With the first-ever selection in a USFL Draft, the Los Angeles Express selected University of Pittsburgh QB Dan Marino.
Marino instead opted to sign with the NFL's Miami Dolphins, but before doing so he appeared on behalf of the Express at a number of team events.
Marino was drafted near the end of the first round in the NFL Draft that April, with his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, passing on him to draft other players.
Steelers owner Art Rooney once called the team's failure to draft Marino "the biggest mistake I think we ever made" on a draft day.
Instead, the Steelers picked DT Gabe Rivera of Texas Tech.  Less than two years after being drafted, Rivera was paralyzed in a tragic auto accident.
Marino went on to pass for over 60,000 yards and 400 touchdowns in the NFL, ultimately passing Pittsburgh on his way to Canton, Ohio, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Los Angeles Express selections in the 1983 USFL College Draft, held on January 4-5, 1983:
Round Selection Player, Position College
1 1 Dan Marino, QB Pittsburgh
2 24 Traded to New Jersey -
3 25 Ray Horton, DB Washington
4 48 Mark Bortz, DT Iowa
5 49 Tom Ramsey, QB UCLA
6* 67* Jim Mills, T Hawaii
6 72 JoJo Townsell, WR UCLA
7 73 John Barnett, RB Oregon Tech
7* 78* Dave Croudip, DB San Diego State
8* 91* Joe Beard, G Southern Methodist
8 96 Wymon Henderson, DB Nevada - Las Vegas
9 97 Jim Gayle, RB Ohio State
10 120 John Blacksill, C Fresno State
11 121 Cormac Carney, WR UCLA
12 144 Tony Boddie, RB Montana State
13 145 Don Turner, DB Fresno State
14 168 Gary Moten, LB Southern Methodist
15 169 Maceo Fifer, T Houston
16 192 Tim Harris, RB Washington State
17 193 Doug Reed, DT San Diego State
18 216 Wayne Faalafua, G Brigham Young
19 217 Duane Galloway, DB Arizona State
20 240 Mike Walter, DE Oregon
21 241 Darius Durham, WR San Diego State
22 264 Bernard Quarles, QB Hawaii
23 265 Mike Bos, WR Puget Sound
24 288 Don Elliott, T New Mexico

* - selection received in trade.

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