Evolution of the defensive end

As emphasis on pass-rushers has grown, average weight has declined

Originally Published: April 27, 2011
By Trevor Ebaugh | ESPN Stats & Information

In the modern era of the NFL, no more than seven defensive ends have been selected in the first round in a single year. However, ESPN NFL draft insider Todd McShay projects 11 defensive ends to go in the first round next week, which begs the question: Why the sharp increase? Could it be a cyclical result of the teams' current defensive ends aging, or an unusually deep pool of standout performers in the college ranks? It's possible, but the likely answer is something even more radical.

The ...

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