The Greatest Name in NFL Draft History and a List of the All-Time #1 Overall NFL Draft Picks

all-time list of first overall nfl draft picks - first pick - dickless riffleYesterday, I attempted a serious discussion about the history of underclassmen QBs who have been picked in the first round of the NFL Draft. Needless to say, the history of such QBs is far more infamous than it is famous; and unfortunately for many NFL fans, a number of teams appear poised to draft Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman (all juniors) in the first round of the 2009 Draft.

With yesterday’s post I feel like I made a pretty significant deposit into the “serious sports talk” bank account that we like to maintain here at Midwest Sports Fans. And that can only mean one thing: it’s time to become a “real” sports fan for a moment and dabble in something juvenile, immature, and sophomoric.

Thus, it gives me great pleasure on this fine Wednesday morning to present you with the greatest name in the history of the NFL Draft:

Dickless Riffle - all time list of #1 overall picks in NFL draft, first overall nfl draft picks

That’s right. Dickless Riffle. A back out of Albright chosen with the 12th overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. (So…do you think when Eagles call T.O. “dickless” that they are really just paying homage to their old time second-round pick? No? Okay, me either.) I defy you to find another name that even comes close to packing the humor, irony, and complete ridiculousness of this one.

It should be noted that I looked for secondary confirmation of the existence of Dickless Riffle. However, all I was able to find was another website that had essentially just copy/pasted the Wikipedia table for the 1938 draft. So I’m trusting Wikipedia that Dickless Riffle is not just someone’s idea of a joke inconspicuously slipped into a random draft chart from the Early Era of the NFL, found only because of freak sports bloggers who research this stuff at 12:30 in the morning.

As you will see below, the genesis for this post was actually something legitimate and informative. We have created a table listing the #1 overall draft pick for every professional football draft since 1936. During the course of going to the Wikipedia page for each individual draft to get all of the information I needed for the table, I stumbled across more than a few interesting names. Without question, Dickless Riffle is the greatest.

How in the hell do you get a name like Dickless? I have to assume that it did not have the same context back then that it does now. Or perhaps his name was Richardfewer and he just wanted to shorten it. Or perhaps his parents really wanted a girl and simply could not accept the fact that little Dickless had man parts, so they gave him a name in hopes that it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.all-time list of first overall nfl draft picks - first pick - dickless riffle

It would make a great band name, don’t you think? Or a stage name for an effeminate male singer who wears tight pants and hits high notes with ease. I can see the marquee now: Dickless Riffle and the Morsels of Tenderness, like tonight at The Vogue.

And I’ve officially taken this too far.

Anyway, before we jump into the all-time list of #1 overall NFL draft picks, here are a few other names from the Early Era of the NFL that I thought were…entertaining:

  • Bill Shakespeare (1936 NFL Draft – Round 1 – Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dick Crayne (1936 – Round 1 – Brooklyn Dodgers)
  • Pepper Constable (1936 – Round 8 – Philadelphia Eagles)
  • Dick Plasman (1937 NFL Draft – Round 3 – Chicago Bears)
  • Byron “Whizzer” White (1938 NFL Draft – Round 1 – Pittsburgh Pirates) — Is this guy related to Onterrio Smith?
  • Kelly Moan (1938 – Round 7 – New York Giants)
  • Dick Nardi (1938 – Round 8 – Detroit Lions)
  • Dick Johnston (1938 – Round 11 – Washington Redskins) – one letter away from being the polar opposite of Dickless Riffle.
  • Bill Daddio (1939 NFL Draft – Round 5 – Chicago Cardinals)
  • Dick Farman (1939 – Round 16 – Washington Redskins)
  • Dick Favor (1940 NFL Draft – Round 3 – Philadelphia Eagles) – The question becomes what is the difference between a Dick Favor and a Dickless Riffle? They sound like complete opposites to me.
  • Cary Cox (1940 – Round 11 – Pittsburgh Steelers) – Umm…once again, the complete opposite of Dickless Riffle. But it would certainly help out with a Dick Favor.
  • Earl Fullilove (1941 NFL Draft – Round 19 – Washington Redskins)
  • Jack Hunt (1942 NFL Draft – Round 13 – Chicago Bears)
  • Dick Wildung (1943 NFL Draft – Round 1 – Green Bay Packers)
  • Bob Coutchie (1943 – Round 21 – Brooklyn Dodgers)

Yep, that seems like a good one to end on.

My goodness, who knew that the old school NFL drafts were such a rich source of humor? I had no idea. Anyway, I have to cut myself off there as actual work beckons.

Before I go, here is the all-time list of #1 overall NFL draft picks. My apologies for diverting so far off track from what this post was originally intended to be. But come on — Dickless Riffle? It was just too much ignore.

NFL Draft History: All-Time List of #1 Overall Picks

Year Team Player College
2009 Detroit Lions ??? ???
2008 Miami Dolphins OL - Jake Long Michigan
2007 Oakland Raiders QB - JaMarcus Russell LSU
2006 Houston Texans DL - Mario Williams NC State
2005 San Francisco 49ers QB - Alex Smith Utah
2004 San Diego Chargers QB - Eli Manning Ole Miss
2003 Cincinnati Bengals QB - Carson Palmer USC
2002 Houston Texans QB - David Carr Fresno State
2001 Atlanta Falcons QB - Michael Vick Virginia Tech
2000 Cleveland Browns DL - Courtney Brown Penn State
1999 Cleveland Browns QB - Tim Couch Kentucky
1998 Indianapolis Colts QB - Peyton Manning Tennessee
1997 St. Louis Rams OL - Orlando Pace Ohio State
1996 New York Jets WR - Keyshawn Johnson USC
1995 Cincinnati Bengals RB - Ki-Jana Carter Penn State
1994 Cincinnati Benglals DL - Dan Wilkinson Ohio State
1993 New England Patriots QB - Drew Bledsoe Washington State
1992 Indianapolis Colts DL - Steve Emtman Washington
1991 Dallas Cowboys DL - Russell Maryland Miami (FL)
1990 Indianapolis Colts QB - Jeff George Illinois
1989 Dallas Cowboys QB - Troy Aikman UCLA
1988 Atlanta Falcons LB - Aundray Bruce Auburn
1987 Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB - Vinny Testaverde Miami (FL)
1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB - Bo Jackson Auburn
1985 Buffalo Bills DL - Bruce Smith Virginia Tech
1984 New England Patriots WR - Irving Fryar Nebraska
1983 Baltimore Colts QB - John Elway Stanford
1982 New England Patriots DL - Kenneth Sims Texas
1981 New Orleans Saints RB - George Rogers South Carolina
1980 Detroit Lions RB - Billy Sims Oklahoma
1979 Buffalo Bills LB - Tom Cousineau Ohio State
1978 Houston Oilers RB - Earl Campbell Texas
1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB - Ricky Bell USC
1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL - Lee Roy Selmon Oklahoma
1975 Atlanta Falcons QB - Steve Bartkowski California
1974 Dallas Cowboys DL - Ed "Too Tall" Jones Tennessee State
1973 Houston Oilers DL - John Matuszak Tampa
1972 Buffalo Bills DL - Walt Patulski Notre Dame
1971 New England Patriots QB - Jim Plunkett Stanford
1970 Pittsburgh Steelers QB - Terry Bradshaw Louisiana Tech
1969 Buffalo Bills RB - O.J. Simpson USC
1968 Minnesota Vikings DL - Ron Yary USC
1967 Baltimore Colts DL - Charles "Bubba" Smith Michigan State
  AFL & NFL ERA    
1966 Atlanta Falcons LB - Tommy Nobis Texas
1965 New York Giants RB - Tucker Frederickson Auburn
1964 San Francisco 49ers DL - Dave Parks Texas Tech
1963 Los Angeles Rams RB - Terry Baker Oregon State
1962 Washington Redskins RB - Ernie Davis Syracuse
1961 Minnesota Vikings RB - Tommy Mason Tulane
1960 Los Angeles Rams RB - Billy Cannon LSU
1959 Green Bay Packers QB - Randy Duncan Iowa
1958 Chicago Cardinals QB - King Hill Rice
1957 Green Bay Packers HB - Paul Hornung Notre Dame
1956 Pittsburgh Steelers QB - Gary Glick Colorado State
1955 Baltimore Colts QB - George Shaw Oregon
1954 Cleveland Browns QB - Bobby Garrett Stanford
1953 San Francisco 49ers DL - Harry Babcock Georgia
1952 Los Angeles Rams QB - Bill Wade Vanderbilt
1951 New York Giants HB - Kyle Rote SMU
1950 Detroit Lions DL - Leon Hart Notre Dame
1949 Philadelphia Eagles C - Chuck Bednarik Pennsylvania
1948 Washington Redskins HB - Harry Gilmer Alabama
1947 Chicago Bears Back - Bob Fenimore Oklahoma
1946 Boston Yanks QB - Frank Dancewicz Notre Dame
1945 Chicago Cardinals HB - Charley Trippi Georgia
1944 Boston Yanks QB - Angelo Bertelli Notre Dame
1943 Detroit Lions RB - Frank Sinkwich Georgia
1942 Pittsburgh Steelers HB - Bill Dudley Virginia
1941 Chicago Bears HB - Tom Harmon Michigan
1940 Chicago Cardinals TB - George Cafego Tennessee
1939 Chicago Cardinals C - Charles "Ki" Aldrich TCU
1938 Cleveland Rams Back - Corbett Davis Indiana
1937 Philadelphia Eagles Back - Sam Francis Nebraska
1936 Philadelphia Eagles HB - Jay Berwanger Chicago

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


  1. Yes, Alex Smith was a bust for the 49ers as the #1 in 2005, too bad it hasn’t turned out better.

  2. Aww man, turns out Dickless doesn’t exist. I did some further research, and the guys name was actually Dick Riffle. Close…but no cigar.

  3. Damn Tim. Why did you have to ruin it!

  4. Where is John Hannah / New England Patriots?

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  1. […] The Greatest Name in NFL Draft History and a List of the All-Time #1 Overall NFL Draft Picks – And I’ve officially taken this too far. Anyway, before we jump into the all-time list of #1 overall NFL draft picks, here are a few other names from the Early Era of the NFL that I thought were…entertaining: Yep, that seems like a good one to end on. […]

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