Monday marks 25th anniversary of action-packed 1989 supplemental draft

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There has never been an NFL supplemental draft like the one held 25 years ago Monday.

Three players — Miami (Fla.) quarterback Steve Walsh, Washington State quarterback Timm Rosenbach and Alabama running back Bobby Humphrey — were selected with first-round picks. Never before had multiple players been taken in Round One of the supplemental draft. Overall, five players were chosen with supplemental picks, the most in league history.

The Cowboys’ selection of Walsh was especially intriguing, given the club had taken Troy Aikman a few months earlier in the regular 1989 draft. However, Walsh’s collegiate coach, Jimmy Johnson, had become the Cowboys’ head coach and key personnel decision-maker. In the end, Aikman would capture the starting job, and the next year, the Cowboys dealt Walsh to New Orleans for three draft picks, including a first-rounder.

However, by taking Walsh, the Cowboys forfeited their No. 1 pick in 1990, which ended up being the top overall selection. Walsh’s greatest success would come later in his career with the Bears, whom he led to a playoff win in 1994.

Rosenbach, meanwhile, would play just 26 games for the Phoenix Cardinals before stepping away from the game in 1993. He returned in 1994 but never appeared again in NFL contest. The Cardinals, who were 5-11 in 1989, gave up what would have been a top-five pick in the 1990 draft for Rosenbach.

Humphrey, chosen by the Broncos, had the greatest instant impact of the three first-rounders, exceeding 1,000 yards rushing in his first two seasons with Denver, which made the Super Bowl in his rookie season. However, he held out for most of 1991, was traded to Miami after the season and would play just one season with the Dolphins.

For the record, no club has used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft since the Giants took Duke quarterback Dave Brown in 1992.

15 responses to “Monday marks 25th anniversary of action-packed 1989 supplemental draft

  1. “For the record, no club has used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft since the Giants took Duke quarterback Dave Brown in 1992.”

    Ugh, thanks for bringing that one up.

  2. With the comprehensive, 24-hour coverage that the draft receives today, there’s no reason for a player to resort to being a supplemental draft-pick unless they’ve experienced some sort of dramatic personal problem (Which is just more reason for a team not to burn a first-round pick on the player).

  3. Unfortunately , the Cardinals didn’t learn from their mistake in landing Rosenbach — the following year , they traded their 1992 first round pick to Miami for the 23rd overall selection in the weak ’91 draft — WR Randal Hill. The following Spring , the Dolphins used the Cardinals’ first rounder , which was the seventh pick of the draft — to take Wisconsin CB Troy Vincent.

  4. Dave Brown…the worst QB in the history of the NY Giants. Possibly the worst QB in the history of the NFL. This is coming from a Giants fan, those mid 90’s teams were bad I never want to relive those times again.

  5. Anyone know why these guys ended up in the supplemental draft? I mean that just doesn’t happen, especially to guys that are viewed as 1st round picks.

  6. Steve Walsh, Timm Rosenbach, Bobby Humphrey, Dave Brown. Yeah, it’s easy to see why teams don’t use first-round picks in the supplemental draft anymore.

  7. Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns will end up being the best supplemental draft pick ever….after he gets over these suspensions… Go #12 ! This time will pass… Youthful mistakes on his part…

  8. If Dave Brown is the worst QB in the history of your franchise, you’re doing pretty well. I can think of scores worse than him off the top of my head. He’s not even the worst QB mentioned in this article.

  9. Yeah, which did Rosenbach have, six concussions in those 26 games? Cards crappy O-Line nearly killed him.

    Sometimes guys are busts for reasons other than their talent.

  10. The 1990 #1 was Jeff George so Dallas takes a pass and picks Cortez Kennedy(3) or perhaps Junior Seau(5) or Mark Carrier(6)? But where would that leave Emmit Smith(17)

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