Average Players Drafted by Position Chart

Written by Rob Engle on September 14, 2009



Every year thousands of people create their mock drafts in preparation of the NFL draft, and most of the time they aren’t using any data from past drafts to back up their predictions. Of course, no two drafts are exactly alike, but you’ll notice that there are certain trends that the draft follows because all teams value certain positions over others, which leads to teams drafting in a similar style. There is a reason why Guards and Centers are rarely drafted in the first round and a reason why kickers, punters and long snappers sometimes go undrafted.


Too often I find other draftniks trying to project what round they think a player will be drafted in just based upon what they have seen on tape and maybe even their positional rankings. Last year I decided that there was something missing with that approach. Everyone knows that the NFL draft isn’t a science, but a little statistical analysis never hurt anyone.


I decided to go through the last several years of the NFL Draft and record how many players were taken in each draft by position and also how many players from each position were taken in each round. There have been many statistical evaluations done to help improve the NFL Draft and to help draftniks (and even teams) project certain things. For example, the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart, created by Jimmy Johnson, which assigns every pick in the draft a certain point value so NFL GM’s can make sure that their trades are fair.


I created the Average Players Drafted by Position Chart (APDP Chart) so people could use another reference to help project player round grades by using the trends that the NFL Draft tends to follow. Draftniks can do this by looking at their positional rankings and then looking at the trends from previous drafts. Therefore, they properly project where a player would land if their rankings held true. It also helps with creating your mock draft. For example, over the last 3 drafts there has been an average of 1 quarterback taken in the 3rd round, so you probably shouldn’t project 7 quarterbacks to be third round prospects for the 2009 class. Or, maybe you are projecting all 7 rounds and you have 25 tight ends being drafted even though over the last 3 years there haven’t been more than 16 tight ends taken in a single draft.


As an example of how this works, I had Jordy Nelson as my 5th best Wide Receiver in the 2008 draft, so that would have put him in the early/middle part of the 2nd round according to my APDP Chart from last year. Of course, Jordy wasn’t the 5th Wide Receiver selected last year, but he was still selected at around the same time I had projected. This chart will only help if you are using it to help project rounds, but since every draft is “heavy” in certain areas, it won’t always be perfect. The 2009 NFL Draft is especially deep at the Cornerback position, so there may be a run on Cornerbacks in the second round inflating the number of Cornerbacks drafted in that round. The number taken overall at each position in the draft will still probably hold true though.


So, without further ado here is the 2011 NFL APDP Chart.


Quarterback

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 2 1 1 1 2 4 3 14
2009 3 1 0 1 2 4 0 11
2008 2 2 1 0 4 2 2 13
2007 2 3 1 0 2 1 1 10
2006 3 2 2 0 2 1 1 11
Average 2.4 1.8 1 .4 2.4 2.4 1.4 11.8


Running Back

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 3 3 0 1 1 5 1 14
2009 3 1 2 2 1 4 4 17
2008 5 2 4 1 5 5 5 27
2007 2 4 3 3 1 2 4 17
2006 4 2 2 4 1 2 2 17
Average 3.4 2.4 2.2 2.2 1.8 3.6 3.2 18.4


Fullback

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
2009 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 6
2008 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 4
2007 0 0 0 1 0 4 2 7
2006 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2
Average 0 0 0.2 0.6 1 1 1.2 4


Wide Receiver

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 2 3 8 4 3 6 4 30
2009 6 2 7 4 4 3 8 34
2008 0 10 5 5 2 6 7 35
2007 6 3 8 3 5 3 7 35
2006 1 3 5 7 2 5 7 30
Average 3 4.2 6.6 4.6 3.2 4.6 6.6 32.8


Tight End

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 1 1 3 4 3 4 4 20
2009 1 1 3 2 4 4 4 19
2008 1 3 3 3 2 2 2 16
2007 1 1 1 2 3 0 4 12
2006 2 3 3 1 4 2 1 16
Average 1.2 1.8 2.6 2.4 3.2 2.4 3 16.6


Offensive Tackle

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 4 3 1 2 3 2 3 18
2009 4 5 2 2 6 1 1 20
2008 7 1 2 6 2 1 7 15
2007 3 1 4 2 2 5 5 17
2006 1 4 3 3 4 2 3 18
Average 3.8 2.8 2.4 3 3.4 2.2 3.8 19.6


Offensive Guard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 1 1 4 1 3 2 1 14
2009 0 1 1 3 2 1 5 13
2008 1 1 2 2 1 1 4 12
2007 1 2 1 4 2 1 2 13
2006 1 2 2 4 3 4 6 12
Average 0.8 1.4 2 2.8 2.2 2 3.6 14.8


Center

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 1 0 1 1 1 0 2 6
2009 2 0 0 1 0 1 2 6
2008 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
2007 0 2 0 1 1 2 0 6
2006 1 2 0 0 0 2 3 8
Average 0.8 0.8 0.2 0.6 0.4 1.4 1.4 5.6


Defensive End

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 5 2 2 4 4 3 8 28
2009 4 5 2 5 0 2 1 19
2008 5 4 2 3 0 4 7 25
2007 3 5 3 4 1 2 2 20
2006 3 1 2 3 4 1 4 18
Average 4 3.4 2.2 3.8 1.8 2.4 4.4 22


Defensive Tackle

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 4 5 3 1 2 0 5 20
2009 3 3 5 4 0 2 4 21
2008 2 1 4 2 5 2 0 16
2007 3 1 4 4 4 2 2 20
2006 3 0 2 4 3 7 4 23
Average 3 2 3.6 3 2.8 2.6 3 20


Linebacker

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 2 8 3 9 2 4 6 34
2009 4 3 3 4 6 4 4 28
2008 2 2 6 4 6 6 4 30
2007 4 4 5 5 4 6 6 34
2006 6 4 8 4 6 2 5 35
Average 3.6 4.2 5 5.2 4.8 4.4 5 32.2


Cornerback

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 5 2 4 5 7 4 6 33
2009 2 3 8 4 6 7 5 35
2008 5 5 4 8 4 2 4 32
2007 3 3 4 3 5 3 6 27
2006 5 5 2 3 2 4 6 27
Average 4 3.6 4.4 4.6 4.8 4 5.4 30.8


Safety

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 2 3 3 0 5 1 3 17
2009 0 9 7 2 2 3 5 28
2008 1 1 3 2 0 4 3 14
2007 4 3 1 4 6 3 3 24
2006 2 6 3 3 5 4 6 29
Average 1.8 4.4 3.4 2.2 3.6 3 4 22.4


Kicker

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2
2008 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
2007 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3
2006 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2
Average 0 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.4 1.8


Punter

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
2010 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3
2009 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3
2008 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
2007 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 3
2006 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
Average 0 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.4 1.8




*Since some players don’t have a defined position coming into the league, judgment calls were made in certain scenarios as to a player’s true position.


**All numbers are a pure integer average rounded to the nearest whole number.



Rob Engle

Rob Engle scouted privately starting in 2004. Rob participated in an internship with the Baltimore Ravens scouting department and is continuing his professional career by attending Miami University (Ohio) to obtain a degree in Strategic Communication. Rob is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America. See all posts by Rob Engle.