Best Jayhawks in the NFL – Number 4: John Hadl
NFL quarterback from 1962-1977
Hadl spent the 1959-1961 seasons with Kansas and then entered the draft. He was a first round pick by the Lions in the NFL Draft and a third round pick by the Chargers in the AFL Draft. He opted to play for San Diego, and spent 11 years as their quarterback.
Hadl was such a great player because he put up crazy quarterback numbers before it was a common thing in the pros.
John Hadl also played for Los Angeles, Green Bay, and Houston (back when they were the Oilers, obviously) over his 17-year career and racked up 33,503 passing yards with 244 passing touchdowns (16 rushing).
One of the sore spots for Hadl was the fact that he threw more interceptions in the pros than touchdowns, but he was still a six-time Pro Bowler in his long career. He led the Chargers to the AFL title in 1963 and to the postseason the next two seasons. He also got the Rams to the playoffs in 1973.
Hadl was such a great player because he put up crazy quarterback numbers before it was a common thing in the pros. He averaged nearly 3,000 yards per season, which was insane back then. Nowadays we’ll see quarterbacks throw for 5,000 yards a season, and it seems like no big deal.
With his pass happy skills and AFL title in the early 60s, John Hadl was easily one of the best KU football players to go pro. He’s fourth on this list.
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