Heisman Duos Who Were Taken In The Same NFL Draft

Oklahoma's 1978 Heisman winner Billy Sims was drafted first in the 1980 NFL Draft while USC's 1979 Heisman winner Charles White was drafted 27th in 1980, also in the first round. Phot Credit: Getty Images

The 2024 NFL Draft will have a decidedly heavy Heisman flavor Thursday night when 32 players are drafted in the first round.

Detroit is hosting the draft for the first time, but it is the city’s NFC North rival Chicago who will draft first, and 2022 Heisman winner Caleb Williams is the presumptive No. 1 pick.

Washington and New England have the second and third picks, respectively, and 2023 Heisman winner Jayden Daniels is expected to be taken by one of those two teams.

At worst, Thursday will mark the 12th time two Heisman winners were taken in the same draft and the seventh time two Heisman winners were taken in the first round of the same draft.

If Williams and Daniels go first and second, it will be just the second time Heisman winners were taken with the top two picks, mirroring the 2015 Draft when Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay) and Jameis Winston (Tennessee) were taken first and second overall.

The last time a pair of Heisman recipients were taken in the first round was in 2018 when Baker Mayfield (first, Cleveland) and Lamar Jackson (32nd, Baltimore) served as bookends for the first day of selections.

In 2011, Cam Newton (Carolina) was taken first overall while 2010 Heisman winner Mark Ingram (New Orleans) was drafted late in the first round, going 28th.

A year earlier, two Heisman winners also went on day one as Sam Bradford was taken first overall (St. Louis) in 2010 while Tim Tebow was taken with the 25th pick (Denver).

In 1992, Desmond Howard was drafted fourth overall (Washington) while Ty Detmer went late, taken in the ninth round (Green Bay).

Bo Jackson was taken first overall by Tampa Bay in 1986, but did not sign with the Buccaneers. He went back into the draft pool in 1987, where he was taken in the seventh round by the L.A. Raiders with the 183rd pick overall.

Thus, Jackson joined Vinny Testaverde in the 1987 draft as the former Hurricane star was taken first overall (Tampa Bay).

In 1985, the NFL Draft featured a pair of late round picks as Herschel Walker was taken in the fifth round (Dallas) while Doug Flutie went in the 11th round (L.A. Rams).

Walker had been under contract with the USFL since 1983 and two drafts came and went without an NFL team taking a chance, but the pick paid off as Walker joined the Cowboys in 1986. (As a side note, Walker put up prolific numbers in his three years with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, amassing 5,562 yards on 1,143 attempts, scoring 54 rushing touchdowns while catching 130 passes for 1,484 yards and 7 more scores.)

The 1980 Draft saw another pair of Heisman winners taken in the first round as Billy Sims went first overall (Detroit) while Charles White was taken in the 27th spot (Cleveland).

In 1952, Heisman winners Vic Janowicz and Dick Kazmaier were both late round picks, going in the seventh (Washington) and 15th (Chicago) rounds, respectively.

The 1946 Draft marked the first time two Heisman winners went in the first round as Doc Blanchard (Pittsburgh) and Johnny Lujack (Chicago) were drafted third and fourth, respectively.

The 1943 Draft featured the most unique Heisman pair to be taken in the same draft.

Frank Sinkwich, the 1942 Heisman winner, was drafted first overall in 1943. Also taken in 1943 was Ohio State star Les Horvath, following his third and final season as a Buckeye in 1942. But Horvath — who began dental school in 1943 in lieu of pro football — received an extra year of eligibility (as did many athletes) due to World War II and went on to win the 1944 Heisman Trophy more than a year after he was drafted.