Most offensive players picked in first round of NFL Draft: Chiefs’ Xavier Worthy pick set new record in 2024

Defensive prospects — prepare to be offended.

After years of making rule changes to benefit the offensive side of the ball, teams across the NFL set a record in 2024 when it comes to drafting for offense. They shattered the previous record of 19 and set a mark that will be hard to beat even in the best offensive drafts

Here is everything you need to know about the most offensive players picked in the first round of the NFL Draft and how that compares to recent years.

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Most offensive players picked in first round of NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft broke the record for the most offensive players selected in the first round with 23 in total. The Chiefs selected Texas receiver Xavier Worthy as the 20th offensive player and the first 14 players selected Thursday all came on the offensive side of the ball.

Before the 2024 NFL Draft, the most lopsided example came most recently in 2009, when 19 offensive players were drafted in the first round. That draft was headlined by former Lions and current Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and featured seven of the first 10 picks being used on offensive players.

In total, 19 players have been selected in the opening round three times, with 1968 and 2004 being the other examples.

The NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, which also expanded the amount of picks in the first round of the draft every year.

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While the league has placed a heightened emphasis on offense over time, the results of the first round typically have represented a 50-50 split (or close to it). 

MORE NFL DRAFT: Top 10 RBs | Top 10 WRs

NFL Draft offensive first round picks by year

While the commonly held belief is that the NFL is offense-first, draft results in recent history show otherwise. Teams are still investing premium picks in defensive prospects, contributing to a fairly even split through the years.

Here’s a look at the number of offensive players selected in Round 1 dating back to 2009:

Year Offensive players drafted in Round 1
2024 23
2023 15
2022 16
2021 18
2020 18
2019 14
2018 17
2017 13
2016 15
2015 17
2014 14
2013 14
2012 15
2011 16
2010 14
2009 19

Source

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