The Browns got more out of the second and final day of the 1958 NFL Draft than many teams got out of the first day.
The draft, held on Jan. 28 of that year, ended with the Browns selecting Illinois running back Bobby Mitchell in the seventh round and Florida cornerback Bernie Parrish in the ninth round.
Mitchell was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1958 when he rushed for 500 yards, caught three touchdown passes and scored once each on punt and kickoff returns. He played four years with the team and is one of four Cleveland running backs enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
With Mitchell and another of those Hall of Famers, Jim Brown, paired together, the Browns had one of the best backfields in NFL history. Mitchell was the consummate scatback, with tremendous speed and quickness, while Brown possessed great strength and power. They were the perfect complement to each other, giving the Browns the capability to attack any type of defense, from anywhere on the field, at any time.
Mitchell slipped to the seventh round because he was a sprinter in track and there were fears he would opt out of football and concentrate instead on getting ready for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. But as Mitchell would say later, that was never really an issue. He wanted to play pro football.
Mitchell was traded to Washington in 1962 for the rights to Syracuse running back Ernie Davis, whom the Redskins had taken No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft that year. He starred as a wide receiver for the Redskins for the next seven years.
After playing baseball in the Cincinnati Reds farm system in 1958, Parrish joined the Browns the following year and immediately became the starter at left cornerback, holding down the spot for seven seasons. He is fifth on the Browns with 29 career interceptions and is tied for third with three interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Parrish was twice selected for the Pro Bowl, and his performance in neutralizing the great wide receivers of the Baltimore Colts played an integral role in the Browns’ 27-0 upset victory in the 1964 NFL Championship Game.
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