No. 2 biggest Notre Dame football NFL Draft bust of all time: Angelo Bertelli
1944 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 1
Los Angeles Dons, 1946
Chicago Rockets, 1947-1948
One of the many great college football players in the 1940s who enlisted to fight for his country, Angelo Bertelli didn’t begin his pro football career until two years after being drafted by the Los Angeles Dons. Getting to the game late cost Bertelli, who seemingly lost all his momentum from his days in South Bend leading the Fighting Irish to the 1943 National Championship.
Bertelli won that year’s Heisman trophy, not to mention the Sporting News Player of the Year as well, but the time away from the gridiron led to him having double the number of interceptions (14) as touchdown passes (seven) in his rookie season in 1946.
With the Chicago Rockets, Bertelli completed just nine of his 39 pass attempts, proving essentially unplayable. The fall from grace for Bertelli was notable, but so were the reasons why — ultimately making him an NFL draft bust but a proud patriot as well.