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Monday marks 25th anniversary of action-packed 1989 supplemental draft

Phoenix Cardinals v Washington Redskins

Phoenix Cardinals v Washington Redskins

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There has never been an NFL supplemental draft like the one held 25 years ago Monday.

Three players — Miami (Fla.) quarterback Steve Walsh, Washington State quarterback Timm Rosenbach and Alabama running back Bobby Humphrey — were selected with first-round picks. Never before had multiple players been taken in Round One of the supplemental draft. Overall, five players were chosen with supplemental picks, the most in league history.

The Cowboys’ selection of Walsh was especially intriguing, given the club had taken Troy Aikman a few months earlier in the regular 1989 draft. However, Walsh’s collegiate coach, Jimmy Johnson, had become the Cowboys’ head coach and key personnel decision-maker. In the end, Aikman would capture the starting job, and the next year, the Cowboys dealt Walsh to New Orleans for three draft picks, including a first-rounder.

However, by taking Walsh, the Cowboys forfeited their No. 1 pick in 1990, which ended up being the top overall selection. Walsh’s greatest success would come later in his career with the Bears, whom he led to a playoff win in 1994.

Rosenbach, meanwhile, would play just 26 games for the Phoenix Cardinals before stepping away from the game in 1993. He returned in 1994 but never appeared again in NFL contest. The Cardinals, who were 5-11 in 1989, gave up what would have been a top-five pick in the 1990 draft for Rosenbach.

Humphrey, chosen by the Broncos, had the greatest instant impact of the three first-rounders, exceeding 1,000 yards rushing in his first two seasons with Denver, which made the Super Bowl in his rookie season. However, he held out for most of 1991, was traded to Miami after the season and would play just one season with the Dolphins.

For the record, no club has used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft since the Giants took Duke quarterback Dave Brown in 1992.