Big Red Draft History: 1973 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 1973 Draft, which was held January 30-31 in New York.

After his first draft as head coach of the Cardinals, Don Coryell gave his stamp of approval to the team’s first four picks: Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz, Texas-El Paso quarterback-punter Gary Keithley, Bowling Green guard Fred Sturt, and Long Beach State running back Terry Metcalf.

“We drafted the great defensive lineman, the young quarterback with super potential, the fine offensive lineman, and the darting-type runner,” Coryell told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Only one of those four players worked out.

Butz played in only 13 games before departing St. Louis over a money issue. Keithley stuck around for just one season. And Sturt never played for the Cardinals.

Metcalf was the exception. An exciting multipurpose player who played five seasons for the Big Red, Metcalf became one of the linchpins of the Cardiac Cards with his ability to run, catch and return kicks.

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