Brian Urlacher was a No. 9 pick

I will watch the NFL Draft tonight.

I have no choice. I am addicted to this stuff.

Who’s moving up? Who’s moving down?

Who’s on the clock?

Knowing “Mel’s best available” player on the board is important to me.

I know I am not alone.

There are many other draftaholics out there.

Has to be — the draft has moved to prime time this year.

But Thursday night or Saturday afternoon, my focus is still the same.


What will the Cowboys do?

By sucking for much of last season, Dallas earned itself a No. 9 pick.

That’s no sure thing.

Since 2004, the No. 9 pick in the draft has been Reggie Williams; Carlos Rogers; Ernie Sims, Ted Ginn Jr., Keith Rivers, B.J. Raji and C.J. Spiller.

Raji leaped into the NFL spotlight a year ago when the Packers’ 6-2, 337-pound nose tackle returned an interception for a playoff touchdown, helping Green Bay get to the Super Bowl.

The rest of this group is average at best.

C.J. Spiller, a running back from Clemson, went to the Bills with the ninth pick last year.

David Nelson was a free agent, but the free agent wide receiver and former Rider star scored three touchdowns — two more than the much higher paid Spiller.

The two best 9 picks of this century came in 2003 when Minnesota took Kevin Williams and in 2000 when the Bears snatched up Brian Urlacher.

The Vikings had the seventh pick in the 2003 draft but let the clock run down on them. While they snoozed, the Jaguars and Panthers jumped up and made their picks.

Minnesota still got the best or the deal by taking a six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

Urlacher, however, was the cream of the No. 9 crop.

The Bears’ middle linebacker hasn’t made the people in Chicago forget Dick Butkas, but he sure has made a Butkus-type reputation in the Windy City.

Although most people believe Jerry Jones will take USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith, I still think he will trade down and get some extra picks.

It is just his style.

But if they do use that No. 9 pick, keep your fingers crossed that they get an Urlacher.