Draft Countdown: Catch 22

It’s 22 days until go-time for clubs looking to fill holes in their roster… 22 days as we count down the path to prime time. So what does the number 22 signify in our NFL draft conscious?

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How about three Super Bowls in four seasons? It was 22 years ago that Troy Aikman went number one overall, eventually winning three Super Bowls with the Cowboys of the ‘90s.

Aikman’s backfield mate on those Cowboys teams, Emmitt Smith, might be the most famous 22 in league history. Although a first-round draft pick himself, you might be surprised to know that Smith fell to 17th in 1990. Deemed too slow and not big enough, he still somehow became the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Alabama RB Mark Ingram, who has been compared to Smith, wore no. 22 in college. How far will Ingram plummet in this year’s draft?

The 22nd spot in the draft must be cursed. Recent picks in this slot can’t kick the injury bug: Demaryius Thomas (2010), Percy Harvin (2009), and Felix Jones (2008) have all had various health concerns. The rest of the guys picked at 22 in the 2000s would only make up a Hall-of-Average: Brady Quinn (2007), Manny Lawson (2006), Mark Clayton (2005), J.P. Losman (2004), Rex Grossman (2003), Bryan Thomas (2002), Will Allen (2002), Chris McIntosh (2000). … There’s just one Pro Bowl selection in 11 years of picks there (Harvin, in 2009)

Will the 22-hole be a black hole once again?

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