FOOTBALL: THE PASSING OF AN ERA

ON THE EVE OF THE DRAFT, THE N.F.L. BIDS FAREWELL TO A FORMER THIRD-ROUND PICK NAMED JOE MONTANA

"We considered Montana to be among the top two or three quarterbacks in the draft," said [head coach Bill] Walsh, who had Jack Thompson of Washington State and Phil Simms of Morehead State highly rated, "...but saw those two signal callers taken in the draft's first seven picks."--1979 San Francisco 49ers Media Guide

THE 49ERS HAD TRADED AWAY THEIR first-round draft pick in 1979 for O.J. Simpson, and they used their second pick to take UCLA running back James Owens. With their third pick, 82nd overall, they took a chance on the Notre Dame quarterback with the supposedly mediocre arm and...

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