Draft averages: defense

As we’ve learned in the past, there’s nothing scientific about the NFL draft. Every year, talent evaluators throughout the country -- including me -- whiff on prospects despite spending hundreds of hours on research.

But is it possible to predict the outcome of the draft based on past averages? Today, the National Football Post continues our look at the past 10 drafts and how often each position was selected in the first three rounds. Then we look at the prospects who are likely to be selected at each spot and try to come up with a list of players you can expect to see picked in the first three rounds.

Monday, we examined offensive averages. Today, we check defenses.

Remember, this is not a mock draft or a list of players we think are going to be selected in each round. It’s an application used to take the average number of prospects selected at each position in the first three rounds throughout the past 10 years and apply it to the 2010 NFL Draft.

Note: All averages are rounded up to whole numbers and are based on the past 10 drafts.

Defensive end

Average number of defensive ends selected in the first round: 4

2010 projected first-round defensive ends

Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
Jared Odrick, Penn State (five-technique)
Everson Griffen, USC

Average number of defensive ends selected in the second round: 3

2010 projected second-round defensive ends

Carlos Dunlap, Florida
Tyson Alualu, California
Alex Carrington, Arkansas State

Average number of defensive ends selected in the third round: 3

2010 projected third-round defensive ends

Greg Hardy, Mississippi
Corey Wootton, Northwestern
Jermaine Cunningham, Florida

Defensive tackle

Average number of defensive tackles selected in the first round: 3

2010 projected first-round defensive tackles

Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
Dan Williams, Tennessee

Average number of defensive tackles selected in the second round: 2

2010 projected second-round defensive tackles

Terrence Cody, Alabama
Brian Price, UCLA

Average number of defensive tackles selected in the third round: 2

2010 projected third-round defensive tackles

Cam Thomas, North Carolina
Torrell Troup, Central Florida

Linebackers

Average number of linebackers selected in the first round: 4

2010 projected first-round linebackers

Rolando McClain, Alabama
Jerry Hughes, TCU
Brandon Graham, Michigan
Sergio Kindle, Texas

Average number of linebackers selected in the second round: 4

2010 projected second-round linebackers

Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Daryl Washington, TCU
Ricky Sapp, Clemson
Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech

Average number of linebackers selected in the third round: 5

2010 projected third-round linebackers

Koa Misi, Utah
Eric Norwood, South Carolina
Navorro Bowman, Penn State
Sean Lee, Penn State
Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State

Cornerback

Average number of cornerbacks selected in the first round: 4

2010 projected first-round cornerbacks

Joe Haden, Florida
Kyle Wilson, Boise State
Earl Thomas, Texas
Devin McCourty, Rutgers

Average number of cornerbacks selected in the second round: 4

2010 projected second-round cornerbacks

Chris Cook, Virginia
Dominique Franks, Oklahoma
Kareem Jackson, Alabama
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (Pa.)

Average number of cornerbacks selected in the third round: 4

2010 projected third-round picks

Patrick Robinson, Florida State
Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest
Jerome Murphy, South Florida
Amari Spievey, Iowa

Safety

Average number of safeties selected in first round: 2

2010 projected first-round picks

Eric Berry, Tennessee
Taylor Mays, USC

Average number of safeties selected in the second round: 2

2010 projected second-round picks

Nate Allen, South Florida
Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech

Average number of safeties selected in the third round: 2

2010 projected third-round picks

Chad Jones, LSU
Major Wright, Florida

Defensive totals

Total defensive prospects selected in first round: 17

Total defensive prospects selected in second round: 15

Total defensive prospects selected in third round: 16

@WesBunting

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