Big Red Draft History: 1964 NFL Draft

As we move closer to the 2023 NFL Draft (April 27-29), The Big Red Zone is looking back on each of the 28 St. Louis Cardinals drafts (1960-87). This installment focuses on the 1964 Draft, which was held on December 3, 1963 in Chicago.

1964 St. Louis Cardinals Draft Picks

From the December 15, 1963 edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

After the 21-hour and 43-minute selection meeting ended around dawn on December 4, Cardinals team president Stormy Bidwill said, “We think it was a successful draft for us.” He should have rethought that thought. The Big Red couldn’t have gotten less production from the ’64 draft if their scouts had put on blindfolds and thrown darts at their draft board. Only three of their 20 picks made the team’s roster and 14—14!—never even played in the NFL.

Rd-OverallPlayer NamePositioncollege team
1-9Ken KortasDTLouisville
2-24Herschel TurnerTKentucky
3-37   Remi PrudhommeCLSU
5-65Charley BrooksEMemphis
6-80Dick BowmanESyracuse
7-93       Jerry LambEArkansas
8-104George BednarGNotre Dame
8-108Bob JohnsonEWisconsin
9-121Willie RossFBNebraska
10-136Tony LawrenceTBowling Green
11-149Richard HardTWenatchee Valley J.C.
12-164Rick SortunGWashington
13-177Jake AdamsEVirginia Tech
14-192Len SlabyCSyracuse
15-205Cliff StallingsBNew Mexico
15-220Jack AnkersonQBRipon
17-233John Evans TMemphis
18-248Dave HooverBIowa State 
19-261Bob YoungGHoward Payne
20-276Ralph KubinskiGMissouri

*Ken Kortas played only one season (1964) with the Cardinals. He played in all 14 games (five starts) and was credited with half a sack. In February 1965, he was traded to Pittsburgh for quarterback Terry Nofsinger. After four seasons in Pittsburgh, new Steelers coach Chuck Null traded Kortas to the Bears after replacing him with some rookie named Joe Greene. 

*Herschel Turner was a first team All-American at Kentucky and played two seasons (1964-65) with the Big Red. He was named the team’s rookie of the year in 1964 after starting five games at left tackle however, a knee injury cut his career short.

*Rick Sortun played six seasons (1964-69) with the Cardinals, primarily as a backup. He appeared in 82 games and made 23 starts. He left football after the ’69 season to concentrate on civil rights and anti-war activism.

*Yes, that was the same Bob Young who became a fixture on the Big Red offensive line in the ‘70s, earning two Pro Bowl spots (’78 and ’79) and an All-Pro selection (’79). But before coming to St. Louis, he played for Denver (1966-70) and Houston (’71). 

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