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Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann is grateful he grew up in an era when the media wasn't abundant and social media didn't exist.
His NFL Draft experience, if it had happened today, would have been significantly more stressful.
"It was miserable for me," said Theismann, who was taken by the Miami Dolphins with the 99th selection in 1971. "I wound up being a fourth-round pick. Of course we didn't have the exposure that you have today. The social media's changed the world completely. Every show is about Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston or Todd Gurley or somebody and the kids just get inundated with all this stuff."
Theismann, speaking at the Heart Health Foundation's third annual charity flag football game on Sunday, then recalled his thought process during the hours leading up to his selection by the Dolphins.
"I remember sitting in Roger Valdiserri, our public relations director's office, and the draft was going on," he began. "The Cowboys expressed interest, the Eagles did. I grew up in New Jersey -- maybe the Giants? You start listening to all these people that are interested in you and then all of a sudden they pick and you're not there. I was a college All-American and runner up to the Heisman Trophy and there was this expectation that maybe I'd be able to go in the first round, second round. All of a sudden, end of the second round goes by, third round goes by, nobody calls. I said to Roger to heck with this. I'm going downstairs to play basketball, call me if anybody wants me. About an hour later, the Miami Dolphins draft me [in] the fourth round. I can't say I was excited. I was disappointed. I had hoped I would have been drafted higher. Then you find out it really doesn't have anything to do with your college career. It has to do with the need of a football team. It has to do with size, what's their perception of you. There wasn't a Wonderlic test. So many kids are exposed to so many analytics now – from size to height to jumping ability, to speed, to mental capacity -- the capacity to retain information, the capacity to learn things, the capacity to diagnose things. I feel for the kids today. They're specimens under a microscope."
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