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Mark Rypien Remembers His Draft Day Experience


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Ask enough NFL players and the majority of them will say that their draft day was a miserable experience.

That might not be the case for those taken within the first ten picks. But as time progresses, as the rounds get later, those with general assumptions about their draft stock based on months of projections begin to sweat.

In other words: "Worst day of my life," according to Redskins Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, who spoke recently in Annapolis, Md., during the Heart Health Foundation's third annual charity flag football game.

Rypien, who would lead the Redskins to their third Super Bowl victory with an MVP performance in 1992, was drafted by the Redskins in 1986 out of Washington State.

In his senior year there, Rypien threw for 2,174 yards and 14 touchdowns with a 58 percent completion percentage in 11 games. He collected 4,573 yards in his four-year career.

A few months later in April, it took a painful 145 selections before Rypien heard his name called.

"They project you maybe going second round," he said. "[I] didn't go until the sixth round, so when the Redskins called I was almost bitter, not at them, just at the projections, how they didn't come out."

Rypien would sit out his first two seasons with injuries, learning under head coach Joe Gibbs and fellow quarterback Doug Williams. In 1989 he started his first game for the burgundy and gold.

"The greatest thing that ever happened to me was being drafted by the Redskins," Rypien said, "being in an organization with Joe Gibbs, the history, to be able to be groomed."




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