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1988 Draft

By Patrick Mondout

By 1988 everyone was looking for the Lawrence Taylor - the All-World linebacker that may well have been the best defensive player ever. The next "L.T." in 1988 was Aundray Bruce, or so the Atlanta Falcons hoped. One of the all-time draft busts, Aundray Bruce eventually found his way to Al Davis and the Raiders, who tried unsuccessfully to convert the athletic underachiever into a tight end; his athleticism an supposed upside kept in the league far longer than his actually playing ability would have indicated.

The Chiefs were more fortunate with the second pick and took Neil Smith, who went on to play in six Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls. Kansas City started out with the third pick and traded up with Detroit to take Smith. The Lions only moved down one spot and got the guy they wanted. They also picked up a second round pick which was used on LB Chris Spielman.

After taking Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson and Vinny Testaverde #1 overall in the past two drafts, the Buccaneers passed on this year's winner, Tim Brown, whom the Raiders happy picked up at #6 overall. Brown will eventually be enshrined in the both the college and Pro Football Hall of Fames.

Bruce wasn't the only bust. The Broncos needed help on the defensive side after another Super Bowl blowout and selected Syracuse NT Ted Gregory sight unseen. That turned out to be a huge mistake when it turned out that they had relied on a sports publication that described him as 6' and 260. He was closer to 5'10'' and 240 and Gregory was swapped to New Orleans for 1987 draft bust Shawn Knight before the season started. 

Below is the first round of the 1988 NFL draft. We also have the entire 12 round draft.

# Team Player Pos School
1 Atlanta Falcons Aundray Bruce LB Auburn
2 Kansas City Chiefs1 Neil Smith DE Nebraska
3 Detroit Lions2 Bennie Blades DB Miami
4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Paul Gruber OL Wisconsin
5 Cincinnati Bengals Rickey Dixon DB Oklahoma
6 Los Angeles Raiders Tim Brown WR Notre Dame
7 Green Bay Packers Sterling Sharpe WR South Carolina
8 New York Jets Dave Cadigan OL U Southern Cal
9 Los Angeles Raiders3 Terry McDaniel CB Tennessee
10 New York Giants Eric Moore OL Indiana
11 Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin WR Miami
12 Phoenix Cardinals Ken Harvey LB California
13 Philadelphia Eagles Keith Jackson TE Oklahoma
14 Los Angeles Rams4 Gaston Green RB UCLA
15 San Diego Chargers Anthony Miller WR Tennessee
16 Miami Dolphins Eric Kumerow DE Ohio State
17 New England Patriots John Stephens RB Northwestern St. (LA)
18 Pittsburgh Steelers Aaron Jones DE Eastern Kentucky
19 Minnesota Vikings Randall McDaniel OL Arizona State
20 Los Angeles Rams5 Aaron Cox WR Arizona State


Seattle Seahawks* Brian Bosworth LB Oklahoma
21 Cleveland Browns Clifford Charlton LB Florida
22 Houston Oilers Lorenzo White RB Michigan State
23 Chicago Bears Brad Muster FB Stanford
24 New Orleans Saints Craig Heyward FB Pittsburgh
25 Los Angeles Raiders6 Scott Davis DE Illinois
26 Denver Broncos Ted Gregory NT Syracuse
27 Chicago Bears7 Wendell Davis WR LSU

1 - Pick acquired from the Detroit Lions
2 - Pick acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs
3 - Pick acquired from L.A. Rams thru Houston
4 - Pick acquired from the Buffalo Bills (As part of the 1987 three team "Eric Dickerson" trade)
5 - Pick acquired from the Indianapolis Colts (As part of the 1987 three team "Eric Dickerson" trade)
6 - Pick acquired from the San Francisco 49ers
7 - Pick acquired from the Washington Redskins

* Seattle relinquished their 1st round pick after taking Brian Bosworth in the Supplemental Draft in 1987. He does not officially count as a 1988 draft choice, but he is placed where the Seahawks would have drafted to show the effect of drafting him. The Eagles took Ohio State WR Cris Carter in the fourth round of the '87 Supplemental Draft.



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1988 DRAFT

Photo by Michael Ponzini, 2006

Held: April 24-25, 1988

Heisman Winner: Tim Brown (pictured)

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