Unlucky, that’s what people think of when the number 13 comes to mind. With that many days to go until draft time, how much misfortune is synonymous with 13 in NFL lore … and the draft?
Well, it depends on your outlook:
- Thirteen, of course, was the number of arguably the greatest pure passer in NFL history, Dan Marino. But, the 27th overall pick in the 1983 draft never managed to win a Super Bowl. So was he, for lack of a better word, unlucky?
- Super Bowl XIII — 13 in fancy Roman type — may have been the greatest Super Sunday ever. But it sure as heck wasn’t lucky for a Hall of Fame tight end taken in the 10th round of the 1963 draft. Jackie Smith still owns the NFL’s most famous drop.
- The 13-hole in the draft has been far from unlucky in the last 15 years. In fact, two from the ‘90s are still going strong: Tony Gonzalez (1997) and Takeo Spikes (1998) both started all 16 games last season. While we’re at it, John Abraham (2000) and Marcus Stroud (2001) are two more former 13th overall picks who can still play.
- Clearly the jury is still out on last year’s 13th overall pick, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham. The former Michigan standout was one of four defensive ends grabbed in the first round, but NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says the number of D-ends taken on day one could double this year, with several going early.
Thirteen days left on the Path to Primetime, and that’s the Draft by the Numbers.
— Elliot Harrison