Publish Date: 01/09/2021
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
This draft included forty percent of the famed Hogs in Mark May and Russ Grimm. The draft also gave the Skins one of the most feared defensive ends in the decade of the 1980’s Dexter Manley. Coach Joe Gibbs built around great drafts, and this one gave them three players to build around.
Everybody knows about the great Herschel Walker trade to the Vikings that was engineered by Cowboys Head Coach Jimmy Johnson. The only way it could be remembered is if the Cowboys used those draft picks wisely, and there is no doubt they did. The Cowboys selected in 1991 DT Russell Maryland, WR Alvin Harper, Tackle Eric Williams, DT Leon Lett, and Cornerback Larry Brown. I would say they got their moneys worth, throw in another great draft in 1992, and you had a short dynasty that would end up being shortened when Owner Jerry Jones ego got in the way.
The Bills started building a team that would go to four straight Super Bowls with this draft. They picked up one of the greatest defensive ends to ever play the game in Bruce Smith. Then they went out and acquired future Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed. Throw in Frank Reich who would lead the Bills to one of the greatest come from behind wins in history in 1992 over the Houston Oilers, and I would say you had a pretty solid draft.
The 1983 draft would become known as a great QB draft. The Bears had a great draft by staying away from the QB position. They instead picked up offensive linemen Jim Covert and Tom Thayer and also added speedy wide receiver Willie Gault to the offense. On the defensive side of the ball, they added Dave Duerson and most importantly future Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent. All five of these guys would play a significant role in the Bears 1985 season.
The cornerstones of the Bucs future Super Bowl Championship team was built in 1995. That year the Bucs grabbed two future Hall of Famers in the NFL. Defensive Tackle Warren Sapp and Linebacker Derrick Brooks were drafted back to back and together they turned a floundering franchise into World Champions.
Like the Bucs, it took the Ravens one draft to change the fortunes of their team from also-rans to Champions. That draft occurred in 1996 when the selected Jonathan Ogden who would become a Hall of Fame offensive Tackle, and then later they picked legendary Linebacker, Ray Lewis, the Ravens have been contenders ever since.
I will give you this the 1965 draft did not lead to World Championships for the Bears, but they did pick two of the most entertaining and awe-inspiring players the league has ever seen. Dick Butkus was a merciless monster in the middle and running back Gayle Sayers was one of the most graceful men to ever step foot on a football field.
The 49ers had already won two Super Bowls, but they were getting older. The 1986 draft helped bring this organization back to prominence. They picked up John Taylor who caught the winning pass in Super Bowl 23, Future hall of fame pass rusher Charles Haley, Fullback Tom Rathman, CB Tim McKyer, and lineman Steve Wallace and Kevin Fagan. This draft helped to continue Bill Walsh’s dynasty.
It was not just the arrival of Vince Lombardi that turned around the Green Bay Packers; the 1958 draft had a lot to do with it also. The Packers picked up hall of fame running back Him Taylor, legendary linebacker Ray Nitschke and should be in the Hall of Fame guard Jerry Kramer.
1). 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers
There should be no debate about which teams draft was number one. The Steelers in one draft got Swann and Stallworth, menacing linebacker Jack Lambert and one of the greatest centers in NFL history Mike Webster. If you take anyone of these players away, it could effect how many Super Bowls the Steelers would end up winning. All four of these players were vital to the Steelers sucsses, and they all were selected in the same draft.