NFL Draft 2008

We recently received an email suggesting that the number of offensive and defensive lineman taken in this year’s first round of the NFL draft was higher than in recent years. Taking a quick and crude look back at first round selections from 2000-2008, teams did select more linemen this year, 15, than in recent history. However, that number is within two standard deviations of the mean for those eight years – 11.12 with a standard deviation of 2.3 – so it would be hard to say that this year’s draft was a substantial outlier.

The graph of first round draft picks is posted below. Picks were divided into four categories: 1) Quarterbacks; 2) Linemen (offensive and defensive); 3) Skill positions (running back and wide receiver); 4) Defensive backs, linebackers, and tight ends. Kickers were excluded. There don’t appear to be any major surprises or conclusions to be drawn from these trends. All of the picks trade within relatively narrow ranges, and there are no extreme values for any of the four categories.

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