This Day In Sports History; April 19th
Anniversary of the 1997 NFL Draft.
On this day in 1997, the NFL Draft kicked off with the first round and fans witnessed three Hall of Fame players come off the board, some Hall of “Very Good” guys, and a murder get drafted.
The number one pick belonged to the St. Louis Rams who scooped up offensive tackle Orlando Pace who was a massive piece of the Greatest Show on Turf team. He was a big reason why the Rams won the 1999 Super Bowl. He was inducted into Canton in 2015.
A few picks later, the Seattle Seahawks secured another big time offensive tackle in Walter Jones. Jones was inducted to the Hall of Fame a year before Pace in 2014. He made nine Pro Bowls and was a six time All Pro mauler in the trenches.
In my opinion, Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end of all time but you can make an argument for Tony Gonzalez who was taken thirteenth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. In Gonzalez’s illustrious career he reeled in 111 touchdowns and recorded 15,127 yards. He found his was to Canton in 2018.
While three Hall of Famers were taken in the first round, there were many guys that would make the Hall of “Very Good”. James Farrior was taken eighth by the Jets, halfback Warrick Dunn was selected by the Buccaneers, and defensive lineman Trevor Pryce was scooped up at the end of the draft by the Broncos.
With the twenty seventh pick, the Panther took a guy that, let’s just say wasn’t a good dude. They selected wide receiver Rae Carruth. In his career he had 804 yards and 4 touchdowns. I just wonder, why did he stop playing in 1999?
Oh yeah, he had murdered his pregnant side chick murdered. Cherica Adams was eight months pregnant when he had an associate of his shoot her with a .357 caliber Charter Arms revolver. A disgusting human being.
This draft will go down in history as one that had great players and guys that were great at being bad dudes.