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Top stats to know: 2014 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft kicks off tonight with the first round live on ESPN at 8 ET. Here are the key stats you need to know before watching every pick.

Who's Number One?

For the third time in their 13 seasons, the Houston Texans own the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. No other franchise has drafted No. 1 overall more than once since the Texans entered the league in 2002.

Defensive Ends Drafted 1st Overall
Common Draft Era (Since 1967)

Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have the Texans taking South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, making him the first defensive player drafted first overall since Mario Williams in 2006.

Coincidentally (or not), that is also the last time the Texans drafted No. 1 overall.

Drafting a defensive end first overall has yielded mixed results. Of the nine chosen with the first pick, only five turned into Pro Bowlers.

Following last year's selection of offensive lineman Eric Fisher by the Kansas City Chiefs, this will likely be the first time since 1994-97 that a quarterback wasn’t selected at No. 1 in consecutive drafts.

Quarterback bonanza

Although a quarterback is not expected to be taken first overall, there undoubtedly will be at least one taken in the first round. This will be the 18th straight draft with at least one QB drafted in the first round, which would be twice as long as the second-longest streak in the Common Draft Era (9 from 1975-83).

Johnny Manziel leads what is considered a deep group of quarterback prospects. Manziel led the FBS in Total QBR during his Heisman-winning season in 2012, with a rating of 90.5 on the 0-100 scale. Each of the quarterbacks to lead the nation in QBR from 2008-11 are currently starters in the NFL, a group that includes Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford.

Running backs out, wide receivers in

No running back is expected to go in the first round for the second straight year. At least one running back was taken in the first round of the first 46 drafts of the Common Draft Era (1967-2012). This could be the first draft in the Common Draft Era with no running backs drafted in the top 40.

While elite running backs may be absent this year, there seems to be no shortage of top receivers. The record of seven wide receivers taken in the first round in 2004 is in jeopardy, and it's also expected that up to three wide receivers could go in the top 10, which would tie a record set previously in 1994, 2000, 2004 and 2005.

SEC rules the draft

How dominant has the SEC been in recent drafts?

• The SEC has had the most picks of any conference in each of the last seven drafts.

• Over the last two years, the SEC has 21 first-round picks. No other conference has more than nine.

• Of the 30 players selected in the top 10 the last three years, nearly half (13) played in the SEC.

Speaking of the SEC…Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans can become the first QB-WR duo from the same school drafted together in the top 10. The only QB-WR duo that was taken in the top 20 in the same draft is Robert Griffin III (2nd) and Kendall Wright (20th) from Baylor in 2012.