American Football League draft

The American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969) stocked its teams in two ways:

  1. Signing free agents (players whose contracts in other professional football leagues had expired, or who had no professional experience).
  2. Signing players from the previous year's college graduates.

The latter option involved a "draft" in which each team selected players who then were not available for other teams to select. The draft for the 1960 season was actually conducted in late 1959, shortly after the formation of the league. Thereafter, American Football League drafts were conducted separately from the rival NFL through 1966. Starting in 1967, after the NFL agreed to merge with the AFL, the two leagues conducted a "common draft".

In 1961 and 1962, the American Football League drafts were "regional". Teams were assigned broad geographical regions around their home city, and had "rights" to the players within those regions. The AFL's owners reckoned that players would be more willing to play in their league if they had the opportunity to sign with their "home town" teams, and also hoped to attract fans with players with whom they had some familiarity. The AFL also tapped sources which the NFL had disdained: small colleges and all-black colleges.

During the years in which the American Football League was in direct competition with the NFL for players (and fans), numerous star players chose to play in the AFL. The first and one of the most prominent of these was LSU All-American Billy Cannon, who went on to become an AFL All-Star both as a running back with the Houston Oilers and as a tight end with the Oakland Raiders. Other greats signed by the AFL in the years before the common draft included Abner Haynes and Johnny Robinson (Dallas Texans); Jim Otto (Oakland Raiders); Lance Alworth, John Hadl, and Ron Mix (San Diego Chargers), Lionel Taylor (Denver Broncos); Billy Shaw (Buffalo Bills); Larry Grantham (New York Titans); Matt Snell and Joe Namath (New York Jets); Nick Buoniconti (Boston Patriots) and a host of others.

Drafts

See also

1960 American Football League draft

The 1960 American Football League draft was held on November 22–23, 1959, in Minneapolis, shortly after the organization of the league, and lasted 33 rounds. An additional draft of 20 rounds was held by the AFL on December 2.

1961 American Football League draft

Because another league was in competition for the class of 1961 college stars, the American Football League draft for 1961 graduates was held in 1960, with a six-round telephone draft on November 21 and 22, that saw the Denver Broncos select New Mexico State's Bob Gaiters as the overall first draft pick. The draft was completed on December 5 and 6th, with rounds seven through thirty. The San Diego Chargers were still the "Los Angeles Chargers" in this draft, as their relocation was not announced until late January 1961.

1961 NFL expansion draft

The 1961 NFL expansion draft was a National Football League (NFL) draft in which a new expansion team, named the Minnesota Vikings, selected its first players. That selection was provided by the expansion draft, held on January 26, 1961.

In August 1959, a group of Minneapolis businessmen were awarded a franchise in the new American Football League (AFL). In January 1960, they forfeited their AFL membership and were awarded a 90% stake in the 14th franchise of the NFL (the other 10%, under a decades-old agreement, went to former Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos owner Ole Haugsrud). Though the ownership group had participated in the 1960 American Football League draft before jumping leagues to the NFL, they did not take any of the players they selected in that draft with them. As such, they entered the 1961 draft with an empty roster. So that the Vikings could become competitive with existing teams, the league awarded the Vikings the first pick in the 1961 NFL draft and gave them the opportunity to select current players from existing teams. In the expansion draft, the existing franchises listed players from which the Vikings could select to switch to the new team.

1963 American Football League draft

The 1963 American Football League draft was held in Dallas on Saturday, December 1, 1962.The Kansas City Chiefs drafted as the Dallas Texans, as their relocation would take place a few months later. With the first overall selection, they took Buck Buchanan, a defensive tackle from Grambling in Louisiana. The NFL draft was held two days later in Chicago.

1964 American Football League draft

The 1964 American Football League draft was held in New York City on Saturday, November 30, 1963.The first selection was quarterback John Concannon of Boston College, taken by the Boston Patriots. The NFL draft was held two days later in Chicago.

1965 American Football League draft

The 1965 American Football League draft took place on November 28, 1964. Held via telephone conference call, it remains the only draft in major professional football history to be held without a central location. The NFL draft was held the same day.

1966 American Football League draft

The 1966 American Football League draft was held on Saturday, November 27, 1965. The AFL added the Miami Dolphins as an expansion team in 1966 to bring its total to nine franchises for its seventh season. The only Hall of Famer to come out of this draft was Jan Stenerud, who was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the Red Shirt portion of the draft.

This was the last competitive draft of the American Football League before the AFL–NFL merger agreement, which was announced in June 1966. The next draft of college players in 1967 was a common draft, held in mid-March.

The 1966 NFL Draft was held the same day, November 27, 1965.

1967 NFL/AFL Draft

The 1967 National Football League draft was conducted March 14–15, 1967, at the Gotham Hotel in New York City. It was the first common draft with the AFL, part of the AFL–NFL merger agreement of June 1966.

This draft was delayed as new guidelines were established; redshirt (or "future") players were no longer eligible. It began on a Tuesday in mid-March; the previous two years the leagues held their separate drafts on the final Saturday of November, immediately following the college football regular season.

1968 NFL/AFL Draft

The 1968 National Football League draft was part of the common draft, in the second year in which the NFL and AFL held a joint draft of college players. It took place at the Belmont Plaza Hotel in New York City on January 30–31, 1968.This was the last draft until 1980 in which the Washington Redskins exercised their first-round pick. Most of them were traded away by coach George Allen between 1971 and 1977 due to Allen's well-known preference for veteran players over rookies.

1969 NFL/AFL draft

The 1969 National Football League draft was part of the common draft, the third and final year in which the NFL and American Football League (AFL) held a joint draft of college players. The draft took place January 28–29, 1969.The draft began with first overall pick of O. J. Simpson, the Heisman Trophy-winning running back from USC, by the American Football League's Buffalo Bills; ending with, the twenty-sixth pick in Round 17, number 442 overall, of Fred Zirkie Defensive Tackle from Duke University by the AFL's NY Jets.

2008 AAFL Draft

The 2008 All American Football League Draft took place in Atlanta, Georgia on January 26, 2008. It was used to stock the six teams that were to play the league's 2008 season, which was ultimately canceled. The draft was effectively voided when the league announced it would pick new host markets for its inaugural season, which was scheduled for spring 2011.

AFL and NFL era competitive college drafts

During the first seven years of existence (1960–1966) of the American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969), the AFL and the NFL held separate, competing drafts for college football talent.

These drafts were conducted differently in each league, with the AFL, as a new league, starting its existence with the 1960 AFL draft that was actually held in December, 1959 and had 33 rounds. Each AFL team had "territorial rights" to players from its general region for a "bonus" draft selection, so that teams could sign players who were known to their fans. These were not "picked" as such, but agreed on by consensus. The 1960 AFL draft proceeded with teams selecting by lot and player position, e.g., each team selected quarterbacks from the available list, then running backs, etc. These were not listed in order of selection, but alphabetically in two groups called "First Selections" and "Second Selections" by each team. Minneapolis-Saint Paul was originally included in the AFL draft on November 22, 1959. When the Minneapolis-Saint Paul owners reneged on their agreement to join the AFL and jumped to the NFL, some of the remaining AFL teams signed several players from the deserters' draft list. To compensate for this, after the Oakland Raiders' AFL franchise was granted, an allocation draft was held, to permit the Raiders to stock their team with players from the other seven AFL teams.

The established NFL held drafts more similar to the present day, in which the team with the worst record from the previous year selected first, and the reigning league champion selected last. Starting in 1961, the AFL also followed this procedure.

Because of the competition between the leagues, unlike today's drafts, they were held soon after the end of the football season in each league, often before the college bowls were over. Many players, such as LSU's Billy Cannon signed pro contracts "under the goalposts" at bowl games; and in the College East-West Game and other all-star college bowls, many players wore the helmets of the professional team that they had signed with.

The AFL was at a disadvantage in name-recognition with the established NFL, but contrary to common belief, during this period, its franchises signed a significant number of stars away from the older league. These included Cannon, as well as eventual Hall of Famers Lance Alworth, Buck Buchanan, Jim Otto, Billy Shaw, and Nick Buoniconti, and such standouts as Matt Snell, Tom Sestak, Charley Hennigan, Abner Haynes, Johnny Robinson and many others.

Bill Burrell

William Burrell (1938? – March 22, 1998) was an American football player at the University of Illinois.

A linebacker and guard, in 1959 Burrell won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the MVP of the Big Ten Conference. Burrell also finished fourth as a Heisman Trophy candidate that year, and was a consensus All-American.Burrell was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1960 American Football League Draft, and by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth round of the 1960 NFL Draft.He played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, and was that team's nominee for the Schenley Award as Outstanding Lineman in 1960.

Burrell is an alumnus of Central High School in Clifton, Illinois.

The football field at Central High was named Bill Burrell Field on September 15, 2017.

Bill Burrell is included in The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

Bill Burrell died on March 22, 1998.

Bill Lapham

William Gaius Lapham (February 2, 1934 – November 8, 2016) was an American football center who played two seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. He was drafted by the Eagles in the fourteenth round of the 1958 NFL Draft. He was also drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 1960 American Football League draft as well as by the Vikings in the 1961 NFL expansion draft. Lapham first enrolled at Drake University before transferring to the University of Iowa. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa. He died in Des Moines in 2016 at the age of 82.

Common draft

The common draft was the selection of college football players in a combined draft from 1967 to 1969 by the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). This took place after the AFL-NFL merger agreement in 1966.

From 1960 to 1966, the AFL and NFL drafts were separate and each league competed for players, a major factor in their merger. During the three years of the common draft, teams from both leagues were combined in a single ranking to determine the order of the draft. The team with the worst record in either league the previous year picked first, the next-worst team second, and so on, with the exception that the loser of the previous year's World Championship Game picked second to last, and the reigning World Champion picked last. As is the case today, any team's draft order could be affected by trades. When the two leagues formally merged for the 1970 season, the "common draft" became the modern NFL draft.

Gerhard Schwedes

Gerhard H. Schwedes (born April 23, 1938) is a former American football halfback who played two seasons in the American Football League with the Boston Patriots and New York Titans. He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the fourth round of the 1960 NFL Draft. He was also a territorial pick of the Boston Patriots in 1960 American Football League draft. He played college football at Syracuse University, which he led to a victory in the 1960 Cotton Bowl Classic, and attended Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, New Jersey. His son Scott Schwedes also played football at Syracuse and later the National Football League.

Karl Singer

Karl Kenneth Singer (born October 12, 1943) is a former American football tackle who played three seasons with the Boston Patriots of the American Football League. He was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the first round of the 1966 American Football League Draft. He was also drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 19th round of the 1966 NFL Draft. He played college football at Purdue University and attended Niles McKinley High School in Niles, Ohio.

Ron Miller (American football)

Ron Miller is a former quarterback in the National Football League. Miller was drafted in the third round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and later played with the team during the 1962 NFL season. He was also drafted in the twenty-first round of the 1961 American Football League Draft by the Houston Oilers.

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