The Seattle Seahawks Pass on Brett Favre: A Look at the Stars, Busts, and Stories from the 1991 NFL Draft
With the 16th pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks drafted their quarterback of the future: San Diego State's Dan McGwire. McGwire failed to fulfill his potential, prompting the Seahawks to draft (fellow eventual bust) Rick Mirer in the 1993 Draft. After flaming out of Seattle and Miami, Dan McGwire was out of the NFL by 1995.
McGwire was the first quarterback selected in the 1991 NFL Draft, followed by USC quarterback Todd Marinovich later in the first round. In the second round, the Atlanta Falcons selected the third quarterback of the draft: Southern Mississippi's Brett Favre.
Right now, at 40 years old, Brett Favre is preparing for the NFL Playoffs. This is an unusual task for a 40-year-old football player—especially a 40-year-old quarterback.
Favre is one of the few elite quarterbacks who has played past 40 years of age. Not Montana, Marino, nor Young played past their 40th birthdays. Much less did they lead a team to the playoffs at that age.
In light of Favre's longevity, I found it fitting to look back at the entire 1991 NFL draft class. From stars to busts, and attorneys to criminals, the 1991 NFL draftees are at various places in life. Here is a look at the famous, the infamous, and the unique.
The Headliner: QB Brett Favre (Round 2 - Pick 6 - Atlanta Falcons)
As previously mentioned, Favre was selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft.
Two quarterbacks were taken ahead of Favre in this draft (see the following slides), and out of all the players taken in 1991, none has had as great an impact on the game.
Favre is a Super Bowl Champion, MVP, Pro Bowler, All-Pro Selection, 1990s All-Decade Selection, and more...
Without a doubt, he is the headliner of this NFL Draft Class.
The Stars: WR Herman Moore (Round 1 - Pick 10 - Detroit Lions)
I know what you're thinking, what are the odds of the Detroit Lions spending their first round pick on a wide receiver? Better yet, what are the odds of that wide receiver being a complete bust? If you didn't think this, please revisit the Lions selecting Charles Rogers and Mike Williams.
The 1991 draft was an exception to this fate, however, as the Lions found a great receiver in Herman Moore.
Moore played 12 seasons, making four Pro Bowls (1994-1997), and quietly compiling an impressive career resume. In 1995, Moore set the NFL record with 123 receptions in a single season (this record has since been broken).
After football, Moore spent several years in restaurant management, most notably owning a chain of Cinnabon's in Michigan. In 2006, Moore sold his stake in several restaurants and entered the software market. As of 2008, Moore was working with a software development firm in Michigan.
The Stars: TE Ben Coates (Round 5 - Pick 13 - New England)
Ben Coates was the fourth tight end selected in the 1991 NFL Draft, and easily had the best career of them all. In fact, one of the tight ends selected ahead of him is currently in federal prison (you'll read about him later).
Coates was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, and was named to the second team of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.
After his playing career, Coates assisted in coaching tight ends for the Cleveland Browns before accepting the head coaching position at Carolina High School in Greenville, South Carolina.
In 2009, Coates was hired as the offensive coordinator at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, a position he still holds. Central State University competes in NCAA Division II.
The Rest of the Stars
The 1991 NFL Draft featured several other players who made their marks on the league. Here are a few other stars who were selected in this draft:
DT Russell Maryland (Round 1 - Pick 1 - Dallas Cowboys)
Maryland played 10 years in the NFL, winning three Super Bowls with the Cowboys (1992, 1993, 1995), and finishing his career with the Green Bay Packers in 2000.
RB Ricky Watters (Round 2 - Pick 18 - San Francisco 49ers)
Watters played 10 years in the NFL, splitting time between San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Watters helped the 49ers win the Super Bowl in 1995, and finished his career with over 10,000 rushing yards. He currently sits at 20th on the all-time rushing list, but has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
WR Keenan McCardell (Round 12 - Pick 20 - Washington Redskins)
In the 12 round, the Redskins selected Keenan McCardell with the 326th pick in the draft! The 326th pick! Talk about Mr. Irrelevant... McCardell was selected 10 picks before the end of a 12-round draft. Despite this low choice, McCardell played 17 seasons, making two Pro Bowls, and winning two Super Bowls. McCardell finished his career with over 11,000 yards, and currently sits at 21st on the All-Time Receiving Yards List.
Other Notable Selections:
WR Ed McCaffrey
S Merton Hanks
DT Leon Lett
The Busts: QB Dan McGwire (Round 1 - Pick 16 - Seattle Seahawks)
As previously mentioned, Dan McGwire was selected by the Seattle Seahawks to be the quarterback of the future, an assumed successor to longtime Seahawks quarterback Dave Kreig.
McGwire was far from a quarterback of the future.
McGwire played only five seasons in the NFL, rarely seeing playing time, and finishing with only two touchdowns and six interceptions.
McGwire was the first quarterback taken in the 1991 NFL Draft, but at no point did he live up to the hype with which he was selected.
The Busts: QB Todd Marinovich (Round 1 - Pick 24 - Los Angeles Raiders)
What?! The Raiders drafted a bust at quarterback?! But that hasn't happened in the modern NFL since...2007...
Todd Marinovich, the second quarterback taken in the 1991 NFL Draft, joined a Raiders franchise which had a glimpse of success in its rear-view mirror (two NFL Championships in the 1980s).
Marinovich played his first game late in his rookie season, and in the first round of the playoffs that year, he threw four interceptions in a Raiders loss. Eventually, he flamed out in the Raiders organization in the wake of substance abuse issues.
Marinovich's story from here out reads like a movie script. He battled substance abuse issues, joined a band, dissolved the band, tried a comeback in the CFL, then the AFL, and finally called it quits on football.
Marinovich has a slew of arrests (nine in Orange County alone), most recently in April 2009 for failing to report to a mandatory review stemming from a 2007 arrest.
In layman terms, Marinovich's life is a wreck.
Still Kicking: K John Kasay (Round 4 - Pick 15 - Seattle Seahawks)
Brett Favre is one of two players in the 1991 NFL Draft who are still active in the NFL.
The other? Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasay.
Kasay was a fourth-round choice in this draft, the first kicker selected.
Kasay holds nearly every Carolina Panthers kicking record, and is the all-time points leader in Panthers history. Additionally, Kasay has been to one Pro Bowl.
Keep on kickin', John.
The Coaches: Roman Phifer (Denver Broncos Linebackers Coach)
LB Roman Phifer (Round 2 - Pick 4 - Los Angeles Rams)
Phifer had a successful 15-year playing career, including stints with the Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and New York Giants.
Phifer won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004).
In 2009, Phifer was hired by Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels to be the linebackers coach. In his first year on the job, Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil had a standout campaign, posting a league-high 17.0 sacks through the first 16 weeks.
The Coaches: Bryan Cox (Cleveland Browns Defensive Line Coach)
LB Bryan Cox (Round 5 - Pick 2 - Miami Dolphins)
Bryan Cox had an outstanding pro career, spanning 12 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints.
Cox was named to three Pro Bowls and three All-Pro Teams (1992, 1994, 1995), and won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2001.
Cox broke into coaching with the New York Jets in 2006 as an assistant defensive line coach. In 2009, he was hired as the defensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns by Eric Mangini, for whom he had worked with the Jets.
The Rest of the Coaches
There are a number of other draft picks from the 1991 NFL Draft who are coaches at various levels of high school, college, and professional sports. Here is a list of some of these coaches:
DB Jerome Henderson (Overall Pick 41) - Cleveland Browns Defensive Backs Coach
DB Steve Jackson (Overall Pick 71) - Washington Redskins Safeties Coach
DB Marcus Robertson (Overall Pick 102) - Tennessee Titans Secondary Coach
QB Bill Musgrave (Overall Pick 106) - Atlanta Falcons Quarterbacks Coach
RB Gary Brown (Overall Pick 214) - Cleveland Browns Running Backs Coach
QB Pat O'Hara (Overall Pick 260) - Orlando Predators (AFL) Head Coach
The Convicts: TE Adrian Cooper (Round 4 - Pick 20 - Pittsburgh Steelers)
Adrian Cooper, a talented tight end out of the University of Oklahoma, played six seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, and San Francisco 49ers.
After his playing days, Cooper became a stockbroker, but found himself in trouble by the mid 2000s.
The Oklahoman reported in 2006 that Cooper was ordered to federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma. Cooper was ordered to serve six years and three months after pleading guilty to securiites fraud and money laundering, resulting in robbing clients of an alleged $1 million.
At trial, the jury was instructed that Cooper played at the University of Oklahoma and in the NFL, but that apparently did not help his fate.
Cooper currently remains in federal prison at El Reno, Oklahoma.
The Convicts: DB Darryl Lewis (Round 2 - Pick 11 - Houston Oilers)
Darryl Lewis was a decorated college football star, collecting several college honors, including the Thorpe Award, which is given to the best defensive back in college football.
Lewis had a solid NFL career, amassing 32 interceptions in an 11-year career, including one Pro Bowl appearance.
His life hit a tough stretch, however, in November 2005.
On November 7, 2005, Lewis led police on a 30-minute car chase through Los Angeles before finally being corralled by five police officers. The chase was so chaotic that it was even featured on the police television series, "Disorderly Conduct: Video on Patrol."
Lewis pleaded guilty to a series of offenses stemming from this event and one other subsequent arrest, and served over two years in prison beginning in 2006.
The Fortunate: DE Huey Richardson (Round 1 - Pick 15 - Pittsburgh Steelers)
Huey Richardson may have the most fascinating story of any player selected in the 1991 NFL Draft.
Richardson was a monumental bust for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After setting a Florida record with 12.5 sacks in his final year there, Richardson played three years in the NFL, failing to register even one single tackle.
After football, Richardson went back to school to earn an MBA and began work at Merrill Lynch, where he currently works.
His amazing luck, however, was documented on September 11, 2001. Richardson, working for Merrill Lynch at the time, was scheduled for a meeting in the World Trade Center which was delayed approximately one hour. During this delay, while Richardson waited in the lobby, the first plane struck the World Trade Center. Due to the meeting's delay, Richardson was able to safely exit the building, and continued his financial career.
What an amazing story from the 1991 Draft Class.
The MVP: CB Larry Brown (Round 12 - Pick 14 - Dallas Cowboys)
Larry Brown was a one-time star, who made the most of playing on football's grandest stage.
While Brown started on all three Dallas Cowboys championship teams of the 1990s, he was memorable for his two interception game in Super Bowl XXX, resulting in him being the first cornerback to win Super Bowl MVP in NFL history.
Brown also spent time with the Oakland Raiders, but his playing career lasted eight seasons, and was clearly highlighted by his Super Bowl MVP.
The Actor: LB Terry Crews (Round 11 - Pick 3 - Los Angeles Rams)
Most people know Terry Crews as Cheeseburger from The Longest Yard, or from his other various acting roles including White Chicks, Balls of Fury, and Get Smart.
Crews, however, first gained notoriety as a football player. A linebacker from Western Michigan University, Crews was drafted in the 11th Round of the 1991 Draft.
Crews spent five seasons in the NFL, but failed to record a tackle in his NFL career. Despite this failed football career, Crews began an acting career that has gained him some fame.
Congratulations on the well-rounded resume, Terry.
So what do you think? What were the most impressive stories, careers, and accomplishments from the 1991 NFL Draft Class?
Was anything or anyone omitted?
Sound off in the comments section!