It’s Tuesday, and it’s also just 23 days until the best amateur football players in the world start getting plucked one by one. But before we watch all of the draft unfold at Radio City Music Hall, what does the number 23 remind us of?
- The 23rd overall pick in 2009 was none other than the star of The Blind Side himself, Michael Oher. While not an all-pro yet, the Ravens offensive tackle has thus far shown that he is far more than just a celebrity.
- Another tackle that got drafted with the 23rd overall pick was Bryan Bulaga out of Iowa last year. The big right tackle stepped into the Packers lineup and started 12 games, picking up a Super Bowl ring in the process. Who was the last tackle drafted in the first round to get a ring in his rookie season? Another former Packer, John Michels, who started nine games in 1996 and helped the Packers earn a ring in Super Bowl XXXI.
- Unlike the NBA with Michael Jordan and MLB with Don Mattingly, there aren’t many great players who’ve worn No. 23 in NFL annals. No Hall of Famers. Troy Vincent aside, perhaps the greatest 23 is Devin Hester, who was the 25th pick of the second round by the Bears in 2006.
— Elliot Harrison
Elliot Harrison, a research analyst for NFL RedZone on NFL Network, counts down the days until the start of the 2011 NFL Draft.