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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trivia from the Iconoclast.......

Thoughts I’d like to share with fellow Eagles fans, or others who have some interest in The National Football League.

The Eagles’ selection of Alex Henery, a placekicker, in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, presents an opportunity for some trivia.

Alex Henery was the first placekicker Philadelphia selected since 1984, 27 years ago, when they opted for Youngstown’s State’s Paul McFadden in the 12th round. Before that, who was the placekicker selected by Philadelphia before McFadden? What was the intervening time-frame?

The answers: Manny Matsakis (Capital) and the time interval was measured in hours. Matsakis was taken in the 8th round of that 1984 Draft. Puzzling? It was to me. It still is.

When I tried that on people who might know, only one got it correct. Most answered, “Tony Franklin (1979).” Would it be a surprise that, in 1981, Alan Duncan (Tennessee) was selected, two years AFTER Franklin?

The list of Eagles designated solely as kickers in the NFL Draft prior to Alex Henery are:
year round player school
1966 20 Circo, Gerald (Cal State-Chico)
1967 14 Kenney, Dick (Michigan State)
1970 14 Moseley, Mark (Stephen F. Austin)
1971 4 Feller, Happy (Texas)
1979 3 Franklin, Tony (Texas A&M)
1981 7 Duncan, Alan (Tennessee)
1984 8 Matsakis, Manny (Capital)
1984 12 McFadden, Paul (Youngstown St.)

Interestingly, Jerrel Wilson, chosen by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1963 NFL Draft (17th round) as “LB-K” was the first player to carry the kicker label as part of his draft position designation.

In the NFL Draft, the first player designated exclusively as a kicker was Dick VanRaaphorst (Ohio State) by the Cleveland Browns in 1964 (10th round). Pete Gogolak (Cornell) was taken in the 12th round of the AFL Draft that same year. Prior to that, kickers were position players with the added responsibility.