Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

August 9, 2013

Countdown to Labor Day: 24



The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 24 days away from its Labor Day opener against Florida State at Heinz Field. Panther-Lair.com is counting down the days until the biggest season opener in recent memory.

Today's number is 24, so we're looking Pitt's first-round draft picks.

Pitt has a pretty good tradition of putting players in the pro's, and since 1960, there have been 24 former Panthers selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Pitt players have been drafted into professional football since 1937, when Ave Daniell and Bill Glassford were selected in the second and fourth rounds, respectively. But from 1937 to 1960, no Panther was ever taken in the first round. 10 Pitt players were selected in the second round (five from 1937-39), but they couldn't crack through to the top round.

Finally, in 1961, Pitt produced a first-round draft choice when tight end Mike Ditka was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Chicago Bears (Ditka was also drafted by Houston in the first round of the AFL Draft, but he opted to play for the Bears).

Three years later, the Panthers got into the first round again. This time it was safety Paul Martha, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 7th overall pick of the 1964 draft.

Pitt's first-round run went quiet after Martha until 1977, when Tony Dorsett became the third Panther ever taken in the first round. Dorsett would become the closest a Pitt player has gotten to the first overall pick, as the Dallas Cowboys took him No. 2 overall.

Dorsett was the first Pitt player to be drafted that high, but he wasn't the only one. Bill Fralic was the No. 2 overall pick when the Atlanta Falcons selected him in the 1985 draft.

The 1980 team set the standard for first-round draft picks, as six players from that squad were selected in the first round. As such, 1981 and 1983 stand as the high-water marks for Pitt first-round draft picks, as three Panthers were taken in the first round each of those years. In 1981, Hugh Green went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 7, Randy McMillan went to the Baltimore Colts at No. 12 and Mark May went to the Washington Redskins at No. 20.

In 1983, Jimbo Covert went to the Chicago Bears with the No. 6 pick, Tim Lewis went to the Green Bay Packers at No. 11 and Dan Marino went to the Miami Dolphins at No. 27.

In total, Pitt had 14 first-round draft picks in the 1980's, easily the most of any decade since Ditka was selected in 1961. The most recent first-round pick was Jonathan Baldwin, who was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 26 overall in the 2011 draft.

Pitt's first-round draft picks
1961 - Mike Ditka, TE, Chicago (No. 5 overall)
1964 - Paul Martha, S, Pittsburgh (No. 7)
1977 - Tony Dorsett, RB, Dallas (No. 2)
1978 - Randy Holloway, DE, Minnesota (No. 21)
1981 - Hugh Green, LB, Tampa Bay (No. 7)
1981 - Randy McMillan, RB, Baltimore (No. 12)
1981 - Mark May, OT, Washington (No. 20)
1983 - Jimbo Covert, OT, Chicago (No. 6)
1983 - Tim Lewis, CB, Green Bay (No. 11)
1983 - Dan Marino, QB, Miami (No. 27)
1984 - Bill Maas, NT, Kansas City (No. 5)
1985 - Bill Fralic, OG, Atlanta (No. 2)
1985 - Chris Doleman, LB, Minnesota (No. 4)
1986 - Rob Buczkowski, DT, Los Angeles Raiders (No. 24)
1987 - Tony Woods, LB, Seattle (No. 18)
1988 - Craig Heyward, RB, New Orleans (No. 24)
1989 - Burt Grossman, DE, San Diego (No. 8)
1989 - Tom Ricketts, OT, Pittsburgh (No. 24)
1992 - Sean Gilbert, DT, Los Angeles Rams (No. 3)
1995 - Ruben Brown, OG, Buffalo (No. 14)
2004 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona (No. 3)
2007 - Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets (No. 14)
2008 - Jeff Otah, OT, Carolina (No. 19)
2011 - Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Kansas City (No. 26)


Previous entries in the Countdown

Countdown: 25 - A number with a strong recent history
Countdown: 26 - One of the earliest stars
Countdown: 27 - A 1920's star
Countdown: 28 - History in the making
Countdown: 29 - The fourth national title
Countdown: 30 - A team loaded with NFL players
Countdown: 31 - The fifth national title
Countdown: 32 - The longest winning streak
Countdown: 33 - The best to wear the uniform
Countdown: 34 - The backup to a legend
Countdown: 35 - A brief but superlative career
Countdown: 36 - National championship No. 7
Countdown: 37 - A shared passing record
Countdown: 38 - Sutherland's last year
Countdown: 39 - "Dandy Dick" Cassiano
Countdown: 40 - The unheralded tackling machine
Countdown: 41 - Another versatile mid-century athlete
Countdown: 42 - One of the greatest
Countdown: 43 - Pitt vs. the 2013 opponents
Countdown: 44 - An unfortunate score
Countdown: 45 - The Rhino
Countdown: 46 - The great Bimbo
Countdown: 47 - A huge effort in a tough loss
Countdown: 48 - The highest-scoring game
Countdown: 49 - The sack master
Countdown: 50 - The winningest coach in Pitt history
Countdown: 51 - A kicking record
Countdown: 52 - The link between Goldberg and Dorsett
Countdown: 53 - The legacy of Henry Ford
Countdown: 54 - A "Corny" mid-century quarterback
Countdown: 55 - Pitt makes history
Countdown: 56 - Panthers in the Super Bowl
Countdown: 57 - A unique scoring title
Countdown: 58 - Another Dorsett record
Countdown: 59 - The rare 59-point game
Countdown: 60 - A record that won't be broken
Countdown: 61 - Pitt's longest-running rivalry
Countdown: 62 - The last touchdown against Penn State
Countdown: 63 - The No Bowl Panthers
Countdown: 64 - The most passes in a game
Countdown: 65 - The other 13-9
Countdown: 66 - A local star
Countdown: 67 - One-win seasons
Countdown: 68 - The most prolific receiving game
Countdown: 69 - One of the biggest plays in Pitt history
Countodwn: 70 - The origin of Pitt's nine championships
Countdown: 71 - A good player in a bad era
Countdown: 72 - An All-American who became a dentist
Countdown: 73 - May Day
Countdown: 74 - A "groundwork" season
Countdown: 75 - A successful DL-to-OL move
Countdown: 76 - The 1976 national championship
Countdown: 77 - The last three-sport athletes
Countdown: 78 - An underrated pro
Countdown: 79 - One of the best
Countdown: 80 - The greatest non-championship team in Pitt history
Countdown: 81 - A crushing end to a great season
Countdown: 82 - The dawn of the Foge Era
Countdown: 83 - The most accurate kicker in Pitt history
Countdown: 84 - Pitt in the Pro Bowl
Countdown: 85 - A play that will never be matched
Countdown: 86 - A long but unfulfilled play
Countdown: 87 - The final year of Ironhead
Countdown: 88 - Pitt's All-American tradition
Countdown: 89 - Iron Mike
Countdown: 90 - The four 9-0's
Countdown: 91 - The two longest plays in Pitt history
Countdown: 92 - The senior year of the most productive QB in Pitt history
Countdown: 93 - The only 9-3 season in Pitt history
Countdown: 94 - The statistical oddity of 1994
Countdown: 95 - A relentless player and his dominant season
Countdown: 96 - The biggest win in Pitt history
Countdown: 97 - A dominant current Panther
Countdown: 98 - A transition year
Countdown: 99 - Hugh Green
Countdown: 100 - A look at Pitt in 1913








Pittsburgh NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Panther-Lair.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.