The NFL Draft is an annual occasion that determines the way forward for school soccer gamers as they be a part of one of many 32 skilled soccer groups within the Nationwide Soccer League.
The quantity 26 general choose has a storied historical past, however one participant stands out as one of the best ever to be chosen at this place: the legendary linebacker, Ray Lewis.
The Biggest Quantity 26 in NFL Draft Historical past
Born on Could 15, 1975, in Bartow, Florida, Ray Lewis was a natural-born chief and athlete. As a standout highschool soccer participant, Lewis excelled at a number of positions, together with operating again, linebacker, and even wrestling. His simple expertise led him to the College of Miami, the place he would proceed to shine as a school athlete.
Throughout his time in Miami, Lewis shortly turned a dominant power on the sector, incomes All-American honors in his junior season. After accumulating 160 tackles and two interceptions that yr, Lewis determined to forgo his senior season and declare for the 1996 NFL Draft.
The Baltimore Ravens, a newly-formed workforce, held the twenty sixth choose within the first spherical of the 1996 NFL Draft. They used that choice to safe the companies of Ray Lewis, a call that can form the way forward for their franchise for years to come back.
A Legendary NFL Profession
Ray Lewis instantly made an affect on the sector, incomes the NFL’s Rookie of the Yr honors in 1996. His depth, management, and unmatched soccer IQ propelled him to the highest of the league, the place he would stay all through his 17-season profession.
Lewis was named to 13 Professional Bowls, earned seven First-Staff All-Professional alternatives, and was named the NFL Defensive Participant of the Yr twice (2000, 2003).
Arguably essentially the most iconic second in Lewis’s profession got here through the 2000 season when he led the Ravens to their first Super Bowl victory. Lewis’s dominant efficiency all through the playoffs earned him Tremendous Bowl XXXV MVP honors, making him solely the second linebacker in NFL historical past to obtain this accolade.
After retiring from the NFL in 2013, Ray Lewis left an indelible mark on the league. In 17 seasons, Lewis recorded 978 solo tackles, 365 assists, 41.5 sacks, 20 fumble recoveries and 31 interceptions.
His relentless work ethic, ardour for the sport, and unmatched management expertise make him one of the best quantity 26 general choose in NFL Draft historical past. In recognition of his unbelievable profession, Lewis was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2018, additional solidifying his place among the many all-time greats.