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First and Unpronounceable: The Most Amazing Names in NFL Draft History

From the first pick to Mr. Irrelevant, we play the NFL draft name game

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After months of media scrutiny, countless combines and a metric ton of Mel Kiper Jr., the 2014 NFL draft begins Thursday night. And over the span of seven rounds and three days, the names of 254 college-football standouts will be called. No more, no less.

From the first-overall pick to the last – the guy who will begrudgingly bear the title of Mr. Irrelevant – it's an exclusive club. And while not every player selected will go on to have an all-pro career, just hearing your name called by the commissioner (or whomever strides to the podium in round seven) is an accomplishment.

Of course, sometimes, reading those names is an equally impressive feat. For every John Smith, there's a Ras-I Dowling waiting in the wings. So to get you ready for the next 96 hours of tongue-twisting action, here are 10 of the most amazing, improbable and unpronounceable names in NFL draft history. By James Montgomery

Dallas Cowboys Ikponmwosa Igbinosun

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8

Ikponmwosa Igbinosun

Straight outta Southern Connecticut State, spellcheck's worst nightmare was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012, and started calling himself Ike. Sadly, that didn't save him from getting cut, though he's currently under contract with the Buffalo Bills. We pity the Player Personnel guy who had to type his name on that contract.

Cap Boso

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7

Cap Boso

Taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round of the 1986 draft, Boso would find his a home in Chicago, where he'd bang around for five seasons as a tight end for the Bears. His hard-nosed style endeared him to fans, though it probably didn't hurt that his name made him sound like an actual bear, the kind you'd see in a circus or something. Boso also earns bonus points for being the only person on this list to appear in Tecmo Super Bowl, which automatically makes him 10 times more awesome. 

Atari Bigby greenbay packers

Jeff Roberson/AP Photo

6

Atari Bigby

Atari – not relation to the video game console – went undrafted in 2005, but he'd have a pretty tremendous career nonetheless. He was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Month in December 2007, and would go on to win a Super Bowl title as a member of the Green Bay Packers (he also once introduced himself during a Sunday Night Football telecast as hailing from the "University of Jah, Rastafari") Oh, and as far as his name, it comes from a Japanese word meaning "to hit the target," perfect for a starting safety.

Bacarri Rambo Washington Redskins

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5

Bacarri Rambo

His name's half-boozy, half-badass (and all awesome), so the current Washington Redskins safety seemed destined to play in the NFL. Though one can't help but wonder what would have happened had he gone with his other name – Goo Fudge. Growing up, his mother's maiden name was Fudge (though his parents would legally changed his last name to match his father's), and when he was an infant, his mom named gave him the nickname "Goo," after his resemblance to Mr. Magoo. Not quite as terrifying, right?

Mister Alexander houston texans

Kevin Terrell/AP Photo

4

Mister Alexander

With a name like Mister, you'd think NFL teams would be lining up to show respect to the former Florida State University linebacker. But Alexander went undrafted in 2011, and though he'd eventually sign with the Houston Texans, within two years he was playing ball in Canada. Though perhaps he likes it better up there; after all, our neighbors to the north are known for their manners.

John David Booty

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3

John David Booty

Mix-a-Lot's favorite QB capped his college career by leading USC to a second-consecutive Rose Bowl win in 2008, and was taken in fifth round of draft by the Minnesota Vikings. But he never played in a game during his NFL career, and is probably best remembered for being one of three "Booty Boys" to make it to the league, joining brothers Josh and Abram. They will all live on in gluteal greatness. 

curry burns

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2

Curry Burns

This red-hot safety singed opposing offenses at the University of Louisville, though after begin drafted by the Houston Texans in the seventh round of the 2003 draft, his pro career failed to generate much heat. His most notable season came in '04, when he played in eight games for the New York Giants and recorded an interception. After a couple of stints on practice squads, Burns was out of the NFL by '07, proving that you can, in fact, hurry the curry (to an early retirement).

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

1

Captain Munnerlyn

The NFL got its first commissioned officer in 2009, when Munnerlyn was drafted in the seventh round by the Carolina Panthers. Though his name conjures up images of epaulets, the cornerback explained that it's actually in honor of his great-great grandfather ("My sisters and brothers have normal names," he joked). And though several other Captains – Phillips, America, Crunch – may dominate the national discourse, Munnerlyn has focused on the bottom line, just signing a three-year, $14.25 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

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