NFL Draft: Alabama’s Lost Picks

The NFL Draft will end on Saturday with its 262nd pick, the player who will be nicknamed Mr. Irrelevant.

But in the previous 86 NFL Drafts, 34 players were chosen in Alabama with picks that had numbers above 262. But they weren’t out of the question.

Five of them challenged their draft positions and played in NFL regular season games. Cornerback Mark McMillian played in 127 of them, and linebacker Robbie Jones was the special teams captain on a Super Bowl-winning team.


Alabama players who have been selected with the 263rd selection or later of an NFL Draft include:

Choice #266: David Bailey, wide receiver, Packers, 1972.

Bailey caught 35 passes for 550 yards and two touchdowns for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in 1974 and was on the Birmingham Vulcans of the WFL in 1975.

Choice #270: Thomas Rayam, guard, Redskins, 1990.

Rayam persevered to reach the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in 20 games during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, with 13 starts at right guard. He then played eight years in the Canadian Football League, starting with the Birmingham Barracudas in 1995.

Choice #272: Mark McMillian, defensive back, Eagles, 1992.

Although he is 5-foot-7 and was drafted in the 10th round, the cornerback had an eight-year career, during which he intercepted 23 passes, which is fourth on the list of the NFL in Alabama. McMillian led the NFL in interception-return yards with 274 for the Chiefs in 1997, when he returned three of his eight picks for touchdowns, including a 62-yard return in a 35-14 win over the Carolina Panthers and an 87-yarder. come back in a 29-7 win over the San Diego Chargers. McMillian also had a 41-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a 31-29 loss to Carolina in his last game with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999. He finished that season with nine games for the Redskins. from Washington to end his career with 127 NFL. regular season appearances.

Choice #273: Travis Hunt, tackle, 49ers, 1953; Cecil “Hootie” Ingram, back, Eagles, 1955.

When Ingram wasn’t on the Philadelphia team, he became a coach, eventually becoming Clemson’s head coach. He served as Alabama’s athletic director from 1989 to 1995.

Choice #274: Al Sabo, back, Dodgers, 1943.

Choice #276: Byron Holdbrooks, defensive tackle, 49ers, 1991.

No. 279 choice: Andy Bires, end, Giants, 1944.

Bires entered the US Army Air Corps instead of the NFL.

Choice #282: Jack McKewan, tackle, Bears, 1944.

McKewan was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

Choice #284: Terry Jones, nose tackle, Packers, 1978.

Jones is the most involved Alabama player in the draft and has become a regular NFL starter. After three seasons as a reserve, he spent three years as a starter for Green Bay. Jones played in 85 regular season NFL games, with 49 starts – all for the Packers. Later, he became a strength and conditioning coach for the Crimson Tide. His son, Terry Jones Jr., was the 155th selection in the 2002 NFL Draft.

Choice #290: Leroy Cook, defensive end, Cowboys, 1976.

Alabama’s first two-time consensus All-American, Cook suffered a knee injury in his final regular-season game in college. After rehab in 1976, Cook did not make the 1977 Dallas team and never played in the NFL.

Choice #291: John Smalley, tackle, Packers, 1954.

Choice #296: Efrum Thomas, defensive back, Steelers, 1991.

Thomas returned two interceptions for touchdowns for the Orlando Thunder of the World Football League in 1992.

Choice #298: Tom Calvin, halfback, Steelers, 1951.

After coaching Baldwin County High School to a 7-2-1 record in 1951, Calvin played in 30 games, with five starts, for Pittsburgh from 1952 to 1955. He rushed for 136 yards on 32 carries and caught seven passes for 51 yards. In 1956, he began a 21-year run as a football coach at Sylacauga High School, then coached another 11 seasons at Austin High School. Calvin compiled a 201-130-11 record and is a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Choice #302: Ralph Carrigan, center, Cardinals, 1954.

Choice #306: Bobby Wilson, back, Steelers, 1952.

After two seasons in the US Army, Wilson became a coach. In 12 seasons at Sidney Lanier High School, Wilson guided the Poets to a 92-24-6 record. During Wilson’s last three seasons, Sidney Lanier won the AHSAA Class 4A championship every year and lost only one game in the 1966, 1967 and 1968 seasons. Wilson is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame from Alabama High School.

Choice #309: Jim Krapf, goalie, Raiders, 1973; Robbie Jones, linebacker, Giants, 1983.

Krapf played for the BC Lions of the CFL in 1973.

Jones is the deepest-drafted Alabama player in the NFL Draft who has played in an NFL regular season game. He did more than make an appearance, too. The former Demopolis High School standout played four seasons with the New York Giants and served as special teams captain in 1986 when they won the Super Bowl.

Choice #312: Charlie Compton, tackle, Rams, 1945.

Compton began his career in Alabama in 1942, but after being drafted by Los Angeles returned to play for the Crimson Tide in 1946 and 1947. In the meantime, he earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his service in World War II. world. The Charlie Compton Award is given annually to a member of the Alabama football team who has demonstrated outstanding Christian leadership. After football, Compton attended seminary and became a missionary.

No. 313 choice: Major Ogilvie, running back, 49ers, 1981; Mike Shula, quarterback, Buccaneers, 1987.

Shula broke Alabama’s single-season record for touchdown passes, but he never played in an NFL regular season game. After one season with the Bucs, he joined the Tampa Bay coaching staff of Ray Perkins, who had coached him in Alabama. Shula returned to coach the Crimson Tide from 2003 to 2006. He is now the Buffalo Bills’ senior offensive assistant coach and is preparing for his 35th season as a coach.

Choice #318: Al Ellett, tackle, Eagles, 1956.

Choice #320: Bobby Johns, defensive back, Chiefs, 1968.

Johns’ coaching career included a four-year stint as a head coach at West Alabama.

No. 328 choices: Red Noonan, back, Yanks, 1950; Harold “Red” Lutz, late, Cardinals, 1952.

Lutz was a high school head coach from 1957 to 1981, compiling a 149-88-8 record in 12 seasons at Fairfield, 10 seasons at Tuscaloosa and three seasons at Central Tuscaloosa.

No. 340 choice: Wes Thompson, tackle, Steelers, 1956; Joe Dale Harris, wide receiver, Bengals, 1976.

Thompson was the head coach of the Florence center in 1957 and also managed the Decatur, West Morgan and Deshler teams.

Choice #347: Clell Hobson, back, Browns, 1953.

While Hobson never played in the NFL, his son Butch Hobson, who also played football at Alabama, played eight seasons in Major League Baseball and then led the Boston Red Sox in three seasons.

No. 358 choice: Jim Buckler, guard, Bears, 1956; Dave Sington, tackle, Giants, 1959.

Choice #386: Robin Parkhouse, linebacker, Colts, 1972.

Choice #392: Buddy Brown, guard, Giants, 1974.

Brown signed with the Birmingham Americans of the WFL instead of New York and earned All-WFL recognition as the league championship team goaltender. He played from 1975 to 1978 for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.

Choice #411: Steve Higginbotham, defensive back, Redskins, 1972.

Choice #412: Bill Davis, linebacker, Raiders, 1969.

After Oakland picked Davis in the 17th round, the 1969 draft still had 30 picks to go.


Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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