American Football Database

The 1961 NFL Expansion Draft was a National Football League (NFL) draft in which a new expansion team, named the Minnesota Vikings, selected its first players.[1] In August 1959, a group of Minneapolis businessmen were awarded a franchise in the new American Football League (AFL).[2] In January 1960, they forfeited their AFL membership and were awarded a 90% stake in the 14th franchise of the NFL (the other 10%, under a decades-old agreement, went to former Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos owner Ole Haugsrud).[2]

So that the Vikings could become competitive with existing teams, the league awarded the Vikings the first pick in the 1961 NFL Draft and gave them the opportunity to select current players from existing teams. That selection was provided by the expansion draft, held on January 26, 1961. In this draft, the existing franchises listed players from which the Vikings could select to switch to the new team. [3]

Though the ownership group had participated in the 1960 American Football League Draft before jumping leagues to the NFL, they did not take any of the players they selected in that draft with them. As such, they entered the 1961 draft with an empty roster.

Rules of the Draft

Every existing NFL team except the Dallas Cowboys listed eight of its thirty-eight players, and the Vikings selected three players on the list from each team.[4]

Player selections

Player Position College Team Original NFL Team
Grady Alderman Guard Detroit Detroit Lions
Tom Barnett Halfback Purdue Pittsburgh Steelers
Byron Beams Tackle Notre Dame Pittsburgh Steelers
Ken Beck Defensive tackle Texas A&M Green Bay Packers
Bill Bishop Defensive tackle North Texas State Chicago Bears
Don Boll Tackle Nebraska New York Giants
Ed Culpepper Defensive tackle Alabama St. Louis Cardinals
Don Ellersick Flanker Washington State Los Angeles Rams
Dick Haley Defensive back Pittsburgh Washington Redskins
Gerry Huth Guard Wake Forest Philadelphia Eagles
Charlie Janerette Guard Penn State Los Angeles Rams
Gene Johnson Defensive back Cincinnati Philadelphia Eagles
Don Joyce Defensive end Tulane Baltimore Colts
Bill Kimber End Florida State New York Giants
Bill Lapham Center Iowa Philadelphia Eagles
Hugh McElhenny Halfback Washington San Francisco 49ers
Dave Middleton End Auburn Detroit Lions
Jack Morris Defensive back Oregon Pittsburgh Steelers
Rich Mostardi Defensive back Kent State Cleveland Browns
Fred Murphy End Georgia Tech Cleveland Browns
Clancy Osborne Linebacker Arizona State San Francisco 49ers
Dick Pesonen Defensive back Minnesota-Duluth Green Bay Packers
Mike Rabold Guard Indiana St. Louis Cardinals
Perry Richards SE Detroit St. Louis Cardinals
Bill Roehnelt Linebacker Bradley Washington Redskins
Karl Rubke Linebacker USC San Francisco 49ers
Gene Selawski Tackle Purdue Cleveland Browns
Glenn Shaw Fullback Kentucky Chicago Bears
Lebron Shields Defensive tackle Tennessee Baltimore Colts
Zeke Smith Linebacker Auburn Baltimore Colts
Jerry Stalcup Linebacker Wisconsin Los Angeles Rams
Louis "Red" Stephens Guard San Francisco Washington Redskins
Charlie Sumner Defensive back William & Mary Chicago Bears
Dave Whitsell Defensive back Indiana Detroit Lions
Paul Winslow Halfback North Carolina Central Green Bay Packers
Frank Youso Tackle Minnesota New York Giants

See also