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Why the Broncos should ... pick an offensive lineman at No. 5

Why the Broncos should ... pick an offensive lineman at No. 5
Published On: Sun, Apr 15
Feb 1, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (91) takes a selfie with Nickelodeon personality Pick Boy during Super Bowl 50 Opening Night media day at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

In all likelihood, only one offensive lineman in this year's draft class could possibly end up selected in the first five picks. That the lineman happens to play guard makes this possibility one of the most fascinating of this season.

Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson could be the most talented player at his position in this year's draft class, and is arguably the best guard prospect in the last 30 years.

But he's fighting headwinds in the form of decades of trends.

Simply put, guards are rarely drafted in the top 10 in the modern NFL, let alone the top 5. In the 51 years of the modern NFL Draft -- since the AFL and NFL had their first common draft in 1967 -- just 16 guards have been picked in the first 10 picks, with only five of them going in the first five selections.

What is interesting is the variance among guards drafted in the first 10 picks. Three of the 16 became Hall of Famers -- an astounding 18.5 pecent Hall of Fame rate, even accounting for the small sample size -- and another two became a two-time All-Pro selection (Bill Fralic, No. 2 overall by Atlanta, 1985) and 2015 No. 5 overall pick Brandon Scherff of the Redskins.

So while just 31.3 percent of the pure guards taken in the first 10 picks became Pro Bowl selections, 53.6 percent of those taken in the next 10 selections were Pro Bowlers, including eight All-Pros -- which, at 28.6 percent, is higher than the percentage of All-Pros from the first 10 picks (25.0 percent).

Read the complete news article here...


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