We will never know what Eldridge Dickey could have been had America come as far then as it has now. Dickey was a black quarterback with the cannon Davis liked so he drafted him in the first round in 1968.
Apparently, American football wasn't quite ready for black men in leadership positions. So somehow, Davis, who drafted Dickey in the first round, uncharacteristically never gave Dickey an opportunity to play quarterback.
In a documentary on Dickey's life, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Hank Stram said:
What happened to Eldridge Dickey has to be one of the greatest sports crimes ever committed. The entire sports world and Dickey were robbed by the Oakland Raiders. In 1969 during the preseason, he out-performed nearly every quarterback in the AFC and NFC. I was not surprised that Kenny Stabler quit. Dickey was special and just too talented. He was fast, had a powerful arm and could throw the ball with both hands. He was truly one of the most accurate passers I've ever seen. I wanted him badly but the Raiders selected him first. By the time I did get him four years later, Dickey really wanted out of the NFL. Deep down, he never forgave the Oakland Raiders.
This is really interesting to me because this doesn't sound like Davis, who drafted him in the first place.
Was this John Madden's doing or was it the death threats black quarterbacks received back then?
I could actually see Davis choosing Dickey's life over football, moving him to wide receiver. But Dickey was neither happy or effective there, starting two games, catching five passes for 122 yards as a Raiders.
I don't like Dickey on this list due to his circumstances but that's still not what you want from a first-round pick.