222 players taken, but not Heisman winner

April 26, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

ASHBURN, VA — ASHBURN, Va. -- Heath Shuler and Trent Dilfer, the two quarterbacks drafted among the first six picks Sunday, were the talk of the first day of the NFL draft.

Charlie Ward, the quarterback who wasn't drafted, was the talk of the second day of the draft yesterday.

Ward, last year's Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State, was snubbed, as only nine of the 222 players selected in the 14-hour, 59-minute draft were quarterbacks.

Those selected included C. W. Post's Perry Klein -- who went on the 111th selection to the Atlanta Falcons and was the third one selected -- and Tulsa's Gus Frerotte, who was once a backup to T. J. Rubley and went to the Washington Redskins.

None of the teams, though, was willing to gamble a draft pick on Ward. anadept point guard for the Seminoles

Being a Heisman Trophy winner is no guarantee of success. Since Barry Sanders came out five years ago, the past four -- Andre Ware, Ty Detmer, Desmond Howard and Gino Torretta -- have had little impact.

Ward, though, became the second Heisman Trophy winner not to be drafted. The only other one was Pete Dawkins of Army, who was bypassed in 1959 because he planned to make the military a career.

In Ward's case, the NFL scouts also aren't sure if he wants to make football a career because of his interest in basketball.

"No one's sure how important football is to him," said Ron Wolf, the general manager of the Green Bay Packers.

Ward also wasn't impressive in his off-season workout. Sam Wyche, the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said the question about him is whether he has a big-time NFL arm.

Redskins general manager Charley Casserly,who bypassed Ward in the last roundfor Frerotte,said, "We like Freotte, but there may have been some question about what he (Ward) wants to play.

Ward seemed to be waiting for an NFL team to make a commitment to him before he chose football. The NFL teams, though, wanted a commitment from him before they used a draft pick for him.

"I want to concentrate on one sport and be a professional," he said after he was snubbed. "It seems that it's going to be basketball. I may be the first Heisman [winner] to play in the NBA."

The Minnesota Vikings said they would offer a contract to Ward contract.

Ward had indicated he might be interested in playing in the CFL and the NBA. Ron Meyer, coach of the Las Vegas team, is expected to try to persuade him to play in the CFL.

Meyer could easily outbid the NFL for him. Most NFL rookie free agents get the $108,000 minimum because their salaries have to fit in the rookie salary pool. The CFL has a $2 million team salary cap but can exempt one franchise player.

Doug Flutie, a former Heisman Trophy winner who flopped in the NFL, has been a star in the CFL

Several players went lower in the draft than they were rated. They included running back LeShon Johnson of Northern Illinois, who lasted until the third round, defensive back Corey Sawyer of Florida State, who was the first pick of the fourth round, and quarterback Glenn Foley of Boston College, who engineered the upset that cost Notre Dame the national title but lasted until the seventh round. Johnson went to Green Bay, Sawyer to Cincinnati and Foley to the New York Jets.

One big-name veteran, Marion Butts of the San Diego Chargers, was traded during the second day. He went to the New England Patriots for third- and fifth-round picks.

Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, concluded his first draft without former coach Jimmy Johnson and showed he could wheel and deal by trading a fourth-round choice next year for a sixth-round pick this year. He used the pick to take West Virginia quarterback Darren Studstill. The Cowboys project him as a defensive back.

"I spoke to Jimmy, and he congratulated us," Jones said.

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