Talk of Fame Network
For once the listeners and readers agree with the esteemed members of the Talk of Fame Radio Network – Dick “Night Train” Lane is the best undrafted college free agent of all-time.
As part of our eight-part draft series each week at the Talk of Fame Network, we’re asking our followers to vote on the best player from each round — plus the undrafteds. We conduct a new poll each week leading up to the draft and started last week with the undrafteds. This week it’s the seventh round and next week the sixth, until we reach the first round during the week of the NFL draft in Chicago.
Lane was in competition with quarterbacks Warren Moon and Kurt Warner, tight end Antonio Gates and defensive tackle John Randle as the best of the undrafteds. Lane received 34.3 percent of the vote, followed by Moon at 22.9 percent, Warner at 20 percent and Gates and Randle at 4 percent apiece.
Talk of Fame Network host Clark Judge concurred.
“Hard to argue with the best cornerback in the history of the game,” Judge said. “So he wasn’t drafted. He was named to the league’s 75th anniversary team. That makes this choice easy.”
Lane accomplished feats on the corner that have never been matched.
“Night Train intercepted 14 passes in a single season in 1952,” Talk of Fame Network host Rick Gosselin said. “Sixty-three years later, that’s an NFL single-season record that still stands. Lane also intercepted 68 passes in his 14 seasons before retiring after the 1964 season. Sixty years later, that’s an NFL record for cornerbacks that still stands. No other free agent in history has ever accomplished a feat that went unmatched for 60-plus years.”
Lane, Moon and Randle are all in the Hall of Fame. Warner reached the finals for the first time in his first year of eligibility last month, while Gates is still active with the San Diego Chargers.