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Position U safeties: Inside the 2012 draft

Mike Huguenin
Yahoo Sports

As a supplement to the "Position U" series, we take a look at the 2012 draft at the safety position:

Safeties are considered the last line of defense for a football team. They're also evidently the last thing on an NFL team's mind when it picks on draft day.

Only seven safeties have been selected in the first round in the past five drafts, and more than half of those (four) were taken in the 2007 draft.

There were no first-round safeties last year or in the 2009 draft. And it doesn't appear as if there will be a run on safeties this year, either, as just one (Alabama's Mark Barron) is considered a sure first-rounder.

One item of interest: The Pac-12 has had the most safeties selected (17) over the past five years; that is the only position that the conference leads in draft picks.

[ Roundtable: Who will live up to their draft hype – and which won't? ]

Spotlight position: Safety

"Position U" team: Miami
"Position U" draft possibilities this season: None
Number of safeties drafted last year: 17
First-round safeties last year: None
Number of safeties drafted in past five years: 94
"Position U" safeties drafted in past five years: Two (Kenny Phillips in first round in 2008, Brandon Meriweather in first round in 2007)
First-round safeties in past five years: Seven
Potential first-round safeties this year: Two (Alabama SS Mark Barron, Notre Dame SS Harrison Smith)
Conference breakdown in past five drafts: 17 from the Pac-12, 14 from the ACC, 12 from the SEC, eight each from the Big 12 and FCS schools, seven each from the Big East and Mountain West, six from the Big Ten, four from independent schools, three each from the MAC and Sun Belt, two each from Conference USA and the WAC and one from Division II schools
Conference breakdown of first-rounders in past five drafts: Three from the SEC and two each from the ACC and Big 12

Sources: nfl.com; draftmetrics.com

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