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1984 Draft

By Patrick Mondout

This was one of the worst drafts in modern times. There were a few stars like Carl Banks and Wilber Marshall, but no one in this draft has the slightest chance of making the Hall of Fame (at least as a player). Given the incredible draft of 1983, perhaps this shouldn't be surprising.

There was another reason, however. For all the dismissive remarks by the NFL regarding the new United States Football League (USFL), the latter had signed many young stars. The younger league held its draft in January and began their season in March - well ahead of the May draft date for the NFL. In fact, the NFL held a special three round draft for the future rights of players who had already been signed by either the CFL or USFL ahead of the regular NFL draft. Take a look at the first four picks and you get some idea how different this draft might have been sans the new league.

The number 1 pick overall originally belonged the to Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They had fallen in love with Bengals QB Jack Thompson (the third pick overall in 1979) and had traded the pick prior to the 1983 season. Thompson played two seasons for the Bucs before being released.

The Bengals tried to work out a deal with Brigham Young QB Steve Young, but he instead signed the infamous 10-year, $40 million contract with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL. Failing to get the quarterback they wanted, Cincinnati traded the pick to New England for their three first rounders.

The Bengals took Brian Blados and Pete Koch with two of the picks and Arizona linebacker Ricky Hunley with the 7th pick overall. He refused to sign and Cincinnati shipped him to the Broncos for a 1986 first rounder (#21 overall wide receiver Tim McGee), a 1986 third round pick (#78 overall safety David Fulcher), and a 1987 fifth rounder (#139 punter Greg Horne). Hunley was a flop in Denver and accused Broncos organization of racism after trade to the Phoenix Cardinals.

Cincy finally got their QB of the future in the second round of this draft when Maryland's Boomer Esiason slipped out of the first round to #37 overall.

Nebraska's WR Irving Fryar and offensive lineman Dean Steinkuhler were drafted with the first two picks. This would not happen again until Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington went 1-2 in 2000.

This draft was full of busts including Mossy Cade, Clyde Duncan and Major League Baseball draft legend* linebacker Billy Cannon Jr.

Below is the first round of the 1984 NFL draft. We also have the entire 12 round draft. The NFL held a special draft in June for players from this class who had already signed with the CFL or USFL. We have that three round draft here.

# Team Player Pos School
1 New England Patriots1 Irving Fryar WR Nebraska
2 Houston Oilers Dean Steinkuhler OL Nebraska
3 New York Giants Carl Banks LB Michigan State
4 Philadelphia Eagles Kenny Jackson WR Penn State
5 Kansas City Chiefs Bill Maas DT Pittsburgh
6 San Diego Chargers Mossy Cade CB Texas
7 Cincinnati Bengals Ricky Hunley LB Arizona
8 Indianapolis Colts Leonard Coleman CB Vanderbilt
9 Atlanta Falcons Rick Bryan DT Oklahoma
10 New York Jets Russell Carter CB SMU
11 Chicago Bears Wilber Marshall LB Florida
12 Green Bay Packers Alphonso Carreker DE Florida State
13 Minnesota Vikings Keith Millard DE Washington State
14 Miami Dolphins2 Jackie Shipp LB Oklahoma
15 New York Jets3 Ron Raurot DE Arkansas
16 Cincinnati Bengals4 Pete Koch DE Maryland
17 St. Louis Cardinals Clyde Duncan WR Tennessee
18 Cleveland Browns Don Rogers DB UCLA
19 Indianapolis Colts5 Ron Solt OL Maryland
20 Detroit Lions David Lewis TE California
21 Kansas City Chiefs6 John Alt OL Iowa
22 Seattle Seahawks Terry Taylor CB Southern Illinois
23 Pittsburgh Steelers Louis Lipps WR Southern Mississippi
24 San Francisco 49ers Todd Shell LB BYU
25 Dallas Cowboys Billy Cannon Jr. LB Texas A&M
26 Buffalo Bills7 Greg Bell RB Notre Dame
27 New York Giants8 Robert William OL Ohio State
28 Cincinnati Bengals9 Brian Blados OL North Carolina

1 - Pick acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in the Jack Thompson trade)
2 - Pick acquired from the Buffalo Bills
3 - Pick acquired from the New Orleans Saints
4 - Pick acquired from the New England Patriots
5 - Pick acquired from the Denver Broncos (in the John Elway trade)
6 - Pick acquired from the Los Angeles Rams
7 - Pick acquired from the Miami Dolphins
8 - Pick acquired from the Washington Redskins
9 - Pick acquired from the Los Angeles Raiders

* The Cannon's - father and son - were no strangers to controversy. The father won a Heisman Trophy in 1960 and with the advent of the AFL, had a choice between signing with the L.A. Rams and the Houston Oilers. He chose both! He signed a $50,000 deal with the Rams and then a $100,000 contract with the Oilers. The courts sorted it out and the Oilers retained him. In 1983 he was convicted as part of counterfeiting conspiracy and sentenced to five years in jail.
His son sent out letters to 25 of the 26 major league teams prior to the 1980 MLB draft letting them know that he was going to college and to not waste a draft pick on him. The team that he wanted to play for did not receive such a letter nor did the Yankees (surprised?) have a pick until the third round. They picked up the first round talent in that round but a skeptical Bowie Kuhn investigated and found the Bronx Bombers guilty of tampering and forced them to forfeit the pick.



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1984 DRAFT

Held: May 1-2, 1984

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