History made: 18 linemen selected in first round of 2013 NFL Draft

PHOENIX - Every April we settle in for the NFL Draft, hoping our team will select the perfect player who will catapult us into the playoffs. What used to be a two-day affair has been extended to three days now, but it never seems to lose its luster. It is, after all, the NFL Draft.

This year, we were treated to something rarely seen in late April: nine offensive linemen and nine defensive linemen selected in the first round. For the first time in decades, three offensive linemen were taken in the first four picks, and for the first time ever, it was three offensive tackles.

What may be even more surprising is the fact that just one quarterback was taken in the first round: E.J. Manual, by the Buffalo Bills.

Rounding out the top 32 picks of round one of the NFL Draft in 2013 were three wide receivers, seven defensive backs, one tight end and two linebackers.

Clearly this was one of the more "meaty" drafts in recent history, with all nine of the offensive linemen topping 300 pounds. In fact, the offensive linemen taken in the first round average 313 pounds.

The five defensive ends selected average 261 pounds and the four defensive tackles taken in the first round average a whopping 303 pounds.

This year's first round of the NFL Draft was definitely a departure from a quarterback heavy class -- or skill positions for that matter -- leaving many of us wondering who these guys are.

Let's face it: there just aren't many of us who actually watch offensive linemen during a football game. In fact, unless they're charged with a penalty or give up a sack, we'd watch an entire game without ever knowing who they were.

But the reality of this year's draft is the fact that football is still about blocking and tackling, and those guys in the trenches are invaluable to every football team in the NFL.

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