1966 NFL expansion draft

The 1966 NFL expansion draft was a National Football League (NFL) draft in which a new expansion team, named the Atlanta Falcons, selected its first players. On June 30, 1965, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle [1][2]

So that the Falcons could become competitive with existing teams, the league awarded the Falcons the first pick in the 1966 NFL Draft, supplemented with the final pick in the first five rounds.[2] The NFL also gave the new team the opportunity to select current players from existing teams. That selection was provided by the expansion draft, held on February 15, 1966.[2] In this draft, held six weeks after the regular draft, the existing franchises listed players from which the Falcons could select to switch to the new team.

Each of the 14 established teams froze 29 players on their 40-man rosters that opened the 1965 season (That made 154 players available.). Atlanta picked one of the 11 and then each team froze two more. Atlanta was able to select two more for a total of 42 players chosen. The Falcons paid $8.5 million for the franchise. (Feb 17, 1966 St. Petersburg Times.)

Player selections

PlayerPositionCollege TeamOriginal NFL Team
Roger AndersonDTVirginia UnionNew York Giants
Larry BenzSNorthwesternCleveland Browns
Lee CallandDBLouisvilleMinnesota Vikings
Dennis ClaridgeQBNebraskaGreen Bay Packers
Junior CoffeyFBWashingtonGreen Bay Packers
Ed CookOGNotre DameSt. Louis Cardinals
Dave CrossanCMarylandWashington Redskins
Perry Lee DunnRBMississippiDallas Cowboys
Bobby FranklinSMississippiCleveland Browns
Dan GrimmOGColoradoGreen Bay Packers
Alex HawkinsWRSouth CarolinaBaltimore Colts
Ralph HeckLBColoradoPhiladelphia Eagles
Bob JencksTE- PKMiami (OH)Washington Redskins
Bill JobkoLBOhio StateMinnesota Vikings
Rudy JohnsonHBNebraskaSan Francisco 49ers
Frank LaskyOTFloridaNew York Giants
Danny LewisFBWisconsinWashington Redskins
Errol LindenOTHoustonMinnesota Vikings
Bill (Red) MackFLNotre DamePittsburgh Steelers
Frank MarchlewskiCMinnesotaLos Angeles Rams
Billy MartinTEGeorgia TechChicago Bears
Dale MemmelaarOGWyomingCleveland Browns
Dale MesserFLFresno StateSan Francisco 49ers
Max MessnerLBCincinnatiPittsburgh Steelers
Dennis MurphyDTFloridaChicago Bears
Neal PettiesSESan Diego StateBaltimore Colts
Tim PowellDENorthwesternLos Angeles Rams
Dave RecherCIowaPhiladelphia Eagles
Guy ReeseOTSMUBaltimore Colts
Bob RichardsDELSUPhiladelphia Eagles
Jerry RichardsonDBWest Texas StateLos Angeles Rams
Marion RushingLBSouthern IllinoisSt. Louis Cardinals
Bob ShermanDBIowaPittsburgh Steelers
Chuck SieminskiDTPenn StateSan Francisco 49ers
Carl SilvestriDBWisconsinSt. Louis Cardinals
Jim SimonOG-TMiamiDetroit Lions
Ron SmithDBWisconsinChicago Bears
Don TalbertOTTexasDallas Cowboys
Ernie WheelwrightFBSouthern IllinoisNew York Giants
Bob WhitlowCArizonaDetroit Lions
Sam WilliamsDEMichigan StateDetroit Lions
Maury YoumansDESyracuseDallas Cowboys

See also


  1. awarded the first NFL franchise in the Deep South to the city of Atlanta and granted ownership to Rankin Smith Sr.
  2. 1 2 3 "1966 NFL Draft". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
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