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Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Which NFL teams draft for defense early

By Mike Sando

Ray Horton is the Arizona Cardinals' third defensive coordinator since Ken Whisenhunt became head coach in 2007.

He inherits a defense that has struggled despite significant investments.

Arizona has used six first- and second-round choices for defensive players since 2007, tied for the second-highest total in the league.

Only the New England Patriots have drafted more defensive players in those rounds over the past four drafts. Only the Patriots have used a higher percentage of first- and second-round choices for defense during the period in question.

A quick look at the defensive players NFC West teams have selected in the first two rounds since 2007:
Overall, teams have drafted slightly more defensive players (133) than offensive players (122) in the first two rounds of the past four drafts. New England has used 11 of the 255 picks in question, tied for second-most in the NFL, even though the Patriots did not have their own first-round selection in 2008.

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