Robert Lorenzo Brazile, Jr. was a first round pick by the Houston Oilers in 1975. He was the sixth player picked overall. Picked just before him was his college teammate Walter Payton.
Brazile was rated as the premier collegiate linebacker in 1974 while playing at Jackson State. He started his collegiate football career as a tight end, but switched to linebacker during his sophomore year.
Brazile was called "Mr. Versatile", a moniker he earned because of his ability to excel at either the inside or outside linebacker slot. He helped lead Jackson State to two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 1972 and 1973.
Brazile is a member of the Jackson State Sports Hall of Fame, the SWAC Hall of Fame, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Brazile was part a deal former Oilers coach Sid Gillman had made at the end of 1973. The Oilers acquired Kansas City's 1975 first round selection, along with Nose Tackle Curley Culp, for Defensive End John Matuszak.
New head coach/general manager Bum Phillips switched Houston's base defense from the from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Brazile is credited by many to be most important in making the 3-4 popular by his ability to rush the quarterback from his outside linebacking position.
Brazile was the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1975. He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons. Brazile was a key member of Oilers teams that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games in 1978 and 1979.
In 1984, Brazile's wife died in a car wreck. He retired immediately from the NFL. Brazile was chosen on the 1970's NFL All-Decade Team. He is the only linebacker from that team not in Canton.
Notable Players Drafted In 1975 (* Denotes Canton Inductee)