Draft Countdown: Hey Nineteen

“Hey Nineteen.”

Not sure what Steely Dan meant when they wrote that song, but we do know the Path to Primetime is down to 19 days. So what does 19 represent in the greater scheme of life, which in this blog space means the NFL draft?

  • The most famous 19 in NFL annals is Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas. The legendary Colts QB was drafted in the ninth round (102nd overall) by the Steelers in 1955.
  • Some pretty good players have been grabbed 19th in the draft over the last several years, but no one to knock your socks off: Sean Weatherspoon (2010), Jeremy Maclin (2009), Jeff Otah (2008), Michael Griffin (2007) and Antonio Cromartie are the last few. While Maclin is solid, the best 19th overall pick in the 2000s is arguably NT Casey Hampton, who has given Dick LeBeau the perfect point man in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense.
  • The second-best offensive rookie behind Rams QB Sam Bradford last season wore No. 19 on his back. Taken in the fourth round (101st overall), Buccaneers WR Mike Williams proved himself to be quite a steal with 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Who will be this year’s Williams? Find out by watching NFL Network’s draft coverage, beginning April 28.

– 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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