We can learn a lot about the 2011 NFL Draft by looking at the breakdown of picks by position. It was clear on Thursday just how deep and talented the defensive line spot was in the draft as a record 12 linemen were taken in the first round. The pace wasn't sustainable, but it was clear where the focus was in this draft as linemen on both sides of the ball came flying off the board.
As the draft wore on, cornerbacks became the position of the day, with 48 taken over the seven rounds. The versatility of college corners makes them appealing, with teams able to plug the players in on special teams for immediate playing time. The quarterback spot, however, wasn't as deep and only 12 were taken in the draft.
Here are the picks by position.
Quarterback: 12. The draft class was low of quality and quantity, but the No. 1 overall pick as a quarterback again this year. Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder were all taken in the first round.
Running back: 29, but only one was taken in the first round. Former Heisman winner Mark Ingram led the running backs out of the gates.
Wide receiver: 28, most of which came in the later rounds.
Tight end: 13, led by Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph.
Offensive line: 40. Teams were looking for line help and offensive linemen came off the board in bunches.
Defensive line: 45, 12 of which came in the first round. Those 12 picks were a new record as the depth of the defensive line position in the 2011 NFL Draft class showed.
Linebacker: 32, many of which were of the outside linebacker variety.
Cornerback: 48. Cornerbacks also came off the board in bunches as teams looked to bolster their secondary. Some will move to safety and many will make contributions on special teams.
Safety: 5. The safety position was a weakness in this draft class.
Kicker: 2, taken by the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons, oddly enough.
We'll be compiling all the post-draft notes in our 2011 NFL Draft recap StoryStream, including positional breakdowns, picks by conference, picks by school and more. Keep an eye on our post-draft StoryStream for interesting tidbits, facts, figures and all sorts of reaction. To find you favorite team, be sure to explore our 305 sports blogs for a local angle.