ORLANDO, Fla -- Jethro Franklin, a pass rushing specialist who has played in the NFL, Wednesday was the first player taken by the San Antonio Riders as the World League of American Football began defensive selections in its position-by-position draft.
Franklin, 6-foot-1 and 259 pounds, played collegiately at Fresno State.
He has played professionally for the Houston Oilers and Seattle Seahawks.
The l0-team league began naming defensive players in its six-day draft. Offensive players were selected the first three days.
'When you're picking No. 1, you go for the dominant pass rusher,' said San Antonio Coach Mike Riley. 'We did take a hard look at other guys, but we felt Jethro was the man who could bring the pressure from outside.'
Shawn Knight, a former No. 1 draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, was the second overall selection, taken by the Sacramento Surge. The former Brigham Young defensive end was the 11th player taken in the 1987 NFL draft.
The other first round selections of defensive linemen included the London Monarchs taking Roy Hart; Tony Woods by the New York-New Jersery Knights; Darrel Phillips by the Birmingham Fire; Ray Savage by the Montreal Machine; Mike Tester by the Frankfurt Galaxy; Jon Carter by the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks; Brent White by the Barcelonia Dragons and Winfred Bryant by the Orlando Thunder.
The draft resumes Friday with linebackers and concludes Sunday with defensive backs. The World League opens its inaugural season March 23.