Beathard explains trading away No. 1 picks; Bledsoe recalls being the draft's No. 1 pick

Bobby Beathard explains why he regularly traded away his No. 1 pick, and Drew Bledsoe recalls the pressure of being the overall No. 1 choice.

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Chargers
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Chargers

(Bobby Beathard photo courtesy Washington Redskins)

Talk of Fame Network

The NFL draft inched closer this week with news that the Tennessee Titans traded the draft’s overall No. 1 pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for L.A.’s first-rounder, two seconds and a third this year and a first and third next. That’s the kind of move Talk of Fame Network’s guest Bobby Beathard would have loved.

Once called “the smartest man in the NFL’’ by Sports Illustrated, the former Redskins' and Chargers' general manager this week explained his penchant for trading away No. 1 picks with our Talk of Fame Network hosts, Clark Judge, Rick Gosselin and Ron Borges, as part of TOF’s month-long series on the draft.

“People look at No. 1 picks as valuable, and they are, but it depends on what the rest of the draft looks like,’’ explained Beathard, who once traded away his No. 1 pick seven straight years.

With the Rams now set to make a quarterback the draft’s No. 1 overall choice once again, the guys also visited with someone who well understands the pressures that come with such a selection: 1993 overall No. 1 pick Drew Bledsoe.

Bledsoe and Notre Dame’s Rick Mirer were the two quarterbacks debated that spring before the Patriots settled on Bledsoe. He would become the youngest quarterback to play in a Pro Bowl and lead the long-dormant Patriots to the 1996 Super Bowl while also throwing the only touchdown pass in the Patriots’ 2001 AFC championship game victory that got their dynasty rolling.

“It was a little bit of a zoo,’’ Bledsoe said of the weeks leading up to the draft and the process now facing North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz and Cal’s Jared Goff. “I tried to go through it with good humor. The hard part is the process turns into trying to find faults in you. They’re really trying to pick you apart.’’

As usual, the news of the day also doesn’t go ignored as the Hall of Fame Guys discuss the sad death of former New Orleans Saints’ defensive end Will Smith with Ken Trahan, general manager of the Saints’ Hall of Fame, which was preparing to induct Smith later this year.

They also address Clark’s best friend, Terrell Owens, who said this week that Hall-of-Fame induction should be based “purely on stats.’’ That would leave a lot of linemen out and bury the chances of someone like Johnny Unitas, who ranks 78th all-time in career passing rating yet is considered the greatest quarterback of all-time by many historians. It also irked the guys, who had serious problems with that suggestion.

Rick also states the Hall-of-Fame case for former Steelers’ linebacker Andy Russell, whom he believes deserves a place in Canton, and also explains the rationale behind the Rams’ trading a king’s ransom of draft picks to move up to No. 1 and grab what they hope will be a franchise quarterback.

There’s all that and more, including the weekly two-minute drill, a visit with Hall-of-Fame voter Bob Glauber to talk about the latest moves of the Jets and the Giants, Ron’s review of some of Saints’ broadcaster and former running back Hokie Gajean’s greatest broadcasting aphorisms to honor the ‘Bayou Bowling Ball’s’’ untimely passing from a rare form of cancer at the age of 56.

All two hours can be heard on 80 radio stations around the country, on our podcast at iTunes or on the TuneIn app. You can also hear the show by going to, our website, and clicking on the microphone icon.