From a toughness perspective, Les Richter was one of the best in the business during his playing days with the Rams from 1954-62. The linebacker managed to play through a litany of injuries over the years while with the Rams.
Even more impressive, Richter was able to made the Pro Bowl in his first eight seasons with Los Angeles. He garnered All-Pro first team honors from 1954-58, only adding to how much of an impact he truly made throughout his career.
In what was considered one of the biggest deals in NFL history, the Rams traded 11 players to acquire Richter from the New York Yanks in 1952. New York selected him No. 2 overall in the 1952 NFL Draft.
Whether it was the 16 career interceptions he recorded on defense or the impact made early on in his career as a kicker, it was clear that Richter was quite the special player. Los Angeles was fortunate to have him as part of the team during that nine-year span.
Football fans may wonder why it took Richter two years to play his first game for the Rams in 1954 since the trade with the Yanks took place in two years prior. The reason for this was to fulfill a military obligation in the Korean War.
Seeing Richter officially begin his career in 1954 to make an impact right away is just one of many examples of why Los Angeles was so high on him when the trade was made with New York. It’s still crazy to this day to think about all the players involved with the deal when it happened.