Way back in 1986, 333 players were selected in the NFL Draft. Familiar players such as Bo Jackson, Jim Everett and Pepper Johnson heard their names called by then commissioner Pete Rozelle.
About the only name Rozelle didn’t utter was: “Bueller…Bueller…Bueller.”
As in Ferris Bueller – a talent from the Chicago suburbs, wise beyond his years, who somehow slipped through the cracks.
For those of you who missed Mel Kiper’s ’86 Draft preview or misplaced their Street & Smith, here’s a quick refresher on arguably the most overlooked prospect in the history of the NFL Draft.
Ferris Bueller was many things: loved (by Sloane, his classmates, parade attendees), hated (Principal Rooney), and feared (hey, Cameron!). A man so unique, he passed himself off as Abe Froman, the legendary sausage king of Chicago.
When he commandeered a float in the Von Stueben Day parade, anyone within a city block quickly learned that Bueller was blessed with the voice of a pre-auto tune Grammy winner and the confidence of Ari Gold.
This, we know. What we didn’t know is that Bueller also had the potential for gridiron greatness.
Though it’s never been confirmed, based on the most famous chase scene not involving OJ, it’s reasonable to assume that Bueller was a football stud at Glenbrook North High School. The type of player whose athletic achievements would’ve been worthy of a late 1980s blurb in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.”
Need a reminder? Check out Ferris’ skill set below.
No, that’s not footage from the NFL Combine’s skill position drills – that’s Bueller at his best, eluding would-be obstacles in an effort to reach his version of the end zone.
The first thing that stands out is his calm demeanor. Like all the great ones — Montana, Brady, Rodgers — Bueller is at his best when things look hectic to the outside world.
Next, we notice hops that would rival rookie year Randy Moss. See ball? Get ball. Ferris regularly clears landscaping as if it’s not even there. In this instance, actual moss gets, well, Moss’d.
Chicago’s finest hooky player also displays fluid hips and a knack for crafty misdirection. Like Shakira’s, these hips don’t lie, and the type of quick twitch laterals they demonstrate should have prompted teams to mortgage their future on them.
Finally, we see straight-line speed reminiscent of Darrell Green or a proto-Tyreek Hill. We’re talking write-you-a-ticket kind of fast.
Age notwithstanding, Bueller clearly checked all the boxes, yet never heard his name called throughout that 1986 Draft weekend – likely sealing the fate of timid GMs from across the league.
As any evaluator will tell you, the tape doesn’t lie. And in this instance, it only reaffirms the suspicion that Ferris Bueller would’ve likely been as successful dodging pro linebackers as he was eluding Jeanie and Principal Rooney.
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