Draft Countdown: Elway was heavenly seven

Seven. One week.

That’s how long until the most meaningful days on the NFL’s spring schedule. The film “Seven,” starring Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, and Morgan Freeman, might be the best thriller ever.

Yet, another seven made the draft somewhat of a thriller 28 years ago…

  • John Elway, the NFL’s most famous No. 7 ever, refused to play for the Colts in 1983. Sound Eli Manning-esque? Baltimore was forced to deal the Stanford standout to Denver for quarterback Mark Hermann, offensive tackle Chris Hinton (the fourth overall pick in ’83) and a first-round choice in 1984.
  • Only seven tight ends have been taken in the first round since 2005. That said, all have turned out pretty well: Jermaine Gresham (2010), Brandon Pettigrew (2009), Dustin Keller (2008), Greg Olsen (2007), Vernon Davis (2006), Marcedes Lewis (2006), and Heath Miller (2005).
  • The oldest seventh-overall pick still playing in the league is Champ Bailey, who, before being traded for Clinton Portis, was a first-round pick of the Redskins in 1999. That trade took place seven years ago.
  • Last year’s seventh overall pick, Joe Haden of the Browns, started seven games for Cleveland in 2010 and looks to be a player.
  • Michael Vick is a dynamic No. 7, and was the first overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. But the NFL’s first great 7 was Dutch Clark, a halfback for the Lions in the ‘30s and a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

The 49ers could use a guy like Vick under center, or a big-time player like Clark to complement Frank Gore. What will they do at the seventh slot come April 28?

– Elliot Harrison

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