While Roman Gabriel happened to be selected No. 1 by the Oakland Raiders in 1962 when they were part of the AFL, the Rams happened to draft the quarterback at No. 2 in the NFL Draft out of North Carolina State.
Similar to what Jared Goff experienced in his first NFL season, Gabriel’s first year as a pro was certainly a rough one after failing to win a single start, going 0-3-1 in 1962.
Luckily, this selection made by the Rams would eventually pay off in one of the best ways possible down the road.
Plenty of seasons stood out from Gabriel’s career with the Rams, but it was difficult to top what he accomplished in 1969. After an 11-3 record with 2,549 passing yards and 24 touchdowns, the Rams starting quarterback ended up taking home NFL MVP honors.
A few years later, the Rams would end up trading Gabriel to the Philadelphia Eagles, since his numbers appeared to be on the decline. Although looking back on the trade, the Rams probably wishes they kept him around a little longer.
Gabriel’s record from that 1973 season with the Eagles wasn’t all that impressive, but that he led the league in passing yards (3,219) and touchdowns (23) shows the Rams may have jumped the gun on the trade a bit too soon.