The One at 1: 1992 -- Steve Emtman

Steve Emtman (90) of the Indianapolis Colts tackles running back John L. Williams (32) of the Seattle Seahawks after only a one-yard gain during the first quarter of their Aug. 7, 1993, NFL pre-season contest in Seattle.
Steve Emtman (90) of the Indianapolis Colts tackles running back John L. Williams (32) of the Seattle Seahawks after only a one-yard gain during the first quarter of their Aug. 7, 1993, NFL pre-season contest in Seattle.

The Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick for April’s NFL draft for the first time since 1958. As the day for the Cards to make their selection draws closer, azcardinals.com will take a look at the last 30 No. 1 overall selections and each player’s impact on the team and league.

NAME/YEAR: Steve Emtman/1992

TEAM: Indianapolis Colts

THE SITUATION: The Colts finished 1-15 to get the No. 1 pick and also had the No. 2 overall selection after acquiring it from the Buccaneers. Indianapolis had a rare opportunity to add two premium talents, but it didn’t work out. Emtman was dominant at the University of Washington– winning the Lombardi Award as college football’s best player – and Indianapolis believed he would be a difference-maker at defensive end.

THE CAREER: Emtman had three sacks and a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown as a rookie, but suffered a season-ending knee injury after nine games. In his second season, he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee and missed 11 games. Emtman played four games in 1994 before a ruptured disc in his neck again ended his season prematurely. That was it for his time in Indianapolis. Emtman played three more seasons but finished with only eight career sacks.

THE OTHER OPTIONS IN TOP FIVE: The Colts took linebacker Quentin Coryatt second overall and he had a decent career but never made a Pro Bowl. Defensive end Sean Gilbert went No. 3 overall to the Rams, followed by wideout/kick returner Desmond Howard at No. 4 to Redskins. The Packers took cornerback Terrell Buckley at No. 5. Emtman didn’t turn out to be a good pick, but the 1992 draft lacked superstars at the top.

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