With Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel being the first two picks of the 2013 NFL Draft, this is the first time offensive linemen have gone 1-2 since 1968, when the Minnesota Vikings took T Ron Yary first overall and the expansion Cincinnati Bengals made C Bob Johnson the franchise’s inaugural pick with the second overall selection.
The 1968 NFL Draft was similar in another way to what we can expect in the first round tonight. That being the lack of sexy quarterback/offensive weapon players drafted in the first round. QB Greg Landry was picked by the Detroit Lions, FB Larry Csonka was picked by the Miami Dolphins, and that was it.
As for the Steelers in 1968, it was hardly an auspicious group drafted in the last one of these before Chuck Noll’s arrival. The Steelers mimicked the first round by going with offensive tackles with their first two picks — USC’s Mike Taylor was the No. 1 pick, and Arkansas’ Ernie Ruple was the No. 1 pick. Noll got rid of Taylor nine games into the 1969 season, and Ruple never even made it to the 1969 regular season opener.
In 17 rounds of the 1968 draft, the Steelers had 20 picks. They made 15 selections, traded five picks away — and came away with a grand total of one player. His name: Rocky Bleier, a RB from Notre Dame who was picked on the 16th round.
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