Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Dick Schafrath will represent the franchise by announcing its pick in the third round, No. 68 overall, of the 2013 NFL Draft from Radio City Music Hall in New York City Friday evening.
Schafrath is announcing the selection as part of the NFL’s annual tradition of having former players from each of the 32 franchises announce their teams’ respective picks in the second round. With the Browns and other teams not having a second-round selection, Schafrath and other legends will announce their former franchise’s third-round choices.
“It’s just a tremendous honor to me,” Schafrath said. “I’m really excited to go there and represent them.”
Schafrath said the draft has changed a lot since he was a second-round selection in 1959 out of Ohio State University. Schafrath and Dick LeBeau, who would later be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, were celebrating the end of their college careers at Ohio State in West Virginia when they placed a call to Schafrath’s family back in Ohio.
“I found out when I called my parents and said, ‘I’m out of money, and I have to have some gas to get back home,’” Schafrath recalled with a laugh. “They said, ‘Paul Brown called you and you’ve been drafted by the Browns.’ Dick was drafted too, so we were real excited. That’s how it all started.
“That’s what was so exciting about growing up in Ohio, and the whole tradition of Marion Motley, Lou Groza and Otto Graham. They drafted me and it was pretty exciting. I’ll never forget it. I didn’t even talk salary. I took what Paul gave me. I think it was something like $7,000 for two years and a $1,500 bonus, but that seemed like millions of dollars to me.”
Having grown up in Wooster, Ohio, Schafrath found importance in the opportunity to play for his hometown team, and team up with Pro Football Hall of Famers in running back Jim Brown, coach Paul Brown, quarterback Len Dawson, offensive linemen Gene Hickerson, Lou Groza, and Mike McCormack, and assistant coach Chuck Noll.
“When you grow up in Ohio and you play for Ohio State, and then, you play with the Browns, that’s the ultimate dream,” Schafrath said. “I never thought of playing for any other team. I played with Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly, (Gary) Collins, just a great group. The first huddle I got into, there were nine future Hall of Famers in it.”