965. That same year, running back Gale Sayers was drafted by both the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs.
That all finally changed when the league’s opted to merge in ’67 and for trivia fans, Michigan State defensive tackle Bubba Smith was the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts that year.
Back to the task at hand and that’s a look at the best team draft of the ‘70s. And it’s safe to say we’re starting out with a doozy.