The NFL and professional wrestling have a long-standing relationship with one another. Throughout the years, some of the most notable superstars to walk through WWE's doors have also at one time enjoyed success in some form on the football field. Some of those superstars were even fortunate enough to have the natural-born skills to be drafted into the most prestigious league in football.
Beginning on Thursday and continuing through Saturday, the most talented players from the college football ranks will see their dreams realized when they hear their name called during the 2018 NFL Draft. And who knows, we also may unknowingly get a glimpse at a future WWE superstar or two.
As we get set for this year's NFL Draft to take place, here's a look back at some of the more famous draft picks that have also made a name for themselves in the world of pro wrestling by tying up with WWE. It's worth noting that we stayed with only those wrestlers who performed in WWE for an extended period of time, removing those who did not have a stint with the company or only made single appearances, like Lawrence Taylor.
Angelo Mosca, 1959 | Round 30, Pick 350 | Philadelphia Eagles: Despite Mosca being drafted into the NFL by the Eagles, he actually chose to play his football in the CFL. One of the then-WWF's most despised heels in the early 1980s, Mosca was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987 to honor all of his accomplishments.
Edward "Wahoo" McDaniel, 1960 | Round 2, First Selections | Los Angeles Chargers: With some professional football players wrestling in the offseason to supplement income, McDaniel first appeared in the then-WWWF while he was an active member of the New York Jets. The legendary pro wrestling figure made his Madison Square Garden debut for Vince McMahon Sr. in 1965.
"Big Cat" Ernie Ladd, 1961 | Round 4, Pick 48 | Chicago Bears: Ladd actually began his pro football career with the San Diego Chargers of the AFL, who selected him with their 15th pick in the same year. The "Big Cat" would win the 1963 AFL championship with the Chargers, but in 1969, he decided that a full-time career in professional wrestling was more financially lucrative. Crazy to ponder in today's landscape.
"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, 1973 | Round 12, Pick 289 | New Orleans Saints: Orndorff was a standout football player in both high school and college in the state of Florida, but injuries dampened any aspirations the running back had. Failing physicals with both the Saints -- who drafted him -- and the Kansas City Chiefs, it wasn't long before Orndorff figured out he had a future as one of the best heels in the wrestling business.
Leon White (Vader), 1978 | Round 3, Pick 80 | Los Angeles Rams: White's career in the NFL was short, but prior to departing the sport after only a couple seasons, the man who would become known as Vader took part in Super Bowl 14 with the Rams. They were on the losing end of that game, 31-19, but White would go on to collect many pro wrestling championships in the United States as well as Japan.
Ron Simmons, 1981 | Round 6, Pick 160 | Cleveland Browns: While he was a standout collegiate player for the Florida State Seminoles, Simmons never really panned out in the NFL. Still, he would go on to make quite the mark in the pro wrestling world when he became the first recognized African-American world heavyweight champion by defeating Vader in 1992 for the WCW championship.
Bill Goldberg, 1990 | Round 11, Pick 302 | Los Angeles Rams: After playing one year for the Rams and two with the Atlanta Falcons (1992-94), Goldberg was taken in the 1995 expansion draft by one of the league's newest franchises, the Carolina Panthers. He would never play a game for the team, though, as he's noted to be the first player cut by the organization. Three years later, he would end up taking the professional wrestling world by storm, so everything seemingly worked out in the end.
Sabby Piscitelli (Tino Sabbatelli), 2007 | Round 2, Pick 64 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers: After what seemed like a promising NFL career was cut short, Piscitelli is now considered one of the best up-and-coming prospects in the WWE developmental system. His outstanding look and improving skills in the ring have many pegging him as one of the next big superstars.
Editor's note: Former WWE announcer Mike Adamle was the No. 120 overall pick in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft.