On May 19, 1935 the National Football League announced that there would be a draft in 1936 held exclusively for football players on the college level.
The event would be held in February at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. The first player chosen was Jay Berwanger from University of Chicago. He had also been recognized as the first winner of the Heisman Trophy. He was selected by the Eagles and immediately traded to the Bears. Unfortunately for Berwanger, he never had the chance to play with the pros since unlike today, football players did not make much money.
The draft consisted of nine rounds where each of the nine teams had a chance to make a selection from the fastest and strongest of the college level players. A majority of the draftees had a fate similar to Berwanger, they never had the chance to play ball with a professional team.
The NFL has made a point to give college players a chance to get into the big league on an annual basis ever since the draft in 1936. The biggest difference now is the 16 teams in both the NFC and the AFC. There is the north, south, east, and the western divisions. But, the team with the worst record is still chosen to pick first in the draft, giving said team the opportunity to get the best players. In the end Brett Bell’s idea to include college players in professional football was a huge step forward in the program, and is still a popular way of getting new players placed on team early in what could be a highly successful carrier.
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