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Strange but True: The Houston Oilers choose quarterbacks back-to-back in the 1971 NFL Draft?

Two picks. Two quarterbacks. But why?

HOUSTON — Two heads are better than one. But what about two quarterbacks?

Its January 1971, the lowly Houston Oilers held the third pick in the NFL Draft, a draft stocked with promising signal-callers.

Selecting first, the Patriots chose Stanford quarterback Jim Plunkett.

Next, New Orleans picked Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning.

The Oilers then made their choice: Quarterback Dan Pastorini of Santa Clara.

“He has a great arm,” said an Oilers spokesman. “If he showed up at the corner of Main and Texas and started throwing a football, he’d stop traffic.”

The Oilers get their guy. They can now focus on other spots, right?

With Houston’s next pick – in the third round – the Oilers choose Lynn Dickey, quarterback, Kansas State.

Two picks. Two quarterbacks. But why?

The Oilers rated Dickey as the fourth-best quarterback available and because he was still available - “It enhances our position for dealing with clubs that might be in the need for a quarterback sometime,” said coach Ed Hughes.

A team choosing a quarterback in the first round, then picking another one with its next pick? According to our research, it’s never happened again.

For years, Dan and Lynn battled to be Houston’s starting quarterback until 1976, when Lynn asked to be traded and is dealt to Green Bay.  

“I’ve been waiting to get out,” he said.

Still, the Oilers’ evaluation was solid. Dan and Dickey finished their careers as two of the top 20 most productive players from the 1971 draft, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com

The Oilers pick quarterbacks back-to-back. A strange but true Houston sports story.

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