Sunday marks 63 days until the Falcons kick off the 2019 season in Minnesota against the Vikings. Today we mark the day by saluting the greatest No. 63 in Falcons history, guard Justin Blalock.
Blalock was a durable, six foot, three inches tall, 320-pound road grader guard for eight seasons in Atlanta. In his four years at the University of Texas the Longhorns were 44-7 and won the 2005 National Championship in his senior season. He was also named a unanimous first-team All-American that year. Blalock also set a record at Texas with 51 consecutive starts.
The Falcons made Blalock the 39th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft and he slotted right in as a starter at left guard. He would hold down that position as the starter for the Falcons for eight seasons. Over that time he only missed three games and had a streak where he started 102 games in a row.
Along with center Todd McClure, Blalock helped to clear space for running back Michael Turner during his five seasons with the Falcons. Turner was a first-team All-Pro once and made two Pro Bowls running behind his big offensive line.
Blalock was rarely penalized. According to the statistics at Pro Football Reference.com he was only called for eight holds and 14 false starts in his eight-season career.
He was released by the Falcons in February of 2015 and he officially retired that June. In 2018 Blalock was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor.
Blalock currently lives in Plano, Texas where he runs The Justin Blalock Foundation which helps young men and women in athletics and academics.