Some famous names have not worked out in the NFL

Of the more than 22,000 players drafted into the NFL since 1936, there are a few names that stand out for reasons other than football.

From Johnny Carson to James Brown to Don King, the draft has long featured hair-raising examples of players whose names elicit double-takes today.

It all started with Shakespeare. Bill Shakespeare.

Ever heard of him? He was the third pick of the 1936 NFL Draft and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. The Bard of Staten Island. The first player ever drafted out of Notre Dame.

As Shakespeare, the playwright, once wrote, "What's in a name?"

Take Tom Petty. The Redskins did in the 30th round.

No, not the Heartbreaker -- the Tom Petty who played end at Virginia Tech and was drafted by Washington in 1955. The other Tom Petty was just 5 years old at the time.

Who would have guessed back then that Petty the singer -- the musical halftime performer at Super Bowl XLII -- would spend more time on an NFL field than Petty the player?

Dick Clark (eighth-round pick out of Baylor taken by the Bears in 1959) could have hosted an NFL Draft version of "American Bandstand". Imagine James Brown (third-round pick from Virginia State taken by the Cowboys in 1992); Tony Bennett (first-round pick out of Ole Miss taken by the Packers in 1990), Curtis Mayfield (10th-round pick from Oklahoma State taken by the Broncos in 1991), and not one, but two players by the name of Rod Stewart (16th-round pick out of Duke taken by the Colts in 1966; sixth-round pick from Kentucky taken by the Bills in 1979) on the same stage?

Ed Sullivan (12th-round pick out of Notre Dame taken by the Packers in 1957) surely would have been jealous.

Johnny Carson (15th-round pick from Georgia taken by the Browns in 1953) would have stuck with Hollywood ... booking draft picks like James Stewart (three drafted, including two in 1995) and Gary Cooper (10th-round pick out of Clemson taken by the Saints in 1990) on his show. And maybe even wave on over comedians like Steve Martin (fifth-round pick from Missouri taken by the Colts in 1996), Dick Gregory (22nd-round pick from Minnesota taken by the Bears in 1952) and Bill Murray (23rd-round pick out of American International taken by the Packers in 1953). Murray might have shed some light on the whatever happened to caddy Danny Noonan (first-round pick from Nebraska taken by the Cowboys in 1987) question.

Although Mike Wallace (10th-round pick out of Jackson State taken by the Browns in 1990) lasted fewer than 60 minutes in the Cleveland's 1990 training camp, his alter ego would have jumped at the chance to interview politicians Bill Bradley (third-round pick from Texas taken by the Eagles in 1969), John Hancock (sixth-round pick out of Baylor taken by the Cardinals in 1952) and George Mason (fifth-round pick from Alabama taken by the Steelers in 1955).

The famously media-shy George Patton (seventh-round pick out of Georgia taken by the Redskins in 1966), meanwhile, would probably have steered clear of Wallace's hard-hitting questions about the gunner position, or blitzing in enemy territory.

In 1967, the Falcons did not let quarterback Bill Buckner (17th-round pick from Delta State) slip through their legs. However, he soon slipped off their roster.

And while Bernard King (10th-round pick out of Syracuse taken by the Bengals in 1985) wasn't the scorer the Bengals had hoped for when they picked him, it wasn't because of a knee injury like the NBA's Bernard King suffered earlier in 1985.

Neither King was related to boxing promoter Don King or the Don King that was drafted in the sixth-round out of Syracuse by the Lions in 1963.

Alas, Byron Nelson (12th-round pick from Arizona taken by the Saints in 1984) and Bill Shoemaker (15th-round out of Stanford taken by the 49ers in 1969) proved as likely to stick on an NFL roster as a golf pro or jockey.

As for this year's crop, if anyone needs a couple of extra yards on the ground, draft the Jonathan Stewart out of Oregon, not the one from the "Daily Show."

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