FanPost

The NFL Trend Is Against Taking LBs At #3

Interesting article at WalterFootball.com that breaks down what player positions have been taken in the top 3 picks of the draft over the last 10 years.

NFL Draft Year
No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
2008 
OT 
DE 
QB 
2007 
QB 
WR 
OT 
2006 
DE 
RB 
QB 
2005 
QB 
RB 
WR 
2004 
QB 
OT 
WR 
2003 
QB 
WR 
WR 
2002 
QB 
DE 
QB 
2001 
QB 
OT 
DT 
2000 
DE 
OLB 
OT 
1999 
QB 
QB 
QB 
1998 
QB 
QB 
DE 

As you can see, all the picks were either quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive tackles or defensive ends.

There were exceptions that I bolded. In 2001, the inept Cleveland Browns took defensive tackle Gerard Warren No. 3 overall. He was a major bust. The year before, genius drafter Daniel Snyder selected LaVar Arrington second overall. Arrington had injury and attitude problems, and his career was consequently cut very short.

They break it down further:

Position
Amount
QBs 
14 
RBs 
2 
WRs 
5 
TEs 
0 
OTs 
5 
G/C 
0 
DEs 
5 
DTs 
1 
LBs 
1 
DBs 
0 


So the question keeps coming up:  If the Chiefs are stuck picking at #3 (i.e. unable to trade down), who do we pick?  Having your choice of any college player to draft (but the two picked ahead of you) carries a great deal of value to it (both in terms of getting a potentially star player and also in financial terms).  It is best used on a game changing player, not necessarily a player that simply fits a need of your team.

With that in mind, you can see that cornerstone players have typically been chosen in the top 3.  Quarterbacks (hopeful leader of the entire team), Defensive Ends (game changing pass rushers), Left Tackles (most important position on the offensive line) and, thanks largely to the Detroit Lions, Wide Receivers.

In many mock drafts, the Chiefs are expected to take linebacker Aaron Curry.  But as good a player as he could potentially turn out to be, the trend in the NFL is to not see the LB position as having as much value nor be as difficult to find as an elite QB, DE or LT.


So, what does all of this mean? Unless a team is convinced a certain linebacker will be the next Ray Lewis, and Daniel Snyder isn't involved, you can forget about one going in the top three picks.

Conversely, if there's a quarterback on the fringe of top-five consideration, there's a good chance he'll be chosen in the top three, assuming one of those teams could use an upgrade at the position.

Having said that, Walterfootball has us taking Mark Sanchez at #3, which I do NOT think would be a smart move considering how little actual starting time he had in college. 

But I thought they had a good write up so that if Stafford is sitting there at #3, we need to think long and hard about whether we are going to gamble that pick on a potential elite player which yes, also carries the potential to be an elite bust.

There are no elite Defensive Ends this year.  We already have a very good young Left Tackle in Branden Albert.  Michael Crabtree is by all accounts a top WR prospect, but we have discussed the true value of a player that only touches the ball 5-8 times a game already. 

Can we say we REALLY say we are so secure at the QB position that in the absence of an elite player that we are really hurting for (pass rush DE), that we will take a position of less value?  Wouldn't that also be reaching?  

And don't forget that we took Derrick Johnson at #15 in the 2005 NFL draft with QBs Aaron Rogers and Jason Campbell picked behind him.  Though I wouldn't say DJ is a total bust, he certainly hasn't lived up to expectations, and the same can be said for ANY player picked at any point in the draft. 

So the question is: If we are sitting at #3 and Stafford IS off the board and we can't trade down, what then?  Do we go with Curry anyway since its a position of need or do we take a top tackle even though we already have a LT and its way too high to purposely draft a RT?  Or do we follow the Lions path of drafing a WR in the top 3?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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