In the 1999 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts had a decision to make. Take Edgerrin James or take Ricky Williams. With the fourth overall pick, the Colts decided James was their pick.
While some may have thought it would have been wiser to go the other direction, Williams has won the Heisman Trophy that year, James proved them all wrong by having an amazing rookie year, then continued his success throughout the rest of his career.
James, a running back out of Miami, came out of the gate stomping his competition. In his rookie year, he had 1553 yards rushing, 586 yards receiving, and a total of 17 touchdowns. He was named the AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, and he was just getting started.
Currently, there are hundreds of articles about the upcoming NFL Draft. Mock drafts, team’s draft needs, draft surprises, the topics are endless. Well, I’m here to add another one to the list! However, I’m not talking about this year’s draft. Today, I’m going to take you back twenty years to 1999.
The Denver Broncos, led by quarterback John Elway, had just beaten the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19. You may remember that was the year when everyone was buzzing about Elway confronting his former coach, Dan Reeves, about comments he had made stating new head coach Mike Shanahan and Elway had conspired to have Reeves fired. Oh, the drama!
But when the new season started, all eyes were on the 1999 draft. The NEW Cleveland Browns had the first pick. It marked the first year, since 1995, the city of Cleveland had a football team. It was no surprise they went with a quarterback, selecting Tim Couch.
While Couch did manage to take the Browns to the playoffs during his 5 injury ridden years on the team, it was other players picked in that draft who would go on to make huge impacts, not only for their teams but in the NFL.
News had traveled fast regarding the release of Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. And at that time, I had so many emotions. Knowing that he wanted to play for at least one more year, but didn’t want to see him play against us.
Something was just not right about this. Then, when the news broke that Reggie has signed on with the New England Patriots, more mixed emotions came upon me.
This was not right. I was happy when he didn’t continue with the Patriots, but something still didn’t feel right. Colts Nation could never get that last chance to chant his name in “Reggie’s Corner.”