It is expected that two Brigham Young Cougars, one offensive and one defensive player, will be drafted in the upcoming 2012 NFL draft. This draft outlook parallels the outcome of the NFL draft 40 years ago.
In the 1972 NFL draft, BYU saw two of its standout players selected. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected offensive tackle Gordon Gravelle in the second round with the 38th pick overall. The St. Louis Cardinals used the 82nd pick overall to select linebacker Jeff Lyman in the fourth round.
Lyman’s career was short lived. He played in three games in 1972, two with the Cardinals and one with the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, Lyman wasn’t able to play longer, but just getting there is a significant accomplishment.
Gravelle, on the other hand, had a very satisfying career. Over eight seasons, he played in 96 games. In his third and fourth seasons, 1974 and 1975, he started all 14 regular season games and was a starter on the Steelers’ first two Super Bowl championship teams.
After five years in Pittsburgh, Gravelle spent over two seasons as a member of the New York Giants. During his final season, 1979, Gravelle left the Giants and joined the Los Angeles Rams. He played in eight games with the Rams and helped the franchise reach its first Super Bowl. Gravelle played in Super Bowl XIV against none other than the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rams took a 19-17 lead into the fourth quarter, but eventually fell 31-19.
Time will tell whether the BYU players who move on to the NFL this weekend will have careers as great as Gravelle’s.
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