Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Running down the draft picks
By Pat Yasinskas
As we get ready for the start of the NFL draft Thursday, let’s quickly review which teams have what picks.
After that, we’ll turn to ESPN Stats & Information for a few draft notes on each team.
The Atlanta Falcons have six overall picks -- second round (No. 55), third round (84), fifth round (157), sixth round (192) and two seventh-round picks (229 and 249). After trading up to draft Julio Jones last year, the Falcons are without a first-round pick for the first time since 2006. With only two picks in the first four rounds, the Falcons are tied with the Saints and Raiders for the fewest. The Falcons have selected a defensive player with six of eight picks in the first three rounds since 2009. Of the six draft picks in 2011, only Jones started a game last season.
The Carolina Panthers have seven picks -- first round (No. 9), second round (40), fourth round (104), fifth round (143), sixth round (180 and 207) and seventh round (216). The Panthers are the only team in the draft without a third-round pick. They traded that to the Bears last year for tight end Greg Olsen. Of the five draft picks the Panthers have had in the top 10 in their history, they have used four of them on offensive players, with defensive end Julius Peppers being the only exception.
The New Orleans Saints have five picks -- third round (No. 89), fourth round (122), fifth round (162), sixth round (179) and seventh round (234). The Saints traded away their first-round pick last year when they moved back into the first round to take running back Mark Ingram. They had to forfeit their second-round pick, which would have been No. 59, as part of their punishment for the bounty program. This is the first time in franchise history the Saints haven’t had a pick in the first two rounds. The five picks are the fewest the Saints have had since 2009, when they had four. Their 16 total picks from 2009 through 2011 are the second-fewest of any team. The Saints drafted defensive players with five of their six picks in 2011.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have six picks -- first round (No. 5), second round (36), third round (68), fifth round (140), sixth round (174) and seventh round (212). The only time the Bucs have had fewer picks was in 2000, when they had only five. Tampa Bay’s eight draft picks in 2011 combined for 46 starts last season (tied for third in the league). The Bucs have drafted defensive front-seven players with their first three picks in 2011 and their first two picks in 2010. There’s been a lot of speculation the Bucs could use their first-round pick on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. If they do, it will mark only the third time in franchise history they’ve used a first-round pick on a defensive back. The previous two were Aqib Talib in 2008 and Roderick Jones in 1986.