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NFL Draft: Selecting the Same Position in the First Round in Consecutive Drafts

Posted by Andrew McKillop on April 30, 2011

When the Detroit Lions selected DT Nick Fairley with their first round pick in this past weekend’s NFL draft, it raised a few eyebrows.  This is because the Lions spent their first round pick on a DT in the previous year’s draft.  However selecting the same position with first round picks in back to back drafts is more common than most people are led to believe.  Since 1967 (modern day draft) teams have selected the same positions with their first round picks in consecutive years on 73 occasions.

The Lions recently have made a habit of selecting the same position with first round picks in back to back drafts.  From 1999-2001 the Lions spent first round picks on the T position and from 2003-2005 they spent first round picks on the WR position.  The only one of those selections still with the Lions is T Jeff Backus.  The Lions, along with the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, and St. Louis Rams, have selected the same position in the first round of back to back drafts on five different occasions, the most in the NFL since 1967.  In that same period, the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins have never pulled off the draft move discussed.

There is only one occurrence in which a team selected in the first round of back to back drafts.  The then Baltimore Colts selected QB Art Schlichter in the 1982 with the 4th overall pick, and selected QB John Elway in the 1983 draft with the 1st overall pick.  The Colts traded Elway shortly after the 1983 draft.  The position of DE has been selected in the first round of back to back drafts on 13 occasions, the most by any position.  The DT position has been selected in the first round of back to back drafts on 10 occasions now.

On seven occasions teams have selected in the same position in the first round in the same draft.  Checkout the breakdown below.

Team Pos Year Pick Player
Chiefs G 1968 22 George Daney
Chiefs G 1968 19 Mo Moorman
Packers DE 1977 28 Ezra Johnson
Packers DE 1977 9 Mike Butler
Bears DE 1979 9 Al Harris
Bears DE 1979 4 Dan Hampton
Cowboys DT 1991 20 Kelvin Pritchett
Cowboys DT 1991 1 Russell Maryland
Buccaneers DE 1996 22 Marcus Jones
Buccaneers DE 1996 12 Regan Upshaw
Bengals LB 1998 13 Takeo Spikes
Bengals LB 1998 17 Brian Simmons
Jets DE 2000 12 Shaun Ellis
Jets DE 2000 13 John Abraham



Check out the table below for more complete information on the topic.

Team Pos Year Pick Player
49ers CB 1970 17 Bruce Taylor
49ers CB 1971 23 Tim Anderson
49ers DT 1974 10 Bill Sandifer
49ers DT 1975 10 Jimmy Webb
49ers DT 1993 26 Dana Stubblefield
49ers DT 1994 7 Bryant Young
Bears T 1976 8 Dennis Lick
Bears T 1977 15 Ted Albrecht
Bears DE 1979 9 Al Harris
Bears DE 1979 4 Dan Hampton
Bengals DE 1977 3 Eddie Edwards
Bengals DE 1978 8 Ross Browner
Bengals LB 1984 7 Ricky Hunley
Bengals LB 1985 25 Emanuel King
Bengals WR 1985 13 Eddie Brown
Bengals WR 1986 21 Tim McGee
Bengals LB 1997 14 Reinard Wilson
Bengals LB 1998 13 Takeo Spikes
Bengals LB 1998 17 Brian Simmons
Bengals CB 2006 24 Johnathan Joseph
Bengals CB 2007 18 Leon Hall
Bills TE 1973 7 Paul Seymour
Bills TE 1974 18 Reuben Gant
Bills CB 1993 28 Thomas Smith
Bills CB 1994 27 Jeff Burris
Broncos G 1976 15 Tom Glassic
Broncos G 1977 18 Steve Schindler
Broncos CB 2000 15 Deltha O’Neal
Broncos CB 2001 24 Willie Middlebrooks
Browns S 1971 14 Clarence Scott
Browns S 1972 18 Thom Darden
Browns LB 1977 17 Robert Jackson
Browns LB 1978 12 Clay Matthews
Browns LB 1987 5 Mike Junkin
Browns LB 1988 21 Clifford Charlton
Buccaneers DE 1996 22 Marcus Jones
Buccaneers DE 1996 12 Regan Upshaw
Cardinals LB 1988 12 Ken Harvey
Cardinals LB 1989 10 Eric Hill
Cardinals WR 2003 17 Bryant Johnson
Cardinals WR 2004 3 Larry Fitzgerald
Chargers T 1985 12 Jim Lachey
Chargers T 1986 13 James FitzPatrick
Chargers CB 2002 5 Quentin Jammer
Chargers CB 2003 30 Sammy Davis
Chiefs G 1968 22 George Daney
Chiefs G 1968 19 Mo Moorman
Chiefs DE 1978 2 Art Still
Chiefs DE 1979 2 Mike Bell
Chiefs LB 1989 4 Derrick Thomas
Chiefs LB 1990 13 Percy Snow
Chiefs T 1998 27 Victor Riley
Chiefs T 1999 14 John Tait
Colts RB 1970 18 Norm Bulaich
Colts RB 1971 22 Don McCauley
Colts DT 1973 10 Joe Ehrmann
Colts DT 1974 5 John Dutton
Colts RB 1980 5 Curtis Dickey
Colts RB 1981 12 Randy McMillan
Colts QB 1982 4 Art Schlichter
Colts QB 1983 1 John Elway
Cowboys RB 1969 24 Calvin Hill
Cowboys RB 1970 23 Duane Thomas
Cowboys DT 1991 20 Kelvin Pritchett
Cowboys DT 1991 1 Russell Maryland
Cowboys DE 1998 8 Greg Ellis
Cowboys DE 1999 20 Ebenezer Ekuban
Cowboys LB 2005 11 DeMarcus Ware
Cowboys LB 2006 18 Bobby Carpenter
Dolphins LB 1976 17 Larry Gordon
Dolphins LB 1977 13 A.J. Duhe
Dolphins DE 1987 16 John Bosa
Dolphins DE 1988 16 Eric Kumerow
Eagles DT 2005 31 Mike Patterson
Eagles DT 2006 14 Brodrick Bunkley
Falcons T 1977 6 Warren Bryant
Falcons T 1978 13 Mike Kenn
Falcons DT 1983 16 Mike Pitts
Falcons DT 1984 9 Rick Bryan
Falcons T 1992 8 Bob Whitfield
Falcons T 1993 9 Lincoln Kennedy
Falcons WR 2004 29 Michael Jenkins
Falcons WR 2005 27 Roddy White
Jaguars DT 2001 13 Marcus Stroud
Jaguars DT 2002 9 John Henderson
Jaguars WR 2004 9 Reggie Williams
Jaguars WR 2005 21 Matt Jones
Jets T 1977 4 Marvin Powell
Jets T 1978 4 Chris Ward
Jets DE 2000 12 Shaun Ellis
Jets DE 2000 13 John Abraham
Lions DT 1971 21 Bob Bell
Lions DT 1972 16 Herb Orvis
Lions CB 1997 5 Bryant Westbrook
Lions CB 1998 20 Terry Fair
Lions T 1999 27 Aaron Gibson
Lions T 2000 20 Stockar McDougle
Lions T 2001 18 Jeff Backus
Lions WR 2003 2 Charles Rogers
Lions WR 2004 7 Roy Williams
Lions WR 2005 10 Mike Williams
Lions DT 2010 2 Ndamukong Suh
Lions DT 2011 13 Nick Fairley
Oilers G 1982 8 Mike Munchak
Oilers G 1983 9 Bruce Matthews
Oilers RB 1987 3 Alonzo Highsmith
Oilers RB 1988 22 Lorenzo White
Packers DE 1977 28 Ezra Johnson
Packers DE 1977 9 Mike Butler
Packers CB 1991 19 Vinnie Clark
Packers CB 1992 5 Terrell Buckley
Packers T 1996 27 John Michels
Packers T 1997 30 Ross Verba
Packers T 2010 23 Bryan Bulaga
Packers T 2011 32 Derek Sherrod
Patriots CB 1976 5 Mike Haynes
Patriots CB 1977 16 Raymond Clayborn
Patriots S 1979 25 Rick Sanford
Patriots S 1980 14 Roland James
Raiders CB 2002 17 Phillip Buchanon
Raiders CB 2003 31 Nnamdi Asomugha
Rams LB 1970 22 Jack Reynolds
Rams LB 1971 10 Isiah Robertson
Rams LB 1976 26 Kevin McLain
Rams LB 1977 23 Bob Brudzinski
Rams RB 1982 14 Barry Redden
Rams RB 1983 2 Eric Dickerson
Rams RB 1988 14 Gaston Green
Rams RB 1989 26 Cleveland Gary
Rams DE 2007 13 Adam Carriker
Rams DE 2008 2 Chris Long
Ravens LB 1996 26 Ray Lewis
Ravens LB 1997 4 Peter Boulware
Ravens CB 1998 10 Duane Starks
Ravens CB 1999 10 Chris McAlister
Saints DE 1989 19 Wayne Martin
Saints DE 1990 14 Renaldo Turnbull
Saints CB 2009 14 Malcom Jenkins
Saints CB 2010 32 Patrick Robinson
Steelers WR 1999 13 Troy Edwards
Steelers WR 2000 8 Plaxico Burress
Vikings DE 1985 4 Chris Doleman
Vikings DE 1986 14 Gerald Robinson
Vikings T 1994 19 Todd Steussie
Vikings T 1995 24 Korey Stringer
Vikings DE 1995 11 Derrick Alexander
Vikings DE 1996 16 Duane Clemons
Vikings DT 1999 29 Dimitrius Underwood
Vikings DT 2000 25 Chris Hovan
Vikings DE 2004 20 Kenechi Udeze
Vikings DE 2005 18 Erasmus James



Reference: Pro-Football-Reference Draft Finder

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