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Guards and centers a surer bet in draft

As the Giants try to figure out if they want to rebuild their offensive line from the outside in by selecting a tackle like Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, or if they want to rebuild from the inside out with a center like Florida’s Mike Pouncey, the folks at Draftmetrics released some interesting figures regarding how successful draft picks at either position have been since 1991. Here’s a look at how first and second round picks at the three main offensive line positions have made out in terms of starting and playing for at least one season:

TACKLES

Round
# Drafted Rookie Starters Start 1+ Year Play 1+ Year
1 81 68% 95% 100%
2 49 53% 90% 100%

GUARDS

Round # Drafted Rookie Starters Start 1+ Year Play 1+ Year
1 10 90% 100% 100%
2 29 59% 86% 97%

CENTERS

Round # Drafted Rookie Starters Start 1+ Year Play 1+ Year
1 8 88% 100% 100%
2 18 33% 89% 100%

You can click HERE to see the breakdown by position of all the rounds.

Here’s what Draftmetrics writes about the numbers it crunched:

"First round centers have been money in the bank. All 8 became starters and as a group have started 40 of their 44 years in the NFL. All but one started as a rookie and that player became a starter his second year. The earliest center drafted was Steve Everitt with the 14th pick in 1993.

First round guards have also been universally successful. All 10 were starters and as a group started 77 of their 81 years in the NFL. As with centers, all but one started as a rookie and that player became a starter in this second season. The earliest guard drafted was Chris Naeole with the 10th pick in 1997.

Tackles have been successful but are not as much of a sure thing as centers and guards. 55 (or 68%) of the 81 first round tackles started as rookies. Four of the first round picks never became starters (or in one case, haven’t so far): Stan Thomas (Bears, 1991), Trezelle Jenkins (Chiefs, 1995), Andre Johnson (Redskins, 1996), Andre Smith (Bengals, 2009). As a group, first round tackles started 436 of their 538 years in the NFL. Two tackles (Orlando Pace in 1997 and Jake Long in 2008) were taken with the first overall pick."

Something to think about if it comes down to having both Castonzo and Pouncey available to the Giants at 19 – or if they trade up to get either of the two.
 

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