2012 NFL Draft First Round Predictions: Defense Will Dominate the Opening Round

Morris Claiborne
LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne spectacularly flunked the Wonderlic test that measures NFL prospects' intelligence, scoring a 4 out of a possible 50.

The top of this year's NFL Draft might be dominated by offensive stars, but defense is most likely to rule the first night of the draft.

In looking at recent history, it would appear that a lot of defensive players will be taken in the first round  Over 54 percent of the first round picks in the past 12 years have played on the defensive side of the ball.

Since 2000, the position drafted most in the opening round is defensive back. Sixty-four corners or safeties have been chosen in the first round since the start of the new millennium.

Morris Claiborne from LSU is the unanimous top-rated cornerback in the draft. He's expected to be taken in the top five picks, and could go to the Browns at number four. Safety Mark Barron will probably be the second defensive back selected.

The recent trend is not expected by many to continue, at least in the first few picks. Most experts believe six of the first eight picks will be offensive players.

Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are certain to be the first two picks. Offensive tackle Matt Kalil and running back Trent Richardson are likely to be the next two players selected.

The second most likely positions to be drafted are defensive end and wide receiver. Justin Blackmon out of Oklahoma State will be the first wide out taken, and is likely to go in the top six. Notre Dame's Floyd should be the second receiver to be drafted.

The position that historically gets drafted the least in the first round is quarterback. Only 32 quarterbacks have been taken in the first round since 2000. Mike Tannehill from Texas A&M is projected to go to Miami at eight overall. There's a chance Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden could go in round one, but he probably won't be taken until the second round.

The Colts have the first pick of this year's draft, which gets underway Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET.

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