As a tackle, Nick Buoniconti was the captain of the 1961 Notre Dame football team, but was considered by NFL scouts as "too small" to play Pro Football. Drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1962 AFL draft and switched to linebacker, he made an immediate impact, being named the Pats' rookie of the year. In 1963 he helped Boston capture the AFL Eastern Division title. With Boston, he recorded 24 interceptions, which is still the 7th-most in team history, and appeared in five straight AFL All-Star Games, 1963-1967. He was 2nd team All-AFL in 1963, and in 1964 began a run of four straight consensus All-AFL seasons, until 1968, when he was named second-team All-AFL. Traded to the Miami Dolphins for the 1969 season, he again made the AFL Eastern Division All-Star Team, and was selected as a consensus All-AFL. Buoniconti is a member of the Patriots All-1960s (AFL) Team and though he may be remembered by younger fans as a great Dolphins player, had sufficient credentials as a Patriot to be named to the AFL's All-Time Team, based primarily on his stellar play in Boston.