Twenty years ago this Monday, former Cardinals safety Pat Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan. Tillman was a 7th-round pick, selected 226th overall in 1998, and coincidentally the Cardinals have the same pick again this year. Would be remarkable if the pick were anywhere near as successful.

Tillman started 11 games his first two years, but it was his third season, 2000, where he really broke out. He recorded 155 total tackles that year. That's not only the most of any defensive back this century, but the 8th-highest total from any player at the position in nearly 40 years, and probably league history (tackle data at, used in compiling this table, goes back to 1987).

Next best season by a DB this century was also a Cardinal, Budda Baker.

The Cardinals will send out a couple of representatives of the Pat Tillman Foundation, Army veteran Jeremy Glasstetter and Air Force veteran Deborah Trimble, to make the pick this year. Kind of cool.

Defensive backs to record at least 125 tackles in a season this century are shown below. I notice three guys made the list from 2023: Minnesota's Camryn Bynum, Atlanta's Jessie Bates and the Chargers' Derwin James. (I also notice Bronco Hall of Famer Steve Atwater not only holds the record of 173, but basically lived on this list. Rodney Harrison also a frequent visitor.) There's a 17th game now, so maybe we'll see a 155-tackle season again. But it's been a while since the remarkable Tillman campaign.

Steve Atwater, Den.1990173FS
Scott Case, Atl.1990170FS
Brad Edwards, Was.1992168FS
Victor Green, NYJ1996165SS
Scott Case, Atl.1991162FS
Eric Turner, Cle.1993159FS
Andre Waters, Phi.1991156SS
Pat Tillman, Ari.2000155SS
Tim McDonald, Phx.1989155SS
Stevon Moore, Cle.1993155SS
Darren Woodson, Dal.1993155SS
Andre Waters, Phi.1988154SS
Steve Atwater, Den.1992151FS
Steve Atwater, Den.1991150FS
Brad Edwards, Was.1993150FS
Budda Baker, Ari.2019147FS
Jalen Pitre, Hou.2022147SS
Steve Atwater, Den.1993141FS
Rodney Harrison, N.E.2004141SS
Donte Whitner, Buf.2010140SS
Antoine Bethea, Ind.2011139FS
Camryn Bynum, Min.2023137S
Victor Green, NYJ1995137SS
Andre Waters, Phi.1989137SS
Barry Church, Dal.2013135FS
Brad Edwards, Was.1991135FS
Reshad Jones, Mia.2015135FS
Gibril Wilson, Oak.2008134SS
Jessie Bates, Atl.2023132S
Rodney Harrison, S.D.1997132SS
Morgan Burnett, G.B.2014130SS
Marty Carter, T.B.1993130SS
Michael Green, Chi.2002130SS
Robert Griffith, Min.1999130SS
Eric Reid, Car.2019130SS
Steve Atwater, Den.1989129FS
Jason Belser, Ind.1993127FS/SS
Johnathan Cyprien, Jac.2016127SS
Corey Graham, Buf.2015127SS
Rodney Harrison, S.D.2000127SS
Eric Weddle, S.D.2008127FS
Stanley Richard, Was.1997126FS
Landon Collins, NYG2016125SS
Shaun Gayle, Chi.1990125SS
Rodney Harrison, N.E.2003125SS
Rodney Harrison, S.D.1996125SS
Derwin James, LAC2023125S
Rich Miano, Phi.1992125SS
Mike Minter, Car.2000125SS
Jonathan Owens, Hou.2022125FS

I'm guessing the viewing audience isn't typically very big for the seventh round of the NFL Draft. But it seems like it will be a little bigger than usual this year.