Monday, July 8, 2013
Selecting Texas' best in all-time draft
By Carter Strickland
AUSTIN, Texas -- Lowell Galindo and Kevin Dunn spend way too much time together.
Sean Adams refuses to believe anything happened before 1970.
And picking Dusty Renfro in the 14th round of an all-time Texas football draft will draw a cacophony of guffaws.
Legendary quarterback Bobby Layne was the third quarterback taken, a testament to Texas' talent of all time.
So it went during ESPN’s first-ever all-time Texas draft last week.
Every time Galindo would pick, Dunn would agonize that he was just about to make that pick, and vice versa. (They work together as hosts at the Longhorn Network and, as such, spend an inordinate amount of time breaking down all things Texas and apparently the walls between each other.)
Every time the opportunity to go deep into Texas’ rosters of old presented itself, Adams, a drive-time host on ESPN’s 104.9 The Horn and the only one of us with a smidge of athletic talent or a college background in the game, would go new. (Johnathan Gray as his sneaky last pick).
And every time yours truly picked a 3A linebacker, I was roundly booed. ("Moron" might have been the word used by more than one of my fellow drafters, but I refuse to relive the insults or repeat such harsh words.)
But somehow we all got through it, dodging the hurled insults, shaking our fists at Galindo for taking two linebackers with his first and second picks and laying waste to the middle of everyone’s defense and wondering if Dunn was reading all his stats from a book or he somehow remembered Bill Bradley, a recruited quarterback, was actually tried at receiver before ultimately making the switch to defensive back and grabbing four picks in a 35-14 win over Texas A&M in 1969. (Dunn proceeded to break down Bradley’s career as secondary coach for the Florida Tuskers, but we all tuned him out.)
Our charge for this draft was rather simple; each participant was to pick 24 players -- a complete roster -- and try and field the best Texas team of all time. Yes, that includes kickers and punters, so Russell Erxleben -- he did both -- was at a premium. (Galindo took him at the start of the 10th round and Dunn screamed as if he had just spilled hot coffee where you don’t want to spill hot coffee. Who knew he could hit the high notes?)
What came through -- again, other than Dunn’s Wikipedia-like knowledge of everyone from Hub Bechtol to Bill Atessis -- was that Texas has had enough talent to field seven or eight all-time teams. Bobby Layne was the third quarterback taken, for goodness' sake, and that was in the second round.
There were plenty of players mistakenly overlooked -- more on that later in the week as we break down the hits and misses, but apologies to Doug English -- and some others who caused quite a stir. (See Renfro, Dusty. But not to be outdone, Adams grabbed Kwame Cavil in the 10th.)
Strategies were hit-and-miss in the later rounds, but from the start it was clear Galindo wanted to get the best players at Texas’ weakest positions. That was why he went linebacker with his first two picks and grabbed Tommy Nobis and Derrick Johnson. As we all soon released, there weren’t many choices at that position after those two, save for Robin Sendlein (Dunn got him and had a lengthy explanation about his five forced fumbles in 1978 and that his favorite meal was shrimp scampi and color blue) and Britt Hager (Dunn forgot to let us know both Sendlein and Hager wore No. 60. Maybe he did. But, again, we were tuning him out.)
There were debates -- some fairly lengthy for guys (why wasn’t Kiki DeAyala more valued as a player?), some Judge Judy quick (kicker Phil Dawson, or take running back Chris Gilbert and then a combo kicker/punter? Gilbert wins hands down.)
And in the end, each of us walked away knowing we had picked the best team. (Well, Galindo thought Dunn had the best team and vice versa but that’s just how they roll.) And now the time has come for you to decide, debate and engage as we spend Tuesday unveiling, critiquing and analyzing the selections. Check out HornsNation on Tuesday for full results of the draft.