Draft two-step: How RGIII and Luck will make history
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III figure to go as the top two picks in the NFL Draft, which would make Texas football history. DCTF's Greg Tepper explains.
The NFL Draft is still a little more than a month away – April 26 is when it’s scheduled – but for all intents and purposes, the first 30 minutes of the draft have been set in stone.
It’s long been suspected – really, for over a year – that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will be the first overall pick in April’s draft. And why not? The Houston Stratford product has had scouts longing over his skill set for the last two years, drawing comparisons to some of the very best quarterbacks that have ever played in the NFL. And when the Indianapolis Colts – owners of the No. 1 overall pick – cut ties with four-time league MVP Peyton Manning last week, the writing on the wall that Luck would be selected first only became engraved deeper.
The story couldn’t be more different for the expected No. 2 overall pick, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. Coming into the 2011 season as a respected but generally uncelebrated signal-caller for a middle-of-the-road team, Griffin lifted Baylor to new heights, smashing school records left and right en route to a 9-3 season, a victory in the Alamo Bowl and a Heisman Trophy. Since then, the draft stock for Griffin – a Copperas Cove graduate – has been skyrocketing, especially after his sensational showing at the NFL Combine. Speculation ran rampant that he could go as high as second in the draft, but that speculation ended with confirmation when, last weekend, the Washington Redskins traded a heap of picks to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick, making it clear that RG3 would go second.
These circumstances have considerable historical impact in the Texas football landscape. After all, for the first time in NFL history, two quarterbacks from Texas high schools should be taken as the first two picks in the NFL draft.
I needed to confirm this, however, which sent me scurrying back to my favorite place: the historical records. I traced back every quarterback from a Texas high school that’s ever been taken in the first round of the NFL draft – tracing it back all the way to the first draft in 1936. What I found is that the Luck/Griffin doublet is not just interesting; it’s unprecedented in many, many ways.
For your studying pleasure, every Texas-bred quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft:
|2011||Christian Ponder||12||Vikings||Colleyville Heritage||Florida State|
|2009||Matthew Stafford||1||Lions||Highland Park||Georgia|
|2006||Vince Young||3||Titans||Houston Madison||Texas|
|1992||David Klingler||6||Bengals||Houston Stratford||Houston|
|1992||Tommy Maddox||25||Broncos||Hurst L.D. Bell||UCLA|
|1977||Tommy Kramer||27||Vikings||SA Lee||Rice|
|1968||Eldridge Dickey||25||Raiders (AFL)||Houston Washington||Tennessee State|
|1966||Randy Johnson||16||Falcons||SA Sam Houston||Texas A&I|
|1958||King Hill||1||Chicago Cardinals||Brazosport||Rice|
|1954||Cotton Davidson||5||Baltimore Colts||Gatesville||Baylor|
|1950||Adrian Burk||2||Baltimore Colts||Gaston**||Baylor|
|1948||Bobby Layne||3||Bears||Highland Park||Texas|
*-Y.A. Tittle – the pride of Marshall, Texas -- really was drafted twice, in 1948 and 1951. In ’48, he was taken 6th overall by the Detroit Lions, but opted instead to play for the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference. Though the Colts joined the NFL in 1950, they went bankrupt and defunct after that season, opening him up for another draft. The San Francisco 49ers happily gobbled him up with the 3rd overall pick, and he rewarded them with four Pro Bowl selections and a UPI NFL MVP in his ten seasons in San Fran.
**-Gaston School, the alma mater of Adrian Burk, was in Joinerville, TX – right inbetween New London, Troup and Henderson out in East Texas. The home of the Red Devils, Gaston closed in 1965 when, due to low enrollment numbers, the Gaston and New London schools consolidated to form West Rusk County Consolidated Independent School District.
A couple of things to draw from this:
-If Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III do go first and second, respectively, in this year’s draft, it won’t just be the first time two Texas-bred QBs have gone 1-2 in the draft; it will be just the third time ever that two Texas-bred QBs have gone in the entire first round in one year, joining 1992 (Klingler and Maddox) and 1948 (Layne and Tittle).
-If Griffin goes in the first round of the NFL Draft, he’ll become just the 11th quarterback who played both his high school and college football in Texas to be selected in the first round.
-Luck figures to become just the third Texas-bred quarterback ever to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick, joining Matthew Stafford (2009) and King Hill (1958) in that regard.
-No Texas-based NFL team has ever selected a Texas-bred QB in the first round. It still could happen – Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, a product of Big Spring, is gaining some draft steam – but it likely won’t be Luck or Griffin.
-Only one team has ever taken three different Texas-bred quarterbacks with a first-round pick: the Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford in 2009, Andre Ware in 1990 and Y.A. Tittle in 1948).
-Luck figures to become the fourth quarterback from a Houston high school to be drafted in the first round, and the second from Houston Stratford, joining UH gunslinger David Klingler.
All in all, there’s Texas history that could potentially be made in New York on April 26. Just another thing to keep an eye on in this wild football offseason.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.