NFL’s best teams draft defensive players early

The last time the New England Patriots or Atlanta Falcons drafted an offensive skill-position player in the first round of the NFL draft, it was to grab Laurence Maroney in 2006 and Julio Jones in 2011, respectively. Of the last 10 teams to play in the Super Bowl — which includes two appearances each by the Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos — 62 percent of first-round picks in the four years leading up to their respective appearances were used on defensive players, compared to the league average of 52 percent. Why continue to draft offensive skill players when it doesn’t seem to yield championship-level rosters?