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Friday, April 29, 2011
QBs continue to dominate top of draft


With Cam Newton going first overall, a quarterback has now been selected No. 1 overall in 11 of the last 14 drafts. Quarterbacks have been selected first overall far more than any other position -- 19 times compared to the nine times a defensive end has gone with the top pick.

Newton is the third Auburn player selected first overall in the common draft era (since 1967), joining Bo Jackson (1986) and Aundray Bruce (1988). Auburn is the fourth school with at least three No. 1 picks, joining USC (5), Ohio State (3) and Oklahoma (3). He is the eighth player from an SEC school to go No. 1 overall.

Granted it's in college and not the NFL, but consider this: Newton threw for 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2010. The only Panthers quarterback to put up those numbers in a single season was Steve Beuerlein in 1999.

The Panthers have selected a quarterback in the first round only one other time in their history. In 1995, the Panthers took Kerry Collins with the fifth overall pick.

FIRST-ROUND ODDS AND (DEFENSIVE) ENDS

• With the third overall pick, the Buffalo Bills selected Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. No doubt the Bills hope Dareus turns out like the last defensive lineman Buffalo selected in the top three -- Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith, who they selected first overall in 1985.

• The Tennessee Titans selected Jake Locker eighth overall. Locker is the first Washington quarterback to be picked in the first round during the common draft era.

• Two picks later the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. It marked just the third time in common draft history that three quarterbacks were selected in the top 10 in a single year. It happened in 1999 (Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith) and 1971 (Jim Plunkett, Archie Manning and Dan Pastorini).

• California defensive end Cameron Jordan went 24th overall to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had the second-fewest sacks from their defensive ends in 2010 among teams with 4-3 base defenses.

• Alabama running back Mark Ingram went off the board at 28th overall to the Saints (who acquired the selection from the New England Patriots). It's the latest that the first running back was selected in the common draft era. It's also the fourth time the Saints drafted a Heisman-winning running back (Reggie Bush, Ricky Williams, George Rogers).

• Ohio State's Cameron Heyward was the 12th defensive lineman drafted in the first round when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him 31st overall. It's the most defensive linemen selected in the first round in the common draft era (previously 11 in 2003).