It’s a little known fact to those outside the listening range of the airwaves of The Score 670 in Chicago that there was a daily push prior to the 2003 NFL Draft for the Chicago Bears to draft Tony Romo.
In those days I spent most of my work day driving around chasing kids on probation. In these pre-Sirius Radio days I listened to The Score daily. During the months leading up to the 2003 draft, Doug Buffone, former Bears linebacker and one of my personal favorite Score personalities, made a daily push for the Bears to draft, “That Romo kid from Eastern Illinois” on a daily basis. He also discussed how they should have taken him after the draft had taken place.
With the 22nd pick, the 2nd first round pick for the Bears in 2003, the Bears selected Rex Grossman from Florida. There was a lot of talk about how Grossman would not succeed as an NFL QB…most Florida QB’s don’t. Tony Romo? He went undrafted and signed as an Undrafted FA with the Dallas Cowboys.
I know, hindsight is 20/20. Doug Buffone had foresight and he deserves props for it.
Let’s have a look at the Bears 2003 draft:
1 (14, 14) – Michael Haynes, Penn State
1 (22, 22) – Rex Grossman, Florida
2 (3, 35) – Charles Tillman, Louisiana-Lafayette
3 (4, 68) – Lance Briggs, Arizona
4 (3, 100) – Todd Johnson, Florida
4 (19, 116) – Ian Scott, Florida
5 (4, 139) – Bobby Wade, Arizona
5 (8, 143) – Justin Gage, Missouri
5 (36, 171) – Tron Lafavor, Florida
6 (18, 191) – Joe Odom, Purdue
6 (33, 206) – Brock Forsey, Boise State
7 (47, 261) – Bryan Anderson, Pittsburgh
Take Grossman out and you can plug in a number of players that were drafted after #22 in that draft that could have helped the Bears. Some notable first rounders taken after were Dallas Clark and RB’s Willis McGahee and Larry Johnson (although at the time they thought they had their guy in Anthony Thomas).
Now we can plug Tony Romo in anywhere we want since he went undrafted. Most of those guys never made an impact and are not even on the team anymore.
We never know how it would have panned out. Romo would not have likely got the clip board time that he did in Dallas. He got to take some tips from Drew Bledsoe rather than Kordell Stewert. You never know what would happen with different systems and personnel how things would work from one team to the next with a guy.
One thing that we do know is Tony Romo is for real and Rex Grossman clearly is not. Makes you wonder how things may have been different for both the Bears and Cowboys had someone been listening to Doug Buffone’s daily rants.
PS-Trying the “DIGG” thang. Please hit it for me if you don’t want many small kittens to die today.