Draft Countdown: The roaring 20s

It’s almost here. All the drama at Radio Music Hall, the culmination of the Path to Primetime, comes to pass 20 days from now. So what does 20 signify, at least in terms of the NFL draft?

  • The legacy of 20 as a uni-number was enhanced by a couple of Lions running backs: Billy Sims and Barry Sanders. Both were first-round picks (1980 and 1989) — yet it was a cornerback who originally made the number special in Detroit. Lem Barney, a second-round pick in the first combined AFL-NFL draft in 1967, made the Hall of Fame with 56 career interceptions.
  • Speaking of interceptions, 20 was the number of picks thrown by Jets rookie Mark Sanchez in 2009, who despite those warts may be the best passer — so far — of the class of 2009.
  • Twenty safeties taken in the 2010 NFL Draft, in case you underestimate the value of that position.
  • Cornerback Kareem Jackson, who gave up the third-most yards by a defensive back last season, went 20th overall to the Texans in 2010.

The Bucs are on the clock in this year’s draft at number 20. With Ronde Barber, another number 20, getting long in the tooth, will they look at a corner?

We’ll find out in 20 days.

– 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.

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