Random Facts about Linebackers Selected in the Top Five of the NFL Draft

T1_0627_thomas_getty_medium Taylor_lawrence_medium Butkus_medium

Thirty-four linebackers have been drafted in the top five selections of the NFL draft. Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry will likely be the 35th linebacker to be selected that high come April 25.

In what is more of a conversational exercise and one that I'm sure has been done before, I searched Pro Football Reference for all linebackers drafted in the first round and then I broke it down further to linebackers selected within the top five picks of the first round of the NFL draft.

Here are some random facts about those players, with the full list with more info after the jump. This will likely be my best attempt today to stave off the boredom of a holiday weekend in March.

Historical credentials

  • Derrick Thomas (126.5) and Lawrence Taylor (132.5) in the top 11 in all-time career sacks
  • Four Hall of Famers (Thomas, Butkus, Taylor and Bednarik)

Pro Bowls/All Pro

  • 2.6 Pro Bowl average for all 34 players
  • 6 players went to 8 or more Pro Bowls (18%)
  • 14 players went to 0 Pro Bowls (41%)
  • 14 players had at least one All Pro selection (41%)
  • 4 players had 5 or more All Pro selections (12%)

Longevity

  • 123 game career average for each player
  • 9 players played in 160 (~10 seasons) or more games in their career (26%)
  • 8 players played in fewer than 100 games in their career (24%)

Finally, here are the averages across all 34 players for a number of categories. Sacks is always going to be a bit off, because they didn't start keeping track of sacks until the early 1980s.

All Pro Pro Bowls Years as Primary Starter Career Games INTs Sacks
1 3 7 123 7.5 40.5

 

More stats on all of these players are after the jump.

 

Year   Pick    Player AP1   PB   St   G   Int   Sk   College/Univ
1990 5 Junior Seau  6 12 16 261 18 56.5 USC
1987 2 Cornelius Bennett  1 5 14 206 7 71.5 Alabama
1981 2 Lawrence Taylor HOF  8 10 13 184 9 132.5 North Carolina
1985 5 Duane Bickett  0 1 9 173 9 53 USC
1984 3 Carl Banks  1 1 10 173 3 39.5 Michigan State
1981 5 E.J. Junior  1 2 9 170 12 36.5 Alabama
1989 4 Derrick Thomas HOF  2 9 11 169 1 126.5 Alabama
1949 1 Chuck Bednarik HOF  5 8 14 169 20
Pennsylvania
1961 4 Marlin McKeever  0 1 9 162 9
USC
1988 1 Aundray Bruce  0 0 2 151 4 32 Auburn
1993 4 Marvin Jones  0 0 9 142 5 9 Florida State
1968 5 Fred Carr  0 3 8 140 8
Texas-El Paso
1982 3 Chip Banks  1 4 10 138 9 46 USC
1996 2 Kevin Hardy  1 1 9 134 5 36 Illinois
1966 1 Tommy Nobis  1 5 9 133 12
Texas
1982 2 Johnie Cooks  0 0 7 128 4 32 Mississippi State
1983 5 Billy Ray Smith  0 0 7 126 15 26.5 Arkansas
1997 4 Peter Boulware  0 4 7 126 1 70 Florida State
1967 5 George Webster  3 3 6 119 5
Michigan State
1965 3 Dick Butkus HOF  5 8 9 119 22
Illinois
1958 3 Dan Currie  1 1 7 118 11
Michigan State
1952 2 Les Richter  1 8 10 112 16
California
1955 5 Tom Bettis  0 0 3 109 1
Purdue
1956 4 Bob Pellegrini  0 0 7 107 13
Maryland
1986 5 Anthony Bell  0 0 4 102 2 11 Michigan State
1991 4 Mike Croel  0 0 6 102 2 24 Nebraska
2000 2 LaVar Arrington  0 3 5 84 3 23.5 Penn State
1992 2 Quentin Coryatt  0 0 4 82 3 8.5 Texas A&M
1979 1 Tom Cousineau  0 0 4 66 10 6.5 Ohio State
1974 4 Waymond Bryant  0 0 3 53 4
Tennessee State
2006 5 A.J. Hawk  0 0 3 48 3 7.5 Ohio State
1950 4 Clayton Tonnemaker  0 1 3 36 2
Minnesota
1994 5 Trev Alberts  0 0 0 29 1 4 Nebraska
1987 5 Mike Junkin  0 0 0 20

Duke

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