Football 101: No. 10, Ronnie Lott
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We’ll have a new Football 101 essay every week throughout the NFL season, leading right up to Super Bowl Sunday. And if you want to track the countdown, Brilliant Reader Ed B put together this awesome spreadsheet.
Sometimes, I think about the Green Bay Packers’ draft of 1981. That ’81 draft, overall, might be the best in the history of professional football … but it’s definitely the best DEFENSIVE draft. There are FOUR defensive players drafted that year who are on this Pro Football 101:
No. 86: Howie Long
No. 67: Mike Singletary
No. 10: Ronnie Lott
No. ??: Lawrence Taylor
Not to spoil anything, but yeah, LT might be coming up.
In addition to that, Kenny Easley was one of the final cuts for this list. So was Rickey Jackson (who I forgot to mention in the first version of the article). Hanford Dixon was a three-time All-Pro and the player probably most responsible for the whole Dawg Pound thing in Cleveland. Eric Wright was Lott’s running partner in the San Francisco secondary and one of the best players in the league for a time. Dexter Manley was a force and he had more than 100 sacks in his career. E.J. Junior was terrific, Hugh Green was a two-time Pro Bowler, Dennis Smith was a consistent performer for more than a decade.
It seems like just about any defensive player you took in that year’s draft was golden.
And the Packers took …
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