We finally end this long wait for the NFL Draft to begin when the selection of college players by NFL teams begins Thursday May 8. That first day of the three-day, seven-round draft will feature 32 selections in the first round. Rounds two and three will happen on Friday, while the remainder of the draft will conclude on Saturday with rounds four through seven.
Round One usually receives the most hype.. So let’s take a look back and see some of the statistical patterns that have emerged for Round One and of each of the 32 teams since 2000.
For the sake of this article, let me offer a few definitions. First, I’ve broken down the draft choices into five distinct categories: defensive playmakers (linebackers and defensive backs), defensive line (nose tackles, defensive tackles and defensive ends), offensive playmakers (tight ends, quarterbacks, running backs and receivers), offensive line (centers, guards and tackles) and kicking specialists (punters and placekickers).
Here are ten stats you may not know about the first round draft choices made in the NFL Draft since 2000.
1. There have been 445 players drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2000. The New York Jets have had the most first-round choices since 2000 with 19. Miami and Tampa Bay have had the fewest with 11 each.
2. Of the 445 first-round picks since 2000, 146 were offensive playmakers, 114 were defensive playmakers, 111 were defensive line, 73 were offensive line, one was a kicking specialist.
3. Of the 32 NFL teams, 13 have drafted more defensive players than offensive players in the first round since 2000 (Carolina, Dallas, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, NY Giants, NY Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis). Thirteen teams have drafted more offensive players than defensive players in the first round since 2000 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay). Six have drafted the same number of offensive players as defensive players in the first round since 2000 (Buffalo, Denver, Minnesota, San Francisco, Tennessee, Washington).
4. Of the 445 players drafted in the first round since 2000, 225 were defensive players, 219 were offensive players, one was a kicking specialist (Oakland selected Sebastian Janikowski in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft).
5. The Oakland Raiders have drafted the most defensive playmakers in the first round since 2000 with eight. Five teams (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Jacks0nville and Philadelphia) have each only drafted one defensive playmakers in the first round this century.
6. The New York Jets have drafted the most defensive linemen in the first round since 2000 with eight. Three teams (Baltimore, Cincinnati and Oakland) have each drafted only one defensive lineman in the first round this century.
7. The Detroit Lions have drafted the most offensive playmakers in the first round since 2000 with nine. Two teams (Dallas and Philadelphia) have each drafted only one offensive playmakers in the first round this century.
8. Pittsburgh and Seattle have each drafted the most offensive linemen in the first round since 2000 with five each. Eight teams (Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, NY Giants, Oakland, San Diego, Tennessee) have each drafted only one offensive lineman in the first round this century.
9. The Detroit Lions have the largest disparity when comparing offensive to defensive picks in the first round since 2000. The Lions have drafted 13 offensive players and only four defensive players in the first round since 2000, a difference of nine more offensive players.
10. Four teams have a +5 disparity when comparing the number of defensive selections to offensive selections in the first round since 2000. The Houston Texans have drafted nine defensive players and only four offensive players in the first round since 2000; the Jets have drafted 12 defensive and 7 offensive; Oakland has drafted nine defensive and four offensive; and the Rams have drafted 11 defensive and six offensive in the first round since 2000.
How many teams will stay true to form with regards to their first round picks in the past 14 seasons? We’ll find out on Thursday.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp