The 1997 NFL Draft took place during the annual players selection meeting. Twenty-two college football players were selected by the NFL. The event took place from April 19 to 20 at the Paramount Theatre in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Reinard Wilson, Darrell Russell, Jimmy Johnson and Darrell Russell were some of the notable players that year. Here’s how to evaluate these players. Hopefully you’ll get an idea of how each will fare in the NFL.
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The 1997 NFL Draft featured a lot of talent, but the selection of running back Jerome Bettis was perhaps the biggest surprise. He was a former Notre Dame star and set the school record in rushing yards with 20 his sophomore year. His record-breaking 212-yard rushing day was also a career high. He was actually the eighth rookie in NFL history to rush more than 200 yards in one game.
Bettis, a former NFL player is currently a broadcaster at WPXI TV in Pittsburgh. He hosts “The Jerome Bettis Show” on WPXI-TV during the football season. In addition to his work as an analyst, Bettis is also a former NFL Network commentator. He also served as a studio analyst for NFL Network’s Football Night in America. Bettis, 30, was born in Roswell in Georgia and is married to Trameka Boykin who was born in Montego Bay in Jamaica. Their children are Jada Jr. and Jerome Jr.
Jerome Bettis’s first NFL season was marred with injuries and setbacks. Despite suffering an injury that caused him to miss part of the season, he was still able to record over 1600 yards rushing in just fifteen games. The success of Barry Sanders and Terrell Davis, fellow running backs, was a major factor in the failure of his rookie season. Bettis struggled against the Patriots in the postseason. In the playoffs, he ran for just 67 yards on 25 runs, while Davis had 138.
In the fourth round, the Miami Dolphins selected a defensive lineman. Jimmy Johnson was the first overall pick. As the Dolphins’ first-round pick, Johnson was a defensive specialist in college. During his playing days, he played for two different NFL teams. In fact, he started two seasons with the Dolphins, leading them to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999.
McElroy was selected in the second round, 1997 NFL draft. McElroy had a disappointing rookie year, rushing for only 729 yards and scoring three touchdowns in his two previous seasons. After Johnson’s departure, Tampa Bay cut him in training camp, but his draft story will live on for years to come. The draft served as a warning for future players. It is not too late for you to improve your draft position.
The first round of the NFL draft was dominated by defenses. The first round featured several top-tier defensive players, and Jimmy Johnson had a high ceiling. He was one of few quarterbacks to make his professional debut. Aikman’s versatility allowed him to win two Super Bowls as well as a Super Bowl in early 1990s. In addition to his NFL career, Johnson also won two national championships.
The Oakland Raiders traded up in order to acquire the No. The Raiders traded up to get the No. 2 pick in 1997’s NFL draft in hopes of drafting Orlando Pace, a franchise offensive tackle. Instead, Orlando Pace went first overall to the Los Angeles Rams, so the Raiders selected defensive tackle Darrell Russell. Russell, who was only 20 years old at the time, was an outstanding pick and dominated at times. Russell’s career was hampered by drug problems, which were eventually ended by multiple NFL suspensions.
After being drafted by the Raiders in the 1997 NFL Draft, Darrell Russell played on the Raiders for four seasons. Russell started ten games as a rookie, and ended the year with 44 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl. Russell’s second season was even better. He finished with 64 tackles, and earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.
Russell remained in league despite the scouting reports. In August, he was reinstated to the team. However, no other teams signed him. Russell was suspended for four games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He again violated the policy in 2003 and was then suspended for the whole season. Later, Russell was arrested on suspicion of drug-induced date-rape, but the charges were dropped.
In the 1997 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected linebacker Reinard Wilson, who played at Florida State University. Reinard was a unanimous first-team All-American in 1996. He weighed Not known, was 6’4″ tall, and had a strong upper body. Reinard was quick and agile enough to dominate offensive linemen.
Wilson, a standout at Florida State was the ACC’s quarterback sack leader in 1994. He also earned All-ACC honors the next year and 1995. Wilson was also a consensus All-American in four other organizations. The school record for 1996 was 105 tackles and 13.5 sacks. Wilson was also a member the 1993 team that won the school its first national championship.
In addition to Reinard Wilson, the NFL draft also produced high-profile offensive linemen. First-round pick Orlando Pace went to the Pro Bowl seven consecutive times. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also took him second overall. Another notable player in the draft was defensive end Dan Neil, who was taken 6th overall by the Miami Dolphins. Both players are Hall of Famers. It’s also worth noting that Reinard Wilkins was one of the top three draft picks.
The Dallas Cowboys selected two offensive linesmen in the 1997 NFL Draft: DeMarcus Lawrence of Washington and Zion Johnson, a guard from Boston College. While both were great draft choices, neither one of them ended up playing major roles in the Cowboys’ success. However, both were good enough to earn the starting job and start the career of each player. However, the selection of DeMarcus Lawrence is a question mark and the Cowboys should be wary of drafting such a player as a backup.
With their first pick of the 1997 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys had a difficult time selecting a quarterback. They were able to trade three picks in order to get one. They received a fourth-round selection in New Orleans and a sixth round selection from Kansas City. The Cowboys also traded second-round selections to Chicago and Philadelphia for their fourth-round picks. The Dallas Cowboys traded for four picks and also traded for three additional selections in 1998-99.
The second round saw the Cowboys make a notable draft pick. David LaFleur, an 6’7″ tight end at Louisiana State University was the 22nd pick of the 1997 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his stats were low throughout his four years with the Cowboys. LaFleur’s best year was 1999, when he scored seven touchdowns while accumulating 322 yards.
St. Louis Rams
In the NFL Draft of 1997, the St. Louis Rams traded with the New York Jets for the No. 1 overall pick. They selected Orlando Pace, left tackle, with that pick. Pace was a promising college football player and went on to have a great career with the Rams. The Rams made a great trade for Pace, and proved that success begins in the trenches. In 1998, Pace signed with the team and was named offensive tackle, which helped them gain success on the field.
The 1997 season marked 60 years of the St. Louis Rams’ participation in the National Football League. It was also their third season at St. Louis. For the first time since 1989, the team was unable to make the playoffs. The Rams split the first four games of the season, but then went on to lose eight straight. They won three of their final four games to finish 5-11, and Dick Vermeil was named head coach.
The Rams were eager to get Vermeil out of retirement after the 1997 season and were able to lure him from retirement. Vermeil worked to get the team a higher pick, but they weren’t able to get Orlando Pace. The No. 1 pick belonged to the New York Jets. Parcells, a close friend of Vermeil, refused to give up the pick.