The NFL Draft is an exciting time of year for football fans, football players, and football general managers. Many times a team’s fortunes have changed based on how well they did in selecting players through the NFL Draft. In 1992, the Dallas Cowboys were on the verge of their early 90s dynasty, the Bill were right in the middle of their four year run of dominating the AFC and making it to four consecutive Super Bowls, and the San Francisco 49ers were one of the stronger teams in the league. At the same time as all this, the 1992 NFL Draft took place.
The Indianapolis Colts had the number one and number two selections in the draft, the first time one team had held the top two picks since 1958. They chose Steve Emtman, a defensive lineman out of the University of Washington, and then picked Quentin Coryatt, a linebacker out of Texas A&M. Both players contributed to the team but ended up not living up to their pre-draft hype. Emtman was gone from the team after three injury plagued seasons and would be out of football by the age of 27. Coryatt stayed with the team for seven seasons but was never the star player they hoped the second overall pick would be.
Two quarterbacks were taken in the first round. David Klingler, out of the University of Houston, would go at pick number six to the Cincinnati Bengals for whom he would play for four seasons before finishing his six year NFL career with two seasons as a backup quarterback with the Oakland Raiders. Klingler’s NFL record as a starter would be 4-20. Tommy Maddox, out of UCLA, would also be picked in the first round going 25th overall to the Denver Broncos. He would have an uneventful early career, playing two seasons with Denver and then a year each with the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants. Maddox was essentially out of football when he started his comeback by playing in the Arena Football League and then eventually the short lived XFL where he won the MVP Award. With this new attention he gained, Tommy Maddox earned a contract as a backup quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maddox would eventually move into the starting role and win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Only two quarterbacks drafted in 1992 would go on to make a Pro Bowl during their career. In the 6th round, Jeff Blake was taken out of East Carolina by the New York Jets. He would move on to play for a number of other teams, but experience his greatest success with the Cincinnati Bengals where he played from 1994 to 1999. Other than the Jets and Bengals, Blake would also play for the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Chicago Bears during his career. The other quarterback drafted in 1992 to make the Pro Bowl during his career was Brad Johnson who was picked in the 9th round by the Minnesota Vikings out of Florida State University. Johnson would win more games than he lost as a starter while playing for a number of teams including the Vikings on two occasions, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Dallas Cowboys.
Some of the other notable quarterbacks selected in the 1992 NFL Draft included Craig Erickson (Buccaneers), Kent Graham (Giants), Bucky Richardson (Oilers), and Ty Detmer (Green Bay). Other quarterbacks selected in the draft that year included Matt Blundin, Tony Sacca, Casey Weldon, Will Furrer, Chris Hakel, Ricky Jones, Mike Pawlawski, T.J. Rubley, Darian Hagan, Mark Barsotti, Keithen McCant, Cornelius Benton, and Matt Rodgers.
The Running Backs
The 1992 NFL Draft was a dry year for running backs. During the draft, 28 running backs were selected but none became stars in the league. There were three running backs picked in the first round. The 9th player selected in the first round was Tommy Vardell out of Stanford who went to the Cleveland Browns. Vardell would play eight seasons in the league for Cleveland, San Francisco, and Detroit. The Atlanta Falcons chose Southern Mississippi’s Tony Smith with the 19th overall pick, and three years later he would be out of football. The last running back taken in the 1st round in 1992 was Vaughn Dunbar who the Saints chose with the 21st pick out of Indiana University, he would be out of the league after four seasons.
One of the more successful running backs picked in 1992 was Edgar Bennett who was drafted in the 4th round by the Green Bay Packers and contributed to the team as fullback early in his career before being elevated to starting running back at the beginning of the 1996 season when the Packers would win the Super Bowl. Bennett finished his career with two seasons with the Chicago Bears before returning as the running backs coach for the Packers. Other moderately successful running backs chosen that year include Amp Lee (49ers), Scottie Graham (Steelers), and Derrick Moore (Falcons). The remaining running backs picked in the 1992 NFL Draft include Siran Stacy, Rodney Culver, Tony Brooks, Maury Toy, Joe Campbell, Mike Gaddis, Anthony McDowell, Scott Lockwood, Muhammad Shamsid-Deen, Ronald Humphrey, Ostell Miles, Tim Lester, Reggie Yarbrough, Mike Saunders, Raoul Spears, Nikki Fisher, Mazio Royster, Keith McAfee, Charles Evans, and Kameno Bell.
The first receiver chosen in the 1992 NFL Draft was the University of Michigan’s Desmond Howard who was picked with the 4th overall pick by the Redskins. Howard would make his mark in the league as a punt and kick returner. He would end up winning the MVP Award in Super Bowl XXXI with the Green Bay Packers. Overall though, his numbers as a wide receiver were lackluster. The two most productive receivers taken in the 1992 NFL Draft were taken in the 2nd round. The Bengals picked Carl Pickens out of Tennessee that season and he would go on to make it to two Pro Bowls and lead the team in many receiving categories before he left the team after the 1999 season and played one final season for the Tennessee Titans. The other second receiver who would make a name for himself was Jimmy Smith who the Cowboys picked out of Jackson State. Smith didn’t stick with Dallas, but would emerge a few years later in 1995 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and start out there as a return man, but develop into one of the best wide receivers in the game. Jimmy Smith would be named to five Pro Bowls, catch 862 passes for more than 12,000 yards, and score 75 touchdowns.
Other notable receivers taken in the 1992 NFL Draft include Courtney Hawkins (Buccaneers), Todd Kinchen (Rams), Robert Brooks (Packers), Torrance Small (Saints), and Cedric Tillman (Broncos). Other receivers drafted that year include Patrick Rowe, Ray Ethridge, Charles Davenport, Orlando McKay, Shoun Habersham, Rico Smith, Tony Smith, Jeff Sydner, Mario Bailey, Wayne Hawkins, Elbert Turner, Christopher Holder, John Brown, Jon Bostick, Eric Blount, Vincent Brownlee, Eddie Miller, Johnnie Barnes, Ronnie West, Tyrone Williams, Chris Walsh, Dion Johnson, Marcus Dowdell, Barry Rose, Brian Thomas, Augustin Olobia, Nate Singleton, Eric Boles, Lee Miles, Tim Daniel, Terry Smith, Joe Randolph, Charles Swann, Freeman Baysinger, and John Granby.
There were a couple of very effective tight ends drafted in 1992 in addition to the wide receivers. Johnny Mitchell, taken in the 1st round out of Nebraska by the Jets, Mark Chmura, taken in the 6th round by the Packers, and Dave Moore, taken in the 7th round by the Dolphins all put together solid careers. Other notable tight ends selected that year included Aaron Pierce and Tyji Armstrong. The rest of the tight ends picked in the 1992 draft included Derek Brown, Thomas McLemore, Craig Thompson, Todd Harrison, fallon Eacasey, Nate Turner, Ray Rowe, Deems May, Derek Ware, russ Campbell, Kevin Smith, Luke Fisher, Reggie Dwight, Larry Stayner, Turner Baur, Tom Covington, Vince Marrow, and Milton Biggins.
There were some very good players drafted into the NFL in 1992. Troy Vincent was taken with the 7th pick overall and went on to play defensive back for a number of teams before retiring following the 2006 season. The 8th overall selection was used on offensive tackle Bob Whitfield by the Falcons and he played for them for more than a decade. Marco Coleman (Dolphins), Chester McGlockton (Raiders), Dale Carter (Chiefs), and Robert Jones (Cowboys), were all first round picks that went on to play well for and contribute greatly to the teams that selected them. Other great players taken in the draft that year included Darren Woodson by Dallas in the 2nd round, Levon Kirkland by Pittsburgh in the 2nd round, Phillippi sparks by the Giants in the 2nd round, Eddie Robinson by Houston in the 2nd round, and Jason Hanson who would kick for the Detroit Lions into the 2009 season and rank near the top in a number of placekicker career statistics. Linebacker Todd Collins, nose tackle Joel Steed, fullback Kevin Turner, defensive back Corey Harris, center Jeff Christy, and defensive tackle Keith Hamilton all were selected in the 3rd and 4th rounds and went on to have solid careers.
One of the best parts about looking back at an NFL Draft though is seeing what teams chose some players in the later rounds that went on to pay off in a big way. In the 5th round, the Vikings chose linebacker Ed McDaniel out of Clemson and he would play through the 2001 season putting up very good tackle and sack numbers. Likewise in the 5th round, the Buccaneers would choose Santana Dotson out of Baylor and he would prove to be very effective. The previously mentioned Mark Chmura was a great 6th round selection for the Packers as he went on to play for them for a number of years and contributed to their Super Bowl winning team of 1996. The Bills used a 7th round pick to get Kurt Schulz, a defensive back out of Eastern Washington, who went on to play well for them for a number of years. The Colts used the first pick in the 8th round to select defensive back Jason Belser who played for them through 2000 and then played two more seasons with the Chiefs.
Overall, the 1992 NFL Draft is looked back upon as one of the weakest of the era. There were good players, even great players, but no superstars would emerge from the draft that year.
Here is a look at some little known information about the 1992 NFL Draft.
-The most Pro Bowls a player drafted in 1992 would go to during their career is five. This was accomplished by four players: Michael Bates, Darren Woodson, Jimmy Smith, and Troy Vincent.
-Out of the 28 running backs selected in the 1992 NFL Draft, only one would go on to appear in a Pro Bowl. In the 6th round, the Seattle Seahawks picked Michael Bates out of Arizona and he would make five Pro Bowl appearances during his career, not as a running back though, but as a special teams player.
-In the 2009 NFL season, there were only two players left playing in the league that had been drafted in 1992: Quarterback Brad Johnson and kicker Jason Hanson.
-Wide Receiver Jimmy Smith caught more receptions (862) for more yards (12,287), and more touchdowns (67) than any other player drafted in 1992. Second place in each of those categories goes to Carl Pickens.
-The quarterback drafted in 1992 that would go on to throw for more yards and touchdowns than any other was Brad Johnson who put up more than 29,000 yards and more than 165 touchdowns during his career.
-The running back drafted in 1992 who caught the most passes was Amp Lee with 335.
-The player drafted in 1992 that would go on to play in the most games was kicker Jason Hanson.
-The non-kicker that would go on to play in the most games of any player taken in 1992 was backup center Kendall Gammon who played in 234 games over a 14 year NFL career with the Steelers, Saints, and Chiefs. He even made the Pro Bowl in 2004 as a long snapper.
-Desmond Howard was drafted in 1992 and is one of only four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP. The others are Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, and Marcus Allen.
-The only non-quarterback drafted in 1992 who threw a touchdown pass during their career was running back Edgar Bennett.
-The player drafted in 1992 who would go on to play in the most career NFL games and not ever be selected to the Pro Bowl was defensive back Terrell Buckley who played in 209 games for the Packers, Dolphins, Broncos, Patriots, Jets, and Giants.
-the running back who would amass more rushing attempts (1,115), rushing yards (3,992), and rushing touchdowns (21) than any other player drafted in 1992 was Edgar Bennett.
-Interestingly, the second leading career rusher of all the players drafted in 1992 was quarterback Jeff Blake who ran for 2,027 yards during his career that saw him play for the Jets, Bengals, Saints, Ravens, Cardinals, Eagles, and Bears.
-The Detroit Lions’ Robert Porcher had more career sacks, 95.5, than any other player drafted in 1992.
-Terrell Buckley’s 50 career interceptions are more than any other player taken in the 1992 NFL Draft.
-The college that had the most players selected in the 1992 NFL Draft was the University of Washington who had 11 players taken. The University of Washington players selected in 1992 and the round that they were taken: Steve Emtman (1), Dana Hall (1), Ed Cunningham (3), Siupeli Malamala (3), Aaron Pierce (3), Orlando McKay (5), Mario Bailey (6), Don Jones (9), Kris Rongen (11), Brett Collins (12), and Chico Fraley (12). Four schools tied for second with having nine players select each: Florida, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Tennessee.