The 3-4 defense is getting more popular; I wondered if there were many changes in how many of each position gets taken during the draft. I went back to the year 2001 and while perhaps there are some patterns; it's hard to tell if it just represents a 'bumper crop' at a particular position versus a philosophical view from the teams drafting.
One interesting change is that earlier years had virtually nobody drafted in the first round at center or gaurd; most currently there are almost one or two. It is hard to know if last years draft represents a big shift with eight offensive lineman drafted or just a good year for lineman. It looks like as many as five tackles could go in the first round this year along with one guard and one center. I think if you get seven going this year you can definitely see a trend there. The other interesting position is linebackers, back in 2001 only a single LB was taken. Since 2005 a minimum of three LBs have been taken in every draft; that looks certain to continue this year.
On the down side there seems to be less emphasis on defensive tackles with 4-6 going in 2001-2003, but three or less in every draft year after that. Wide receiver seems to fluctuate randomly and widely, but I don't see any pattern there. Cornerbacks seem quite steady; there does seem to have been a big taking of safeties in 2006 & 2007; but at least for the moment I don't think there is a first round safety choice. There you have it; we will have to wait and see if the trend for offensive lineman and linebackers conitnues; up front it would appear to.