By Joe Becker
Do you know who Jay Berwanger is? He was the number one draft pick for the Philadelphia Eagles. No, not this year...but back in 1936 during the first NFL Draft. Berwanger was also the first Heisman Trophy winner in 1935. He was from the University of Chicago.
The NFL Draft has become one of the biggest days of the year for Pro Football fans. It's fun to see where the big time college stars are going to go. I think Jonathan Stewart is going to do well with Carolina and have a terrific NFL Career...and I also feel that Pittsburgh is a good fit for Dennis Dixon.
Here's another interesting draft tid bit. The great Johnny Unitas was also drafted by the Steelers. He went in the 9th round in 1955. He was cut before he threw one NFL pass.
Unitas was playing sandlot football for six dollars a game when he was signed to the Baltimore Colts for 17-thousand dollars on a make the team basis. He not only made the team but went on to be considered by many as the greatest qb of all time.
By the way, Berwanger never played in the NFL. According to the Eagles Encyclopedia...he had a business degree and thought he could make more money in the real world. The Bears bought his signing rights for 16-thousand dollars but Berwanger wanted a two year deal for 25 grand. The Bears thought it was too much so Berwanger never played. Berwanger started his own company manufacturing rubber and plastic parts and became a wealthy man. He said he never regretted the decision.
Draft day is great...but it's just the start.