With Tom Flores unavailable to play quarterback in the near term and with roster reductions looming, Raiders head coach Eddie Erdelatz was planning to give more playing time to the men on the far end of the bench, starting with Paul Larson. So far, Larson hadn’t shown all that much in camp, displaying an inaccurate arm. Consequently, he had received almost no in-game opportunities, but he was going to get a chance tomorrow, sharing time with Babe Parilli. Plenty of other neglected players were going to get their chances, too.
On the eve of the official date of the draft, the AFL conducted a first round of picks, with each team expected to choose a player from a college in its region. The choices were:
- Boston – Gerhard Schwedes, HB, Syracuse
- Buffalo – Richie Lucas, QB, Penn State
- Dallas – Don Meredith, QB, SMU
- Denver – Roger LeClerc, C, Trinity
- Houston – Billy Cannon, HB, LSU
- Los Angeles – Monty Stickles, E, Notre Dame
- Minneapolis – Dale Hackbart, QB, Wisconsin
- New York – George Izo, QB, Notre Dame
As the above list makes clear, not all teams made regional choices. Trinity College, for example, was in Connecticut. Some sources indicate that individual teams did not make the choices, but rather that the owners collectively made the choice for each team with an eye toward maximum marketability.