LA Rams: Three great quarterbacks from 1960 to 2003
By Steve Rivera
In 1962, the LA Rams selected Roman Gabriel with the second pick of the NFL Draft. Gabriel was a two-time All-American, two-time ACC Player of the Year, as well as an academic All-American while at North Carolina State. The Wolfpack would retire his jersey number after his senior year in Raleigh, NC.
Gabriel excelled while at NC State. He would eventually set 22 school records and nine ACC records, throwing for 2,961 yards and 19 touchdowns. In three seasons with the Wolfpack, the soon-to-be Rams quarterback would throw for 20 touchdowns and rush for another 15. He would eventually be listed as one of the top 50 players in ACC history and be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
The former college football great would be selected by both the Oakland Raiders of the AFL, as well as the Rams of the NFL. He played 16 seasons in the league, including a brief tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1973 to 1977.
From 1962 to 1972, Gabriel would be named to four Pro Bowls, and be awarded the NFL Most Valuable Player of the Year in 1969 as quarterback of the LA Rams.
Upon retirement, Gabriel would rank as the Rams’ all-time passing leader with 22,223 yards and 154 touchdowns, 705 completions, on 313 attempts. He would throw for 7,221 yards and 45 touchdowns.
By the end of the 2016 NFL season, he would still have the Rams’ career record with 154 touchdown passes, 3,313 pass attempts, and 74 wins by a starting quarterback.
By the end of his career, Roman Gabriel would have a winning record of 86–64–7, throwing for over 29,000 yards and 201 touchdowns. He is the only quarterback from his era to still rank high in the “lowest interception percentage” category in NFL passing statistics.