1969: Marty Domres
Back in 1969 the draft was known as the Common Draft and took place between the AFL and NFL. The Chargers had two first-round picks in 1969 and used the first, the ninth overall selection, on Marty Domres.
Domres was the second quarterback taken that year behind Greg Cook who went to the Cincinnati Bengals.
He played in college at Columbia in the Ivy League, starting 27 games for the Lions. He threw for 24 touchdowns during his college career but was a true dual-threat quarterback, rushing for 853 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Domres spent three seasons with the Chargers but had a disastrous rookie year in 1969, throwing just two touchdowns with 10 interceptions. His tenure with the Chargers never got any better. His career stat line with the team looks like this:
82-of-179 passing (45.8 percent), 1,219 yards, five touchdowns, 17 interceptions. He did rush for four touchdowns in 1969. But he never lived up to the expectations the Chargers had for him and in 1972, he was traded to the Baltimore Colts.
Domres played four seasons with the Colts and his stats were much better than with the Chargers, yet he still threw more touchdowns than he did interceptions. He finished his career as a backup for one season each with the San Francisco 49ers in 1976 and finally, the New York Jets in 1977.
But it’s his time with the Colts he is best remembered for. If you ever want to ask someone an NFL trivia question that almost no one will have the answer to, ask them who was the guy to replace Johnny Unitas as the starter of the Colts.
The answer is Domres. Ironically, Unitas concluded his own career with one season with the Chargers in 1973.