Texas' Johnson could change LB trend
Mel Kiper answers questions about some of the nation's best LBs, TEs, WRs, RBs and DEs.
Q: Why are fewer and fewer linebackers (particularly middle linebackers) being drafted in the first round? Even on your 2005 Big Board, there's only one linebacker. Are there fewer college players making an impact at that position? Who else this year has NFL potential at linebacker?
Ty, Portland, Ore.
KIPER -- That's a good question. In this year's draft, two linebackers went in the first round: Jonathan Vilma (No. 12, New York Jets) and D.J. Williams (No. 17, Denver Broncos). In the 2003 draft, the first linebacker didn't go until late in the first round (Nick Barnett, No. 29, Green Bay Packers).
In 2002, the first linebacker went at No. 23 (Napoleon Harris, Oakland Raiders), and then the St. Louis Rams drafted Robert Thomas later in the first round (No. 31). In 2001, Dan Morgan was the only linebacker drafted in round one (No. 11, Carolina Panthers).
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- NCAA settles concussion suit with $70M fund
- OU RB meets with police over alleged assault
- OK State has APR penalty rescinded by NCAA
- Kentucky great 'Wah Wah' Jones dies at 88
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- New World Graphics Men's Auburn Tigers Navy SEC Champions Tiger Football Long Sleeve T-Shirt