Former East Carolina State and NFL running back Tony Baker was selected No. 1 Saturday by the Frankfurt Galaxy in the World League of American Football position-by-position draft.
The 5-11, 171-pound pounder, who played for Atlanta, Cleveland and Phoenix in the NFL, was immediately dubbed the "touchdown maker" by Frankfurt general manager Oliver Luck.The best-known player chosen was Paul Palmer, the runnerup for the 1986 Heisman Trolphy and the No. 1 pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987. Palmer last played in the NFL for Dallas in 1989. He was taken third by the Barcelona Dragons.
Kickers and punters were also chosen, along with running backs. Louie Aguiar of Utah State was the first punter taken, by Barcelona.
The first kicker taken was Kendall-John Trainor of Arkansas by the Sacramento Surge. Among the better-known kickers chosen were former NFL kickers Max Zendejas, Bjorn Nittmo and Jim Gallery.
Baker went first among the running backs.
Baker was drafted by Atlanta in the 10th round of the 1986 NFL draft and later played for the Browns and Cardinals while battling a series of injuries.
The World League season is scheduled to begin March 23. Its title game is scheduled for June 9.
The Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks picked next, drafting Sean Doctor of Marshall, a former member of the Buffalo Bills. After Palmer came Myron Jones of Fresno State by the Orlando Thunder was fourth, followed by Undra Johnson of West Virginia, who was picked by the San Antonio Riders.
Saturday's other World League first-round draft choices in order were as follows:
Sacramento picked Paul Frazier of Northwestern Louisiana. The London Monarchs picked Jeff Alexander of Southern. The New York-New Jersey Knights chose Eric Wilkerson of Kent State. The Birmingham Fire drafted Joe Henderson of Iowa State, and the Montreal Machine got Elroy Harris of Eastern Kentucky, a former Seattle Seahawk.
Another former Seahawk, Bobby Joe Edmonds, was taken by Montreal on the fourth round. Edmonds made the Pro Bowl in 1986 as a kick returner.
Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will be drafted Monday, followed by defensive lineman Wednesday, linebackers on Friday and defensive backs on Feb. 24.