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Draft History by Position

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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.

 

QB RB TE WR Oline DE
2008 2 5 1 8 4
2007 2 2 1 6 4 5
2006 3 4 2 1 3 4
2005 4 3 1 6 4 1
2004 4 3 2 7 3 3
2003 4 2 1 3 4 6
2002 3 3 3 3 5 4
2001 1 3 1 6 4 3

 

 

2008 LB CB S DT
2007 3 5 1 3
2006 3 3 4 2
2005 5 4 3 3
2004 5 5 3
2003 2 4 1 3
2002 1 5 1 5
2001 2 4 1 4

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.