No Wide Receivers In The First Round Of The 2008 NFL Draft?


One thing that was mentioned during this past 2008 NFL Draft, but didn’t get a ton of attention was the fact that not one wide receiver was drafted in the first round. With a premium on offensive players, usually there are some high profile wide receivers that get drafted early on. It wasn’t until the Rams took Donnie Avery a wide receiver from the University of Houston with the second pick in the second round that a wide receiver got to hear his name announced. That kind of opened the flood gates as a total of ten wide receivers were then selected in the second round. In just last year’s draft, a total of six wide receivers were taken in the first round, including one taken with the second overall pick (Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson going to the Detroit Lions).

Has this ever happened before? Has an entire first round gone by with no wide receiver being selected? Let’s see, here is a list of the number of wide receivers taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Number Of Wide Receivers Taken In The First Round:
2008 – 0
2007 – 6
2006 – 1
2005 – 6
2004 – 7
2003 – 3
2002 – 3
2001 – 6
2000 – 5
1999 – 3
1998 – 3
1997 – 4
1996 – 5
1995 – 3
1994 – 4
1993 – 3
1992 – 1
1991 – 4
1990 – 1
1989 – 3
1988 – 6
1987 – 3
1986 – 2
1985 – 4
1984 – 4
1983 – 1
1982 – 4
1981 – 2
1980 – 2
1979 – 2
1978 – 3
1977 – 2
1976 – 1
1975 – 1
1974 – 2
1973 – 5
1972 – 4
1971 – 4
1970 – 2

So, as you can see the answer is no. Never before since the AFL-NFL merger of 1970 has an entire first round of the NFL Draft gone by without a wide receiver being selected. So, if you watched the NFL Draft, you saw history being made.

Six different drafts (1975, 1976, 1983, 1990, 1992, and 2006) have only had one wide receiver taken in the first round. But, there is a technicality here. The 1990 NFL Draft had no wide receiver taken in the first round… technically. The New York Jets drafted Rob Moore out of Syracuse University with a first round pick, but it was a first round pick in the supplemental draft.

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