The rich getting richer (usually, at least)

One of the neater tricks in pro football is to win the championship (hard enough), then double your pleasure by selecting a Hall of Famer in the next draft (harder still, especially if you’re picking last).

It’s happened just 10 times in NFL history, most recently in 1993-94. (The player involved was admitted to Canton last year. I’ll let you guess who.)

As you’ll see, seven of the 10 teams won another title within five years. The other three messed up — royally. One cut its future Hall of Famer (who went on to win a Super Bowl with the Jets), another traded him (after which he won five championships with the Packers) and the third failed to sign him (whereupon he won an AFL crown with the Chargers).

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a club to pull this off again. It could be another decade or two, considering the paucity of candidates.

Note: I’m not including the ’49 Eagles or the ’50 Browns. Yes, they both came away from the next draft with a Hall of Famer, but it was a coach (Bud Grant for Philadelphia and Don Shula for Cleveland).

NFL CHAMPIONS WHO SELECTED A HALL OF FAMER IN THE NEXT DRAFT

Year Champs Hall of Fame Pick (Round) Result
1948 Eagles LB Chuck Bednarik (1) Won titles in '49 and '60
1952 Lions LB Joe Schmidt (7) Won title games in '53 and '57, lost in '54
1955 Browns DE Willie Davis (15) DNP until '58, traded to Packers in '60
1956 Giants WR Don Maynard (9) Lost title game in '58, went to AFL's Jets
1959 Colts OT Ron Mix (1) Signed with AFL's Chargers
1962 Packers LB Dave Robinson (1) Won titles in '65, '66 and '67
1980 Raiders DE Howie Long (2) Won Super Bowl in '83
1982 Redskins CB Darrell Green (1) Won Super Bowls in '87 and '91, lost in '83
1984 49ers WR Jerry Rice (1) Won Super Bowls in '88, '89 and '94
1993 Cowboys OG Larry Allen (2) Won Super Bowl in '95

There were also three league champions — two from the AFL, one from the NFL — who lost the Super Bowl and added a Hall of Famer in the next draft (kind of as a consolation prize). These were:

Year Champs Hall of Fame Pick (Round) Result
1966 Chiefs LB Willie Lanier (2) Won Super Bowl in '69
1967 Raiders OT Art Shell (3) Won Super Bowls in '76 and '80
1968 Colts LB Ted Hendricks (2) Won Super Bowl in '70

Finally, here are some Super Bowl champions of more recent vintage who may eventually join this list. (Note the word “may.”)

Year Champs Possible HOF-er in next draft (Round) Result
1996 Packers FS Darren Sharper (2) Lost Super Bowl in '97
2003 Patriots NT Vince Wilfork (1) Won Super Bowl in '04, lost in '07 and '11
2004 Patriots OG Logan Mankins (1) Lost Super Bowls in '07 and '11
2009 Saints TE Jimmy Graham (3) ?????

Source: pro-football-reference.com