As a supplement to the "Position U" series, we take a look at the 2012 draft at that position:
Interior linemen aren't as valued in the draft's first round as offensive tackles. But as many centers have been taken in the first round as tight ends in the past five drafts (four), so teams are willing to spend a high pick on interior linemen.
In all, seven interior linemen have been taken in the past five drafts. That's a far cry from offensive tackles (25). Heck, six offensive tackles went in the first round last year alone.
There is one sure-fire first-rounder among interior linemen this year: Stanford guard David DeCastro. Two Wisconsin players, center Peter Konz and guard Kevin Zeitler, are possibilities.
One thing to watch in this draft is how many FCS interior linemen are selected. There were four last year, which tied with the Big Ten for the most selections.
[Rivals.com Position U.: Iowa best at producing interior linemen]
Spotlight position: Interior linemen
• "Position U" team: Iowa
• "Position U" draft possibilities this season: G Adam Gettis (projected to go 6th round or later)
• Number of interior linemen drafted last year: 19 (12 guards, 7 centers)
• 1st-round interior linemen last year: 2 (Florida C Mike Pouncey at No. 15 and Baylor G Danny Watkins at No. 23)
• Number of interior linemen drafted in past 5 years: 97
• "Position U" interior linemen drafted in past 5 years: 5 (G Julian Vandervelde in 5th round in 2011, G Kyle Calloway in 7th round in 2010, G Seth Olsen in 4th round in 2009, G Marshal Yanda in 3rd round in 2007 and G Mike Elgin in 7th round in 2007)
• 1st-round interior linemen in past 5 years: 7 (4 centers, 3 guards)
• Potential 1st-round interior linemen this year: 3 (Stanford G David DeCastro, Wisconsin C Peter Konz, Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler)
• Conference breakdown in past 5 drafts: 15 interior linemen from the SEC, 12 each from Big Ten and Big 12, 11 from ACC, 10 form Pac-12, 8 from Big East, 7 from Mountain West, 6 from FCS schools, 5 from WAC, 4 from MAC, 3 from independent schools, 2 from Division II schools and 1 each from Conference USA and Division III
• Conference breakdown of 1st-rounders in past 5 drafts: 3 from the SEC and 1 each from the Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and WAC
Sources: nfl.com; draftmetrics.com
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