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9 fun facts about No. 9 pick in NFL Draft


With the NFL Draft just nine days away and the Bears set to pick at No. 9, here are nine fun facts about the ninth selection in the draft:

(1) The Bears have chosen six players at No. 9, highlighted by Hall of Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlacher in 2000.

Their other No. 9 picks have been running backs Don Scott (1941), Bob Steuber (1943) and Ray Evans (1944), defensive end Al Harris (1979) and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (2016).

The Bears acquired the No. 9 selection in last year's draft via a blockbuster trade with the Panthers. But they traded down to No. 10 and took right tackle Darnell Wright. The Bears obtained a 2024 fourth-round choice in the deal from the Eagles, who selected defensive tackle Jalen Carter at No. 9.

(2) Urlacher is one of four Hall of Famers drafted at No. 9.

The others are running backs Hugh McElhenny by the San Francisco 49ers (1952) and Lenny Moore by the Baltimore Colts (1956) and tackle Bruce Matthews by the Houston Oilers (1983).

The Oilers traded down twice before picking Matthews. First, they sent the No. 2 selection to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for the No. 3 choice and fourth-round picks in 1983 and '84. The Rams then selected running back Eric Dickerson, who is also enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Houston dropped down again, sending the No. 3 choice to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the No. 9 pick and selections in the second and third rounds. The Seahawks then took running back Curt Warner.

(3) The last No. 9 choice to suit up for the Bears was receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

Drafted by the Dolphins in 2007, Ginn concluded his 14-year NFL career with the Bears in 2020, appearing in six games, all as a reserve, and catching three passes for 40 yards with a long of 29 yards.

(4) Since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, 22 of 54 players picked with the No. 9 pick have made a Pro Bowl.

In addition to Urlacher and Matthews, other notable No. 9 selections have included Eagles defensive tackle Jerome Brown (1987), Dolphins tackle Richmond Webb (1990), Jaguars running back Fred Taylor (1998), Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams (2003), Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji (2009), Bills running back C.J. Spiller (2010), Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith (2011), Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (2012), Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (2014) and Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain (2021).

(5) The No. 9 choice has been traded five times in the last 20 drafts, and the Bears have been involved in three of deals.

In 2016, the Bears moved up from No. 11 to 9 to pick Floyd in a trade with the Buccaneers, leapfrogging the Giants, who were believed to be interested in Floyd. Instead, New York selected cornerback Eli Apple at No. 10. The deal cost the Bears a fourth-round choice that Tampa Bay dealt to the Chiefs, who picked cornerback Eric Murray.

Last year, the Bears obtained the No. 9 selection along with three other draft choices and receiver DJ Moore from the Panthers in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick. As mentioned above, the Bears then dealt the No. 9 selection to the Eagles.

Take a look at Bears players arriving at Halas Hall for Phase 1 of the team's voluntary offseason program.

(6) The No. 9 choice in 2022 was part of a huge trade.

The No. 9 pick was part of a package that the Broncos dealt to the Seahawks in exchange for quarterback Russell Wilson and a fourth-round selection. Seattle also received choices in the second and fifth round last year, picks in the first and second round this year, as well as quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive end Shelby Harris. With the No. 9 selection, the Seahawks chose tackle Charles Cross, who started all 17 games as a rookie.

(7) Over the past 20 years, the No. 9 pick has been spent almost equally on five different positions.

Four defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, four linebackers, four cornerbacks and three receivers have been selected in that span.

(8) The Vikings selected Kevin Williams at No. 9 in 2003, but not before they failed to get the No. 7 choice in on time and were passed by two teams.

Minnesota was trying to complete a trade with the Ravens, but the deal was not reported to the NFL office before the Vikings' allotted time had expired.

Before Minnesota could turn its card in, the Jaguars picked quarterback Byron Leftwich at No. 7 and the Panthers quickly followed by taking tackle Jordan Gross at No. 8 before the Vikings were able to grab Williams at No. 9.

(9) There hasn't been a quarterback selected at No. 9 since 1969 when the Chargers chose Marty Domres.

A quarterback has been chosen at every other spot in the top 10 since 2004 and every other spot in the top 20 since 1983.

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