The then-Houston Oilers held the first overall selection and chose John Matuszak, a defensive end from Tampa. It was the second of three consecutive years that a defensive end was selected first overall. 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers was selected 25th overall - the second-to-last pick of the first round - by the San Diego Chargers.
As of 2009, this draft has produced three members of the Pro Football Hall of Famers: John Hannah (fourth overall, New England Patriots), Joe DeLamielleure (26th overall, Buffalo Bills) and Dan Fouts (third round, 64th overall, San Diego Chargers).
Running back Chuck Foreman, selected 12th overall by the Minnesota Vikings, was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. Wally Chambers, a defensive tackle selected eighth overall by the Chicago Bears, won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award.