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2015 NFL Draft: Positions teams favor/avoid in first round

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When trying to figure out who your favorite team is going to pick in the first round, sometimes it's beneficial to take a look at the positions the team seems to favor in the first round.

We have done just that; as an added bonus, we also looked into what positions each team doesn't like to pick in the first round.

2015 NFL DRAFT

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AFC East


Buffalo Bills

Yes, please: Buffalo has taken three defensive backs in the first round in the past nine drafts: CBs Stephon Gilmore in 2012 and Leodis McKelvin in 2008 and SS Donte Whitner in 2006.
No, thank you: The Bills have taken just one offensive lineman (C Eric Wood) in the first round in the past 12 drafts and just two in the first round since 1992.

Miami Dolphins

Yes, please: Three of the past seven first-round picks have been used on offensive linemen: OT Ja'Wuan James in 2014, G Mike Pouncey in 2011, and OT Jake Long in 2008.
No, thank you: The Dolphins haven't taken a linebacker in the first round since they chose Jackie Shipp in 1984. (An aside: Miami has taken a quarterback in the first round just three times in its history. Two of them -- Bob Griese and Dan Marino -- are in the Hall of Fame. The other is current starter Ryan Tannehill.)

New England Patriots

Yes, please: Six of the Patriots' past seven first-round picks have been used on defenders; the past two were used on linemen -- DT Dominique Easley in 2014 and DE Chandler Jones in 2012. There also have been two linebackers ( Dont'a Hightower in 2012 and Jerod Mayo in 2008) and two defensive backs ( Devin McCourty in 2010 and Brandon Meriweather in 2007).
No, thank you: The Patriots haven't taken a wide receiver in the first round since 1996, when they grabbed Terry Glenn. In all, New England has drafted just two wide receivers in the first round since it made WR Irving Fryar the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 draft.

New York Jets

Yes, please: The Jets have chosen defensive players with each of their past six first-round picks (they had two first-rounders in 2013). Three of those choices have been used on defensive backs: S Calvin Pryor in 2014 and CBs Dee Milliner in 2013 and Kyle Wilson in 2010. The other three were on linemen: DTs Sheldon Richardson in 2013 and Muhammad Wilkerson in 2011 and DE Quinton Coples in 2012. They also used first-rounders on defensive players in 2007 and 2008.
No, thank you: The Jets haven't taken a running back in the first round since Blair Thomas in 1990. They took Keyshawn Johnson No. 1 overall in 1996, but they have used just one first-rounder on a wide receiver since then ( Santana Moss in 2001).

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Yes, please: Each of the Ravens' past three first-round picks have been used on defenders, including two defensive backs (S Matt Elam in 2013 and CB Jimmy Smith in 2011). LB C.J. Mosley in 2014 was the other defensive player in that span.
No, thank you: The Ravens have taken just one running back in the first round since 1992 (when the franchise was in Cleveland). Jamal Lewis was the first-round pick in 2000.

Cincinnati Bengals

Yes, please: The Bengals have selected corners in the first round in four of the past nine drafts, including Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard last year. The others: Dre Kirkpatrick in 2012, Leon Hall in 2007, and Johnathan Joseph in 2006.
No, thank you: The Bengals have taken just one wide receiver ( A.J. Green) in the first round since 2000 and only two in the first round since 1986.

Cleveland Browns

Yes, please: As any Browns fan surely can tell you, three of the past 10 first-rounders have been used on quarterbacks (that long "arrrrggggghhhh" you hear is from Browns fans, considering the three QBs are Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and Johnny Manziel).
No, thank you: Perhaps one reason the quarterbacks have failed is that the Browns have taken a wide receiver in the first round just once since they were resurrected as a franchise in 1999; Braylon Edwards was the first-round pick in 2005.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Yes, please: The Steelers have gone with defense in the first round five times in the past eight drafts, including three linebackers. The linebackers: Ryan Shazier in 2014, Jarvis Jones in 2013, and Lawrence Timmons in 2007. The other defenders were linemen Cameron Heyward (2011) and Ziggy Hood (2009)
No, thank you: Pittsburgh has taken just one defensive back in the first round this century -- and just one since 1997. USC S Troy Polamalu was the first-round pick in 2003. The Steelers have taken just three DBs in the first round since making CB Rod Woodson their first-round selection in 1987. In addition, the Steelers haven't taken an offensive tackle in the first round since 1996.

AFC South


Houston Texans

Yes, please: Eight of the Texans' past 10 first-round picks have been used on defensive players, including five on defensive linemen ( Jadeveon Clowney in 2014, J.J. Watt in 2011, Amobi Okoye in 2007, Mario Williams in 2006 and Travis Johnson in 2005). The other three defenders: LB Whitney Mercilus in 2012, CB Kareem Kackson in 2010 and LB Brian Cushing in '09.
No, thank you: Houston has taken just one offensive lineman in the first round in its short history, OT Duane Brown in 2008. And the Texans never have taken a running back or tight end in the first round (their first draft was in 2002).

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Indianapolis Colts

Yes, please: The Colts have used two of their past four No. 1s (they didn't have one in 2014) on defensive ends -- Bjoern Werner in 2013 and Jerry Hughes in 2010.
No, thank you: The Colts have used only one first-round pick on a defensive back since 1984; they took Marlin Jackson in 2005. In addition, the Colts have used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman just once since 1997 (OT Anthony Castonzo, in 2011) and only twice since 1984.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Yes, please: Five of the past six first-rounders have been offensive players, including two quarterbacks in a four-year span ( Blake Bortles in 2014 and Blaine Gabbert in 2011). The only defensive player in that time frame was DT Tyson Alualu.
No, thank you: The Jags have taken just one defensive back in the first round this century, and that was in 2007, when they chose FS Reggie Nelson; he was a bust for Jacksonville but has played well for Cincinnati. And the Jags haven't taken a running back in the first round since 1998, when they drafted Fred Taylor.

Tennessee Titans

Yes, please: The Titans have used each of their past two first-rounders on offensive linemen: G Chance Warmack in 2013 and OT Taylor Lewan last year. But the 2013 selection was the first time they had taken an offensive lineman in the first round since 1993 and only the fourth time since 1984.
No, thank you: Tennessee hasn't taken a linebacker in the first round since 2000. The Titans took Keith Bulluck that year.

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Yes, please: The Broncos have spent each of their past three first-rounders on defensive players, one for each level of their defense -- CB Bradley Roby in 2014, DT Sylvester Williams in 2013, and LB Von Miller in 2011. The only positions they have doubled-up on in the past 10 drafts is defensive end ( Robert Ayers in 2009 and Jarvis Moss in 2007) and quarterback (Tim Tebow in 2010 and Jay Cutler in 2006).
No, thank you: Denver has picked just one running back in the first round ( Knowshon Moreno, in 2009) since 1989. In addition, the Broncos' selection of Roby in the first round in 2014 was the first time they used a first-round pick on a DB since 2001 and only the third time since 1989, when they drafted S Steve Atwater.

Kansas City Chiefs

Yes, please: The Chiefs love themselves some defensive linemen. Five times in the past nine drafts (which encompasses 10 first-round picks), KC has nabbed a defensive lineman in the first round. DT Dontari Poe and DE Tamba Hali have paid off. The jury is out on DE Dee Ford, but DE Tyson Jackson, and DT Glenn Dorsey didn't live up to lofty expectations.
No, thank you: The Chiefs haven't taken a quarterback in the first round since 1983 (Todd Blackledge). That's the longest current stretch without a first-round quarterback for any team.

Oakland Raiders

Yes, please: Oakland has taken a linebacker with two of its past three first-round picks ( Khalil Mack in 2014 and Rolando McClain in 2010). The Raiders also have taken six defensive backs in the first round this century: D.J. Hayden in 2013, Michael Huff in 2006, Fabian Washington in 2005, Nnamdi Asomugha in 2003, and Derrick Gibson in 2001.
No, thank you: The Raiders have taken just one wide receiver in the first round since 1988, when they snared Tim Brown; that was Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2007.

San Diego Chargers

Yes, please: San Diego has taken a defensive player with eight of its past 11 first-round picks (the Chargers had two first-rounders in 2005). There have been three linemen (Luis Castillo in 2005, Larry English in 2009, and Corey Liuget in 2011), three defensive backs ( Jason Verrett in 2014, Antoine Cason in 2008, and Antonio Cromartie in 2006) and two linebackers ( Melvin Ingram in 2012 and Shawne Merriman in 2005).
No, thank you: The Chargers took offensive linemen in the first round in 1985 and 1986 but have selected just one offensive lineman in the first round since, in 2013 with D.J. Fluker.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Yes, please: The Cowboys have used three of their past four first-round selections on offensive linemen -- Zack Martin in 2014, Travis Frederick in 2013, and Tyron Smith in 2011. Until this recent run, Dallas hadn't taken an offensive lineman in the first round since 1981.
No, thank you: The Cowboys have taken just one wide receiver in the first round ( Dez Bryant in 2010) since 1991. And the last time Dallas drafted a quarterback in the first round is 1989.

New York Giants

Yes, please: The Giants have taken a defensive back in the first round three times in the past eight drafts: CB Prince Amukamara in 2011, S Kenny Phillips in 2008 and CB Aaron Ross in 2007.
No, thank you: The Giants have taken just one defensive tackle in the first round since 1976 (William Joseph, in 2003). And Justin Pugh's selection in 2013 was just the second time the Giants used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman since 1989.

Philadelphia Eagles

Yes, please: Eight of their 13 first-rounders this century have been defensive players, including six picks on defensive linemen (Louisville's Marcus Smith was listed as an end when he was drafted in the first round last year, but if he ever sees the field, it likely will be as a linebacker).
No, thank you: There's a lot of buzz about the Eagles taking a wide receiver in the first round this year, but they would have to buck a lot of history to do so. Philadelphia has taken a wide receiver in the first round just twice since 1984, in 2001 with Freddie Mitchell and in '09 with Jeremy Maclin. (Interestingly, Maclin, Mitchell and QB Donovan McNabb, who was the first-rounder in 1999, are the lone first-round non-linemen picked offensively since TE Keith Jackson in 1988.)

Washington Redskins

Yes, please: Washington has used three of its past 10 first-round picks on a quarterback: Robert Griffin III in 2012, Jason Campbell in 2005 and Patrick Ramsey in 2002. The Redskins were without first-round selections in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2014.
No, thank you: The Redskins haven't taken a running back in the first round since 1967, and 1963 was the last time they used a first-round selection on a tight end. (Kudos if you can name the players: RB Ray McDonald in 1967 and TE Pat Richter in 1963.)

NFC North


Chicago Bears

Yes, please: Seven of their past 11 first-round picks have been used on linemen -- four on offensive guys and three on defensive guys. The seven: OT Marc Colombo, DE Michael Haynes, DT Tommie Harris, OT Chris Williams, OT Gabe Carimi, DE Shea McClellin and G Kyle Long.
No, thank you: The Bears have taken just one wide receiver in the first round (Michigan's David Terrell, in 2001) since they selected USC's Curtis Conway (now an NFL Network analyst) with their first-round pick in 1993.

Detroit Lions

Yes, please: The Lions also have been lineman-heavy; they have used a first-round pick on a lineman five times in the past seven drafts (that covers nine first-round picks). Two have been used on offensive tackles ( Gosder Cherilus and Riley Reiff), one on a defensive end (Ziggy Ansah) and two on defensive tackles ( Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh).
No, thank you: The Lions haven't taken a defensive back in the first round since 1998, when Tennessee CB Terry Fair was their first-rounder.

Green Bay Packers

Yes, please: The Packers have used their past three first-round picks and seven of their past nine on defenders. The seven: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (2014), DE Datone Jones (2013), LBs Nick Perry (2012), Clay Matthews (2009) and A.J. Hawk (2006) and DTs B.J. Raji (2009) and Justin Harrell (2007). The only two first-rounders in that span who weren't defensive players were used on OTs Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod.
No, thank you: The last time the Packers took a running back in the first round was 1990. And Green Bay has selected just one wide receiver (Javon Walker, in 2002) in the first round since 1988.

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Minnesota Vikings

Yes, please: Minnesota has had 13 first-round picks in the past 10 drafts, including seven in the past three. Two of their past eight picks have been used on quarterbacks -- but those were just three years apart ( Teddy Bridgewater in 2014 and Christian Ponder in 2011). The Vikings also have taken three wide receivers in the past 10 years ( Cordarrelle Patterson in 2013, Percy Harvin in 2009 and Troy Williamson in 2005).
No, thank you: The Vikings never have taken a tight end in the first round in their existence. And Minnesota has selected just one offensive lineman (OT Matt Kalil) in the first round in the past 12 drafts and just two in the first round since 1995.

NFC South


Atlanta Falcons

Yes, please: In the past 10 years, Atlanta hasn't selected more than two players at any position; there have been two wide receivers ( Julio Jones and Roddy White), two offensive tackles ( Sam Baker and Jake Matthews) and two defensive linemen (Jamaal Anderson and Peria Jerry) in that span.
No, thank you: The Falcons haven't taken a tight end in the first round since 1980 (Junior Miller).

Carolina Panthers

Yes, please: The Panthers are another team that has avoided loading up at one position. In the past 10 drafts, Carolina has taken as many as two players at just two positions: running back ( Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) and linebacker ( Jon Beason and Luke Kuechly). Thomas Davis was listed as a safety when he was drafted in 2005, but he quickly was converted to linebacker.
No, thank you: Kelvin Benjamin's selection last year was the first time the Panthers had used a first-round pick on a wide receiver since 1997. In addition, Carolina never has taken a tight end in the first round in its history (its first draft was in 1995).

New Orleans Saints

Yes, please: Three of the Saints' past six first-round picks have been defensive backs -- Texas S Kenny Vaccaro in 2013, Florida State CB Patrick Robinson in 2010 and Ohio State CB-turned-S Malcolm Jenkins in 2009.
No, thank you: OT Jammal Brown was the Saints' first-round pick in 2005 and is the only offensive lineman taken in the first round by New Orleans since 1998, when OT Kyle Turley was selected.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yes, please: The Bucs have used five of their past eight first-round picks on defensive players -- S Mark Barron in 2012, E Adrian Clayborn in 2011, T Gerald McCoy in 2010, CB Aqib Talib in 2008 and DE Gaines Adams in 2007. Only one (McCoy) still is with the team..
No, thank you: The Bucs have taken just two offensive linemen in the first round since 1991 (that was OT Charles McRae, who didn't pan out). There was G Davin Joseph in 2006 and OT Kenyatta Walker in 2001.

NFC West


Arizona Cardinals

Yes, please: Three of the Cardinals' past seven first-round picks have been used on defensive backs: S Deone Bucanon, CB Patrick Peterson and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. And four of their past 10 first-rounders have been DBs, as Antrel Rolle was the first-round pick in 2005.
No, thank you: The Cardinals have taken a defensive lineman in the first round just once in the past 11 drafts; that was Dan Williams in 2010.

San Francisco 49ers

Yes, please: Each of the past two first-rounders were used on safeties: Eric Reid in 2013 and Jimmie Ward in 2014. San Francisco also has picked defenders in the first round in three of the past four drafts (the two safeties plus Aldon Smith in 2011).
No, thank you: The 49ers haven't taken a running back in the first round since 1994 (William Floyd). And the selection of Vernon Davis in 2006 was the first time the 49ers had used a first-round pick on a tight end since 1978.

Seattle Seahawks

Yes, please: The Seahawks haven't had a first-round pick since 2012 and don't have one in the first round this year, either. Two of their past three first-rounders were used on offensive linemen ( James Carpenter in 2011 and Russell Okung in 2010), and four of their past six have been used on linemen (the two offensive guys plus DEs Lawrence Jackson in 2008 and Bruce Irvin in 2012, though Irvin now plays linebacker).
No, thank you: Seattle hasn't taken a quarterback in the first round since 1993, when they selected Rick Mirer with the No. 2 overall pick (presumably, that scared them off the position for a good, long while). Actually, Seattle isn't big on offensive skill-position players in the first round: The Seahawks have selected one wide receiver (Koren Robinson, in 2001) in the first round since 1995 and one running back (Shaun Alexander, in 2000) in the first round since 1986.

St. Louis Rams

Yes, please: The Rams have used a first-round pick on a defensive lineman five times in the past eight drafts (that covers 10 total picks). There were three ends ( Robert Quinn in 2011, Chris Long in 2008 and Adam Carriker in 2007) and two tackles ( Aaron Donald in 2014 and Michael Brockers in 2012).
No, thank you: The Rams have used a first-round pick on a linebacker just twice since 1981 (Georgia's Alec Ogletree in 2013 and UCLA's Robert Thomas in 2002). And they have chosen a wide receiver in the first round just once since 1999 -- West Virginia's Tavon Austin in 2013.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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