When it comes to the NFL draft, most coverage focuses on the potential superstars slated for selection in the first couple rounds. But taking a broader view of things, which positions seem to be most in demand? Which players, by position, are NFL teams most focused on?
We’ll break it into three groups, based on the percentage of players that sign with agents and how many actually make it into NFL camps (as draftees, UDFAs or tryout players). For more details — total number of players drafted, signed as UDFAs, made it to tryout camps, percentages of each, all by positions — click here.
Most in demand: If you’re an offensive lineman, your chances of wearing an NFL helmet, at least for a day, are pretty good. Centers were the second-most in-demand position, as 71.7 percent of them made it to camp as a draftee, undrafted free agent or camp tryout. When it comes to tackles, 63.6 percent made it to camp, while 64.9 percent of tight ends made it. Defensive ends (62.4 percent) were also popular. Who was most popular? Quarterbacks, which made it to camps at a 72.2 percent rate.
Somewhere in the middle: For positions like running back (52 percent), fullback (52 percent), wide receiver (52 percent), guard (58 percent), kicker (55), cornerback (54), defensive tackle (58) and inside linebacker (50), your odds are somewhere around 50-50.
Least in demand: Though safeties are far more valuable than they used to in the days of the slot receiver and the hybrid LB/S, they’re still least in demand. Free safeties made it to camp at a rate of 45.3, while strong safeties at 44.3. Punters were similar bottom-feeders, as only 44.4 percent of those that signed with agents actually made it to camp.