It’s NFL Draft season, which means that it’s time to start trotting out the stories of classic draft busts. This is the time of year when guys like Ryan Leaf, Tony Mandarich, and, yes, even Heath Shuler get dragged out of storage, have the dust blown off, and have their depressing stories re-told yet again.
Which is fortunate for me, since otherwise I wouldn’t have an excuse for posting this inexplicable picture I came across while searching AP Photos for a shot of the Redskins 1992 Super Bowl parade. This is U. of Washington defensive lineman Steve Emtman, just a month or so before he became the number one overall pick for the Indianapolis Colts in the 1992 Draft, standing with an axe and a Redskins helmet. (Click to enlarge.)
The photo is particularly bizarre since Emtman wouldn’t join the Redskins until 1997, and even then only for four games at the end of the season (which also marked the end of his brief career).
There’s an explanation, of course: It’s a portrait for his NFL ProLine Profile card and the Redskins held the sixth overall pick in that draft, so Emtman posed with the helmets of teams who might acquire him. That idea was worked into a visual metaphor in a separate batch of pictures from the Pro Line shoot — you can see one of them after the jump where Emtman appears to be fishing for a team — but out of context here, it appears to be a large man brandishing an axe and stomping on a Redskins helmet. Still, that’s the kind of thing that happens during NFL Draft season.
(Click onward to see Emtman fishing for a team, if you like.)
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