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Falcons Uniform History: #23 is for the defensive backs

Of the nine players to suit up in a #23 jersey, seven have been defensive backs.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The greatest Falcon to don the #23 jersey isn't current player Robert Alford, pictured above, although he has a chance to earn that title if he succeeds in Dan Quinn's scheme.

That instead honor belongs to Bobby Butler, Atlanta's first round pick (25th overall) in the 1981 NFL Draft.

Butler spent all 12 seasons with the Falcons and ranks fifth all-time in franchise history with his 27 career interceptions.

There's also Kevin Mathis, who came into the league with the Dallas Cowboys, spent a couple of seasons with the New Orleans Saints and finished his five years in the league with the Falcons.

Mathis was a capable cornerback and quickly became one of the favorite targets of the Carolina Panthers' Jake Delhomme.

Ronnie Bradford, who spent the second half of his career with the Falcons, had some success. In five seasons with the team, he notched 11 of his 13 career interceptions.

On the other side of the spectrum are draft bust Chris Houston and free agent bust Dunta Robinson.

Houston was supposed to pair up with DeAngelo Hall for a formidable pair of cornerbacks. Of course that never developed like it was expected to since things rarely work out favorably for the Falcons.

Houston was torched constantly and never seemed to learn how to turn his head around to get his eyes on the ball. After just three seasons, the Falcons moved on from Houston and he had a career revival of sorts with the Detroit Lions.

Robinson was paid lockdown cornerback money in 2010's free agency period, but he failed to live up to his contract. He was certainly a hard hitter who tended to knock himself out at times.

Seven of the nine Falcons to suit up in a #23 jersey have been defensive backs.

The other two players, Joe Profit and Jeff Stanciel, were running backs with short careers.

Profit, the Falcons' seventh overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft, had his  career derailed after suffering a major knee injury in the fourth week of his first season. He spent three years with Atlanta before moving on to play a season with the Saints. He gets a pass for defecting to the Saints because of his name.

Stanciel's illustrious career lasted just one year. He rushed four times for -1 yards.