FLOWERY BRANCH GA - JULY 30: Todd McClure #62 of the Atlanta Falcons runs drills during opening day of training camp on July 30 2010 at the Falcons Training Complex in Flowery Branch Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
They aren't preparing a bust for Todd McClure in Canton. No flight of angels will sing him to his retirement. When he hangs up his cleats, McClure may have his number retired by the Falcons. That's the highest honor he'll be paid.
It's an appropriate one. Drafted with the 237th pick overall in the 7th round back in 1999, McClure was destined to be a backup...until he wasn't. From 2001 on, when he played and started 15 of 16 games, McClure has started every single game at center for the Falcons. That's an entire decade, and he officially took over back in 2000 partway through the season.
That's remarkable consistency, but it would mean nothing if McClure hadn't played at a high level the entire time. Thankfully for the Falcons, he's been superb over the last decade, surviving as a starter in power-blocking and zone schemes over that time.
Given his draft position, McClure is one of the greatest values of all-time, surpassed only by Jessie Tuggle, who sadly isn't eligible for this list because he wasn't drafted. He's become one of my favorite players and the personification of reliability for a team that has sorely lacked that over much of its history.
For those reasons, McClure is #5 on our list of the greatest Falcons draft picks ever. Discuss that ranking and check out our sponsored message after the jump.
Are You Smarter Than The Experts?
Correctly predict the first 32 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft and you’ll win $10,000,000!
BEST ROUND EVER IN PRIMETIME
Enter at facebook.com/BudLight
Here We Go
Enjoy Responsibly ©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. No Purchase Necessary. Contest open to U.S. residents (except CA) 21+. Contest begins 12AM CDT on 4/1 and ends 5:59:59PM CDT on 4/28. See Official Rules for complete details. Void where prohibited.