Originally Published: July 9, 2013

#HornsNationDraft: How Teams Were Picked

By Carter Strickland | HornsNation

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lowell Galindo and Kevin Dunn spend way too much time together.

Sean Adams refuses to believe anything happened before 1970.

And picking Dusty Renfro in the 14th round of an all-time Texas football draft would draw a cacophony of guffaws.

Bobby Layne
AP PhotoLegendary quarterback Bobby Layne was the third quarterback taken, a testament to Texas' talent of all time.

So it went during ESPN's first all-time Texas draft last week.

Every time Galindo would pick, Dunn would agonize that he was just about to make that pick, and vice versa. (They work together as hosts at the Longhorn Network and, as such, spend an inordinate amount of time breaking down all things Texas and apparently the walls between each other.)

Every time the opportunity to go deep into Texas' rosters of old presented itself, Adams, a drive-time host on ESPN's 104.9 The Horn and the only one of us with a smidgen of athletic talent or a college background in the game, would go new. (Johnathan Gray as his sneaky last pick).

And every time yours truly picked a 3A linebacker, I was roundly booed. ("Moron" might have been the word used by more than one of my fellow drafters, but I refuse to relive the insults or repeat such harsh words.)

But somehow we all got through it, dodging the hurled insults, shaking our fists at Galindo for taking two linebackers with his first and second picks and laying waste to the middle of everyone's defense, and wondering whether Dunn was reading all his stats from a book or he somehow remembered that Bill Bradley, a recruited quarterback, was actually tried at receiver before ultimately making the switch to defensive back and grabbing four picks in a 35-14 win over Texas A&M in 1969. (Dunn proceeded to break down Bradley's career as secondary coach for the Florida Tuskers, but we all tuned him out.)

Our charge for this draft was rather simple; each participant was to pick 24 players -- a complete roster -- and try to field the best Texas team of all time. Yes, that includes kickers and punters, so Russell Erxleben -- he did both -- was at a premium. (Galindo took him at the start of the 10th round, and Dunn screamed as though he had just spilled hot coffee where you don't want to spill hot coffee. Who knew he could hit the high notes?)

What came through -- again, other than Dunn's Wikipedia-like knowledge of everyone from Hub Bechtol to Bill Atessis -- was that Texas has had enough talent to field seven or eight all-time teams. Bobby Layne was the third quarterback taken, for goodness' sake, and that was in the second round.


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There were plenty of players mistakenly overlooked -- more on that later in the week as we break down the hits and misses, but apologies to Doug English -- and some others who caused quite a stir. (See Renfro, Dusty. But not to be outdone, Adams grabbed Kwame Cavil in the 10th.)

Strategies were hit-and-miss in the later rounds, but from the start it was clear that Galindo wanted to get the best players at Texas' weakest positions. That was why he went linebacker with his first two picks and grabbed Tommy Nobis and Derrick Johnson. As we all soon realized, there weren't many choices at that position after those two, save for Robin Sendlein (Dunn got him and had a lengthy explanation about his five forced fumbles in 1978 and that his favorite meal was shrimp scampi and favorite color was blue) and Britt Hager. (Dunn forgot to let us know both Sendlein and Hager wore No. 60. Maybe he did. But, again, we were tuning him out.)

There were debates -- some fairly lengthy for guys (Why wasn't Kiki DeAyala more valued as a player?), some "Judge Judy" quick. (Kicker Phil Dawson, or take running back Chris Gilbert and then a combo kicker/punter? Gilbert wins hands down.)

And in the end, each of us walked away knowing we had picked the best team. (Well, Galindo thought Dunn had the best team and vice versa, but that's just how they roll.) And now the time has come for you to decide, debate and engage as we spend Tuesday unveiling, critiquing and analyzing the selections.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

Roundtable: Experts Talk #HornsNationDraft

1. Which player did you want to be certain to get?

Carter Strickland: Texas has been historically horrible at wide receiver, so it was an early priority to grab the best wide receiver in Texas history. That was why at the end of the second round I added Jordan Shipley. The thought was that putting him with Colt McCoy would make for the best quarterback-wide receiver combo of any of the teams. It turns out that thought was correct, as the next receiver taken was Roy Williams, and he was combined with Major Applewhite. After that, Kwame Cavil was selected to pair with Vince Young.

Vince Young
Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesVince Young was drafted No. 2 overall behind his successor, Colt McCoy.

Sean Adams: Regardless of era, I base football around the quarterback, blocking for the quarterback and rushing the quarterback. I knew I needed a great quarterback and leader, and having the second pick, I assumed I would end up with one of the best college quarterbacks ever in Colt McCoy. When he went with the first pick I actually got the player that I coveted most in Vince Young.

Kevin Dunn: I started the process by listing every position 1-10 through my eyes. Then I created a big board of overall players with each position getting a ranking on strength.

Clearly DT and DB were the most loaded. I saw no big difference between my No. 1 DT and the ninth. As much as I would love Casey Hampton and Steve McMichael, the selections of Doug English (18) and Brad Shearer (13) show you how deep the DT position is, as Shearer was an Outland Trophy winner and English was a four-time Pro Bowler. LBs and OTs were light. I knew I could grab some really good LBs (Lyle Sendlein, Sergio Kindle and Scott Henderson) late but wanted the two best offensive tackles in school history. And I got them. Outside of Blake Brockermeyer, I believe the next tackles are significantly downgraded. As loaded as UT's secondary is, I think the top four or five really separate themselves. The top three on my board were Jerry Gray, Raymond Clayborn and Nathan Vasher. I was thrilled and shocked to get all of them. Good luck throwing on us. Because he was my first favorite UT football player, getting Jerry Gray at No. 6 was great. Erxleben was the only combo kicker I would have taken. WR was also slim after Rounds 4-5, so I wanted to get Jordan Shipley/Quan Cosby and either Cotton Speyrer or Mike Adams. I think Cosby is the second-best wideout in school history. He actually produced ... especially when it counted. Outside of Dan Neil, I was fine picking the interior of my O-line late. I had Casey Studdard as a top-four guard, and Roger Roesler and Will Allen were All-Americans. I had the quarterbacks ranked this way: 1) VY 2) Bobby Layne/Colt McCoy. 4) Marty Akins (my sleeper I didn't take because Layne fell into my lap.) 5) Major Applewhite/James Street. Akins was very underrated. Great athlete in a bad system. Lowell must make Erxleben take business ethics classes at McCombs.

Lowell Galindo: I approached this draft with the goal of building a team that would beat the three others in head-to-head competition. To do that I prioritized players by their value compared to others at the position. I believe that Tommy Nobis and Derrick Johnson are clearly the best linebackers in school history with a sizable gap from others in the conversation. It was difficult and perhaps borderline crazy passing up Ricky Williams with the fourth pick, but in taking Nobis and DJ back-to-back, I gave myself easily the biggest edge at any position for a team in this draft. That was also my philosophy with my next two picks: Brian Orakpo and Tony Brackens.

2. Who was your best sleeper pick?

Carter Strickland: Grabbing Noble Doss in the 19th round was probably a pick many did not see coming, since many don't even know who he is. But the two-way player in the 1940s made some of the biggest plays in Texas history. Doss made the "impossible catch" in the 7-0 win over reigning national champ Texas A&M in 1940. That catch snapped the Aggies' nine-game win streak. He might have had an even greater impact on defense. He had 17 career interceptions in an era when the forward pass was hardly embraced by anyone. Those 17 career interceptions are tied for the most in Texas history. Nathan Vasher tied Doss some 63 years later.

Sean Adams: I took running back Shon Mitchell in the 19th round. He's my best sleeper, and it's not even close. In just two seasons, the last in the Southwest Conference and the first in the Big 12, Mitchell rushed for 1,724 yards and 14 touchdowns with an average of 5.9 yards per carry. He also did this in the structure of an ultra-talented backfield that consisted of Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes.

Mitchell played at Texas for only two seasons but is 15th on Texas' all-time list. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry in 1995 and was newcomer of the year in the last year of the Southwest Conference. If he'd had four years in a "normal" backfield, he would shatter every notable record.

Kevin Dunn: I don't think any of us who weren't around to see it can truly understand how dominant Bill Atessis was in college. He was ahead of his time in terms of size and agility -- similar to Walt Patulski at Notre Dame, who was eventually the No. 1 pick. Getting arguably the best running back in college football history to pair with Jamaal Charles was an unexpected gift. All of our boards were so different in terms of who we thought was the best at their position, which made it fun, but "sleeper" is truly in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion, drafting the second- and third-best receivers in UT history -- Cosby at 12 and Speyrer at 15 -- was theft. Getting an edge-rusher like Kiki DeAyala that late was a huge surprise.

Ben Liebenberg/US PresswireJordan Shipley was the first wideout selected at No. 8 overall.

Lowell Galindo: Where do I start? Roy Williams falling into my lap with my eighth pick. To put that in perspective, Carter took an unquestioned great in Jordan Shipley at No. 8 overall. But I got a legend in the eighth round! I also had Thorpe winner Aaron Ross gifted to me in the 16th round, but the biggest sleeper of all was Major Applewhite with my second-to-last pick. I knew I wasn't getting VY or Colt, and when Kevin selected Bobby Layne in the second round, I knew I could load up at different positions and select Major late. I think he will be OK with that when he sees the O-line I got for him.

3. What player were you most disappointed to miss out on?

Carter Strickland: Lowell Galindo had an annoying habit of grabbing players just before the next person in line was to select them. In my case, he grabbed Texas' two best linebackers, Tommy Nobis and Derrick Johnson, off the board with his first two picks. The plan had been to take one of those two with my second pick. But since the draft was snaked -- one through four followed by four through one -- they were long gone by the time my pick came along.

Sean Adams: Derrick Johnson is the guy I wish I hadn't missed out on. When Lowell Galindo made the run on linebackers grabbing him and Tommy Nobis, the strength of the position dropped off. I love DJ as a player and leader.

Kevin Dunn: I have to get on my boy LG, who snagged my childhood hero Eric Metcalf. I was planning on using him with Ricky Williams (I didn't think Earl Campbell would fall to me) and splitting him out. He would have finally had some talent around him and a line that could block. Sean got me on Shane Dronett (I tried to talk him out of it with an anecdote, but no go). And finally, my top center on the board was Bill Wyman -- thanks, LG! I really wanted Scott Appleton, Britt Hager and Earl Thomas.

Lowell Galindo: I'll have to direct my aggression toward my friend Sean Adams for a moment. The only two times in the draft I may have put the phone on mute to curse someone's name was because of Sean's selections of Casey Hampton and Bryant Westbrook. Hampton's selection in the third round was easier to take because I believe his value is decreased in this draft thanks to GREAT depth at defensive tackle. Still, he was the top DT on my board. Westbrook was not the top cornerback on my board but is one of my favorite players of all time regardless of sport. His hits on Leeland McElroy and Notre Dame's Randy Kinder are two of the reasons why.

#HornsNationDraft: Complete Results