1964 draft was one to remember

The Lions picked Parcells in the seventh round, but they cut him in training camp and he decided to pursue coaching after turning down a tempting offer from Pizza Hut. Yes, really. More on that later.

It was a turbulent time in professional football because the fledgling AFL, which held its draft only two days before the NFL, was trying to steal the top players. Warfield, drafted by the AFL's Buffalo Bills, remembers a Bills official trying to get his signature on a contract as he walked off the field after his final college game, which happened to be at Michigan.

"The war was on," said Parcells, recalling the early NFL-AFL battles.

Krause said it was common for teams to use "babysitters" -- team officials who sat with the players throughout the draft. That way, they could get the players to sign immediately while protecting them from stealth attacks from the rival league.

Nowadays, the big-time prospects wait in the green room, surrounded by a well-dressed entourage. Back then, you were in a locked room, guarded by paranoid guys in polyester team garb.

Krause spent his draft day with a rep from another NFL team (he believes it was the Rams), who obviously left disappointed. Eller remembers being surrounded by Vikings personnel in a hotel room. They got their man with the sixth overall pick and kept him for 15 glorious years.

There was no TV coverage. There was no radio coverage. You simply waited for a phone call -- if you were around a phone.

The 22-hour marathon started with the San Francisco 49ers selecting end Dave Parks, who went on to have a nice career.

Next came "Boomer" Brown, a 280-pound road grader, the second overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was big and nasty and known for his maniacal work ethic. Even now, at 72, after knee and hip replacements, he spends three hours a day at the gym -- one hour on the treadmill, two hours lifting. When he's not working on his own chassis, his passion is restoring vintage cars. How fitting is that?

A short time after Brown was chosen, the phone rang in Taylor's room in Tempe, Ariz. He was asleep.

"My roommate woke me up," Taylor said. "He said, 'The Redskins want to talk to you.' I said, 'What?'"

He expected to be drafted by the Cowboys, but it was Redskins coach Bill McPeak welcoming him to the team. Fifty years later, Taylor remains the second-leading receiver in Redskins' history.

Three picks later, it was Eller's turn. The former University of Minnesota star didn't care about being the first or second pick; his dream was to be drafted by his hometown Vikings.

"Everything worked out super for me," said Eller, one of the most feared pass-rushers in history and still a resident of the Minneapolis area.

Meanwhile, at Park Hall in Columbus, Ohio, Warfield waited. And waited. He expected to be picked fourth by the Cowboys, whose personnel director -- Gil Brandt -- told the electrifying halfback they planned to make him a wide receiver. As it turned out, the Cowboys traded the pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for veteran receiver Buddy Dial.

"I was absolutely crushed," Warfield said.

After several hours of listening for updates on his radio -- remember, no time limit between picks -- he received a call from the Browns, his hometown team. They took Warfield, raised in Warren, Ohio, with the 11th pick.

"I was on cloud nine," he said.

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