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NFL Draft: Quantifying First Round Picks

Posted by Andrew McKillop on May 1, 2011

I decided to do a simple by the numbers analysis of NFL teams first round draft habits in the modern day college draft (since 1967).

Note: Analysis doesn’t include supplemental draft picks.

Listed below is a chart displaying how many first round picks each team has had in the draft since 1967 or inaugural season (i.e. expansion teams), as well as first round picks per season each team has averaged.

Interesting note:  From 1969-79 and 1984-90 the Washington Redskins didn’t own a first round pick.

Team 1st Rnd Picks Picks Per Yr
Bengals 54 1.23
Patriots 53 1.18
Packers 52 1.16
Colts 51 1.13
Jaguars 19 1.12
49ers 50 1.11
Rams 50 1.11
Texans 11 1.10
Bills 49 1.09
Lions 49 1.09
Jets 48 1.07
Ravens 17 1.06
Cardinals 47 1.04
Seahawks 37 1.03
Bears 46 1.02
Panthers 17 1.00
Steelers 45 1.00
Chargers 44 0.98
Chiefs 44 0.98
Falcons 44 0.98
Raiders 44 0.98
Saints 44 0.98
Vikings 44 0.98
Cowboys 43 0.96
Browns 41 0.91
Giants 41 0.91
Buccaneers 32 0.89
Dolphins 40 0.89
Titans 40 0.89
Broncos 38 0.84
Eagles 38 0.84
Redskins 24 0.53


Listed below is the order of selection each team has averaged in the first round since 1967 or their inaugural season.   Because the number of first round picks in the NFL draft hasn’t always been a static number of 32 picks, I calculated an adjusted value, in which each team’s order of selection was divided by the number of picks in that year’s first round.  The value is an average of that calculated figure multiplied by 32.

Team Adj Pick Avg Pick
Buccaneers 12.440 11.6
Texans 12.804 12.7
Cardinals 13.331 12.0
Falcons 13.824 12.6
Bengals 13.926 12.4
Titans 14.330 13.0
Redskins 14.352 13.3
Lions 14.622 13.2
Saints 14.735 13.4
Seahawks 14.766 13.9
Jets 14.851 13.5
Jaguars 14.908 14.6
Bears 15.759 14.1
Browns 15.794 14.1
Eagles 16.199 14.7
Chargers 16.300 14.5
Colts 16.381 14.8
Panthers 16.553 16.2
Rams 16.772 14.9
Ravens 17.019 16.7
Bills 17.042 15.3
Chiefs 17.616 15.8
Patriots 17.752 16.1
Vikings 18.003 16.2
Giants 18.042 16.3
Packers 18.130 16.3
Broncos 18.858 17.2
Raiders 19.157 17.0
49ers 19.314 17.4
Cowboys 19.907 17.6
Dolphins 20.021 17.9
Steelers 21.060 19.1



Below is a percentage figure which indicates what positions each NFL team has spent their first round selections on.  Bold marks the position (doesn’t include special teams players) each team has spent the most first round picks on.

Team QB RB WR TE T C G DE DT LB DB
49ers 6% 8% 12% 6% 10% 2% 2% 10% 14% 12% 16%
Bears 9% 17% 9% 2% 22% 0% 0% 17% 7% 9% 9%
Bengals 9% 7% 13% 4% 11% 6% 0% 17% 7% 19% 7%
Bills 4% 18% 12% 6% 6% 2% 6% 10% 6% 6% 22%
Broncos 8% 16% 11% 3% 13% 0% 5% 8% 8% 16% 13%
Browns 7% 15% 10% 5% 5% 7% 2% 10% 5% 17% 17%
Buccaneers 13% 13% 6% 0% 9% 0% 9% 25% 9% 9% 6%
Cardinals 6% 13% 13% 2% 13% 0% 0% 11% 11% 11% 19%
Chargers 7% 18% 11% 2% 7% 2% 0% 9% 7% 14% 23%
Chiefs 5% 14% 11% 7% 9% 2% 14% 14% 7% 7% 11%
Colts 10% 18% 16% 4% 8% 0% 4% 12% 8% 14% 8%
Cowboys 2% 16% 12% 5% 2% 2% 2% 19% 14% 12% 14%
Dolphins 5% 15% 10% 0% 18% 3% 3% 15% 10% 8% 15%
Eagles 5% 8% 11% 5% 16% 0% 11% 13% 13% 8% 11%
Falcons 9% 14% 11% 2% 14% 0% 2% 9% 14% 9% 16%
Giants 5% 15% 10% 5% 5% 2% 7% 15% 7% 7% 20%
Jaguars 11% 11% 16% 5% 11% 0% 0% 11% 16% 5% 16%
Jets 8% 10% 8% 10% 8% 4% 4% 19% 4% 10% 13%
Lions 10% 14% 16% 4% 12% 2% 2% 6% 10% 10% 10%
Packers 8% 10% 8% 4% 14% 2% 6% 14% 8% 14% 15%
Panthers 12% 18% 6% 0% 18% 0% 0% 12% 0% 18% 18%
Patriots 6% 13% 11% 6% 9% 6% 6% 9% 8% 6% 21%
Raiders 7% 7% 11% 5% 7% 2% 9% 7% 9% 7% 25%
Rams 2% 22% 8% 2% 10% 2% 6% 14% 10% 14% 10%
Ravens 12% 6% 12% 6% 12% 0% 6% 0% 6% 18% 24%
Redskins 13% 4% 17% 0% 13% 0% 4% 8% 4% 8% 29%
Saints 2% 18% 14% 2% 9% 0% 11% 18% 7% 9% 7%
Seahawks 5% 5% 5% 3% 16% 3% 8% 14% 14% 5% 19%
Steelers 7% 11% 16% 9% 7% 2% 9% 11% 7% 7% 16%
Texans 9% 0% 9% 0% 9% 0% 0% 18% 18% 18% 18%
Titans 13% 18% 8% 0% 13% 0% 10% 10% 8% 13% 10%
Vikings 7% 21% 9% 0% 11% 0% 5% 21% 14% 9% 5%
Totals 8% 13% 11% 4% 11% 2% 5% 13% 9% 11% 15%



Reference: Pro-Football-Reference Draft Finder

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