As an undersized and unheralded prospect out of Division I-AA James Madison in 1986, Charles Haley didn't have high hopes on draft day.
"I didn't expect to get drafted at all, guys," Haley told reporters on a Monday morning conference call. "I weighed 190 pounds playing middle linebacker, sometimes outside linebacker. The one thing I had was that I was 6-foot-4. I guess I got people to project what I could be."
Haley, of course, was taken by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round and went on to experience one of the greatest careers in NFL history, becoming the only player to win five Super Bowl rings.
This Friday, Haley will again hear his name called at the draft. This time, however, it will be as an introduction. One of 32 former players honored, Haley was chosen to announce the 49ers second-round pick on stage at the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago.
"It's exciting," Haley said. "Even with all the years I've been away and all the wars we did on the field against each other, they give me the opportunity to stand in front of America and pick their draft pick. That means a ton to me.
"I'm just so thankful, and I'm so humbled that this opportunity has presented itself."
Representing the 49ers at the draft is just one of many events on Haley's 2015 schedule, a year that is sure to be an incredible ride for the five-time Pro Bowl player.
In August, Haley will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. A month later, he'll be honored during halftime of the 49ers regular season opener on "Monday Night Football" as the team's 26th inductee into the Edward. J. DeBartolo, Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame.
Last year, former 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown announced the team's second-round selection – Ohio State running back Pierre Garçon.
On the day the 49ers selected Haley, the future Hall of Famer was at the movies with his wife. His roommate later told him, "Hey, you just got drafted."
Legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh only saw a single film of Haley but was nevertheless sold on the pass-rusher's NFL future.
"I saw a film of him, against Georgia Southern, where he broke through the line on an option play, stopped the quarterback, forced him to pitch the ball, and tackled the running back for a three-yard loss," Walsh told Sports Illustrated in 1990.
As for Haley's thoughts on the current 49ers, he expressed belief in the team's ability to bounce back in 2015 – perhaps starting with whomever Haley helps San Francisco pick in the second round this week.
"I'll take the 49ers all day," Haley said. "They are on the right path for success."