10 best Texas football football NFL careers

Earl Campbell
Earl Campbell / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
4 of 11
Tommy Nobis
Tommy Nobis / Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Nobis. 8. player. Tommy Nobis. NFL: 1966-1976. Tommy Nobis. . 44. Teams: Atlanta Falcons.

Linebacker Tommy Nobis was the first ever Longhorn to be picked first overall in the NFL Draft. The Atlanta Falcons picked Nobis first overall in the 1966 NFL Draft after he finished up his collegiate career at Texas as one of the most decorated and productive linebackers in college history (at the time). He was also selected by the Houston Oilers fifth overall in the first round of the 1966 AFL Draft.

To this day, Nobis is still considered to be one of the best linebackers in college football history.

The Falcons were an expansion franchise at the time when Atlanta drafted him first overall in the 1966 draft. There was much debate regarding whether Nobis should sign with the Oilers in the AFL or the Falcons in the NFL.

Nobis decided to play for the Falcons in the NFL, and showed Atlanta right away why he was the first overall pick in the 1966 draft. He won the 1966 Pro Football Writers Association and Sporting News Rookie of the Year honors while being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

During his rookie season, Nobis was credited with 294 combined tackles, still the most unofficial tackles in a single season in NFL history.

He followed up that stellar rookie campaign with two more Pro Bowl selections in the next two seasons.

Nobis played for the Falcons for all 11 seasons of his NFL career. He registered two more Pro Bowls after those stellar first three years in the league. If not for injuries limiting him in 1969 and 1971, he probably could've had two more Pro Bowl selections under his belt.

There is a valid argument to be made that Nobis deserves Hall of Fame induction after 11 stellar seasons in the NFL and five Pro Bowl selections. He was also selected as part of the All-1960s NLF Hall-of-Fame team.