Draft Countdown: 16 covers Montana to Newton

The Path to Primetime is down to the Sweet 16. NFL Network has all the coverage leading up to the draft, while we stop and reflect on the relevance of 16 and April’s biggest weekend.

So where does 16 fit in draft lore?

  • In total, 16 running backs were drafted last year … well, at least if you include supplemental pick Harvey Unga of the Bears. He didn’t see the field last year, but Unga is married to the sister of Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki. Just sayin’.
  • The 16th spot in the draft has not been a good one to teams in the 2000s. That said, Santana Moss (2001) and Troy Polamalu (2003) were both taken in that spot.
  • Who are some well-known 16s in NFL history? Three-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana immediately comes to mind. Considered a little too spaghetti-armed for the prototypical quarterback, he wasn’t taken until the third round in 1979.
    Other great 16s: Jim Plunkett (first overall pick, 1971), George Blanda (12th round, 1949), Frank Gifford (first round, 1952), and Len Dawson (first round, 1957).
  • Speaking of quarterbacks, the Jaguars are on the clock at 16 this year. Many draftniks have Jacksonville taking a quarterback. Our Mike Mayock’s top 32 prospects has Cam Newton as the 16th best player. Thoughts anyone?
    Jacksonville isn’t the only one on the clock. And it certainly isn’t the only team looking for a quarterback.

Sixteen days until the draft … and that’s the Draft by the Numbers.

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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