An Oddity In Draft History

I love following the NFL draft and every year, I get sucked back into reviewing previous drafts to try to glean key takeaways and see what I can learn.

While perusing some older picks, I noticed something really bizarre.

In 1989, the Cowboys took Troy Aikman in the first round with Pick 1. With pick 2, the Packers took Tony Mandarich.

The next year, in 1990, again in the first round, the Cowboys took Emmitt Smith with Pick 17. Right after that, with Pick 18, the Packers took Tony Bennett.

What are the odds, what are the sheer odds, that a team would draft a Hall of Fame back in the first round in the pick immediately before another team took a guy named Tony who didn’t get a second contract AND THEN both teams would do the exact same thing the very next year in the same round?

I imagine they’re pretty low.

To recap:
1989: The Cowboys take a HOF back in the 1st round and with the next pick the Packers take a guy named Tony who didn’t get a second contract
1990: The exact same thing happened again

To quote my favorite news anchor: “Heck, I’m not even mad, that’s amazing.”

The draft is a crapshoot. Anomalies like this creep up all the time.

Now, the kicker here is that both years, when the Packers took a guy named Tony that didn’t get a second contract, there was still another Hall of Fame player on the board… and the Packers missed out.

Even with the craziness of having the same team take a Hall of Fame back right before your pick in back-to-back years, I’ll say it again: it’s not about drafting high, it’s about drafting well.

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