Three decades later, the 1983 NFL draft is remembered as one of the most significant dates in shaping the recent history of the league. John Elway, the first overall pick of the Colts, would be the subject of some of the most intense trade talks the NFL has ever seen when he said he wouldn’t go to Baltimore. And six Hall of Famers would be selected in that first round: Elway, Eric Dickerson, Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino and Darrell Green.
Not many people know the story of the last player selected that year.
John Tuggle was Mr. Irrelevant, a Cal running back whom the Giants selected with the 335th and final pick of that 12-round draft. Tuggle made the team and did more than just that, becoming the special teams MVP for the Giants and a player the Giants’ new coach, Bill Parcells, thought would be a building block of the team he was trying to assemble.
But 1983 would be Tuggle’s only year in the NFL. And an impressive new documentary film made as part of ESPN.com’s 30 for 30 Shorts series tells the story that most football fans in 2013 don’t know. It’s a story football fans should hear, and it’s a short film that’s well worth 11 minutes of your time.