With the NFL Draft having come and gone, it is nice to look back at where the NFL players were drafted in their respective year, and what team drafted them. The NFL Draft helps give teams a perspective on what they need to help improve their team, and what kind of way they want to move their team forward. Teams decide if they are in a rebuilding year, or if they are going to go all out and try and be Super Bowl contenders.
There has been eighty one players that have been taken number one overall (1936-2017), and thirty three of them have been quarterbacks. Quarterbacks are the most important position to account for not only in the NFL Draft, but during training camp and the regular season as well. Without a quarterback an NFL’s team offense would not run as effectively as it does with one. With that being said since 1993 there has been fifteen quarterbacks, that have been selected with the number one overall pick.
There have been quarterbacks that have had solid all-around careers, are currently having great careers, and some that have been considered a bust. Some of these fifteen quarterbacks have made the Pro Bowl, some of the quarterbacks have had some playoff success, and others have even won a Super Bowl or Super Bowls. Others have not made a Pro Bowl, struggled in the regular season so bad that they have not seen the post season, and have never won awards in their National Football career. That being said here are the 15 Previous Quarterbacks taken with the number one overall pick.
15. JaMarcus Russell (2007)
JaMarcus Russell is the biggest bust not only in the past ten years, but could be considered the biggest bust in NFL history. Russell lasted only three years in the National Football League (2007-2009), and only appeared in 31 games and started only 25 of them. Russell’s career record was an embarrassing 7-18, and did not win more than five games in a single season.
JaMarcus just did not have what it took to be a good NFL quarterback, as he did not have the drive to make an extra effort to help make a team win in the National Football League. He tried making a comeback into the league twice, but he failed miserably. Russell showed up overweight, and did not take care of his body at all. He is considered one of the worst draft picks in NFL history and you can see why.
14. Jared Goff (2016)
With the Los Angeles Rams in desperate need of a quarterback, they selected Jared Goff with the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Goff was selected at first to be the face of the Rams for the future, but going into Week 1 last season he was the backup. Jeff Fisher who was the coach at the time decided that Goff would be the backup to start the season, to learn and get a feel for the National Football League. With their starting quarterback Case Keenum struggling they decided to go with Goff as their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
The Rams struggled and Goff finished his rookie season with an 0-7 record. Goff threw for 1,089 passing yards to go along with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. With the small sample size that Goff has given so far, he still has time to be able to turn things around.
13. Tim Couch (1999)
The Cleveland Browns drafted Tim Couch number one overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. Couch played five seasons in the National Football League and only put together one winning season. In his rookie year he started in fourteen games and finished with a 2-12 record that went along with 2,447 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The only good season that Tim Couch had was in 2002 when he finished 8-6 record, and the Browns were 9-7 and made the playoffs. Couch played his best football, but unfortunately on the last week of the regular season, he broke his leg which made him miss their playoff game. In his five year career Couch finished with a 22-37 record, and he threw for 11,131 passing yards to go along with 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions. Cleveland missed completely when they had the first overall pick in 1999 as they passed on Donovan McNabb, and Dante Culpepper, and many more great all-around talented players.
12. David Carr (2002)
The Houston Texans were an expansion team and their very first NFL Draft pick was David Carr in the 2002 NFL Draft. Carr spent five seasons in Houston and needless to say he was not the quarterback that Houston thought he was going to be. He won no more than seven games in his five year tenure in Houston, and struggled on the field. After his five seasons in Houston he spent one year in Carolina (2007) in which he started four games, then went to the Giants (2008-2009) where he backed up Eli Manning, then went to San Francisco (2010), then ended up back with the Giants in 2012. In his 10 year career Carr finished with a 23-56 record, to go along with 14,452 passing yards, 65 touchdowns and 71 interceptions. Even though Houston did not miss out on a quarterback who had a successful career, but they did pass on Julius Peppers who is currently having a great career.
11. Sam Bradford (2010)
The St. Louis Rams (now known as the Los Angeles Rams) needed a quarterback desperately after they rolled through the 2009 season with Kyle Boller as their starter. They obtained the number one overall pick and selected the former Oklahoma Sooner Sam Bradford. Since entering the NFL, Sam Bradford has never posted a winning record, and has never won more than seven games in a single season. Bradford played four years in St. Louis, one year in Philadelphia, and oneseason in Minnesota. He has only played in all 16 games in the regular season only twice in his six year career so far, and has been one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the past ten years.
In his six year career so far, he has tallied a 32-45-1 record, to go along with 18,867 passing yards, 98 touchdowns and 57 interceptions. He has plenty of time to make a playoff appearance, but the way his career has started off the chances of it are slim to none.
10. Michael Vick (2001)
The Atlanta Falcons had the number one overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft and decided to select Michael Vick. He became the starting quarterback in the 2002 NFL season, as he played in fifteen out of sixteen regular season games and led the Falcons to a playoff win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card Game, and then lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Round. Vick was a good quarterback in Atlanta until he was suspended in 2007, and was in jail for two years due to dog fighting operation that he was running. After being released in 2009 Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for a one year deal, then he ended up spending a total of five seasons in Philadelphia.
In his 13 year career Vick finished with a record of 61-51-1, while adding 22,464 passing yards to go along with 133 passing touchdowns and 88 interceptions. If Vick didn’t go to jail for two years I believe that Michael Vick could have been one of the better quarterbacks of the 2000s.
9. Drew Bledsoe (1993)
In 1993 Drew Bledsoe was drafted number one overall by the New England Patriots. With the Patriots being a struggling team in the 90s Bledsoe helped turn the franchise into a team that made the playoffs every once in a while. In his nine years in New England he led the Patriots to one Super Bowl appearance while he was the starting quarterback (1996) in which they lost to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
Then in 2001, he suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest, and lost his starting gig to Tom Brady. Bledsoe did help the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl as he came in for Brady in the AFC Championship game and lead the Patriots to a victory of the Steelers to bring them back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1996. After that Bledsoe was traded to Buffalo in which he spent three seasons, and then finished his final two seasons in Dallas. In his 14 year career Bledsoe finished with an 98-95 record, adding 44,611 passing yards to go along with 251 touchdowns and 206 interceptions. If Bledsoe did not get hurt then the New England Patriots might not be as successful as they are today.
8. Jameis Winston (2015)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed a franchise quarterback and they got it when they selected Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Winston has two years under his belt, and has looked very impressive to say the least so far. In his two years of playing in the National Football League he has won Offensive Rookie of the Year, and has made a Pro Bowl. Winston has been the guy that Tampa Bay has needed and almost led the Buccaneers to a playoff appearance last season.
Winston has the most upside of any quarterback on this list due to the fact that he still has not entered the prime of his career yet. In his two seasons in the NFL he has posted a 15-17 record, while throwing for 8,132 passing yards to go along with 50 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. Look for Winston to be great for years to come and I will not be surprised if he has a Super Bowl title or two under his belt at the end of his career.
7. Matthew Stafford (2009)
The former Georgia Bulldog was taken number one overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft. The year before Stafford was drafted the Lions went 0-16 which is one of the worst seasons not only in NFL history, but in the history of professional sports. So needless to say that Stafford was a big time upgrade for the Lions. Stafford did not enjoy success in the National Football League until the 2011 NFL season. He has had three winning seasons in his career, and the Lions have made the post season in all three of those years.
In 2016 Stafford set an NFL record for most comeback wins in a single season with eight. Unfortunately he has never won a playoff game in his career, and is still looking for that illustrious first playoff win in his career. In his eight year career, he has tallied together a 51-58 record, while throwing for 30,303 passing yards to go along with 187 touchdowns and 108 interceptions. Stafford is in the prime of his career and he could potentially lead Detroit to the promise land.
6. Alex Smith (2005)
The San Francisco 49ers had the number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and selected Alex Smith. He has been one of the better regular season quarterbacks in the 2010’s, but has struggled when it has come to the post season. He spent his first seven seasons in San Francisco before being traded to Kansas City in 2013. Alex Smith has had consecutive winning seasons since being moved to Kansas City and he has not looked back.
The only thing he has struggled with since moving to the AFC is being able to win multiple playoff games. He has played in eleven seasons in the National Football League, and in those 11 seasons he has put together a 79-56-1 record. Smith also has thrown for 27,846 passing yards to go along with 157 touchdowns and 91 interceptions. He has a few years left to be able to take the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, but it looks like it will not happen.
5. Carson Palmer (2003)
Carson Palmer was drafted number one overall in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer sat out his rookie season to get a feel for the game, and became the starter in 2004. He is a three time Pro Bowler (2005, 2006, 2015), and has had five winning seasons so far in his career. Carson Palmer has won one playoff game in his career, and has made the playoffs three times in which he was healthy enough to play.
Palmer spent seven years in Cincinnati, two years in Oakland, and four years (so far) in Arizona. He was not successful in his tenure in Oakland, but has found his game in his time in Arizona so far. In his 13 year career, he has posted a 89-84-1 record while adding 44,269 passing yards, to go along with 285 touchdowns and 180 interceptions. Carson Palmer might never win a Super Bowl, but he has had a very solid career.
4. Andrew Luck (2012)
Luck was drafted first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts to replace the great Peyton Manning. He started off his career on a good note in his first three seasons, but then has not been the same due to injuries and inconsistent play. Luck led the Colts to three straight playoff appearances, but have not been since 2014.
Andrew Luck is looking to bounce back this upcoming season, but has all the potential in the world to be as good as Peyton Manning was for the Indianapolis Colts. In his five year career, he has thrown for 19,078 passing yards while adding 132 touchdowns and 68 interceptions. Luck has posted a 43-27 record, and now entering the prime of his career he has to live up to the expectations.
3. Cam Newton (2011)
The Carolina Panthers drafted Cam Newton number one overall in 2011 NFL Draft. Newton is a former MVP (2015) and three time Pro Bowler (2011, 2013, 2015), and has plenty of years left in his career. He has produced two winning seasons in his six year career, and has two playoff wins while both of them occurring in the 2015 season.
The former Auburn Tiger has had a great individual career so far, but he has not helped a team accomplish a Super Bowl title yet. In his six year career, he has tallied together a record of 51-40-1, while throwing for 21,172 passing yards to go along with 136 touchdowns and 78 interceptions. His tenure in Carolina has had its ups and downs, but all in all he has been a great quarterback for the Panthers.
2. Eli Manning (2004)
Eli Manning was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers number one overall in the 2004 NFL Draft, but was traded to the New York Giants for Phillip Rivers before the end of the first round. Eli has made two Super Bowl appearances (2007, 2011) and has won both of them against the New England Patriots and is a 2 time Super Bowl MVP.
Manning has had his fair share of great seasons, but he has also had his fair share of terrible seasons. Eli has been one of the best quarterbacks drafted number one in a long time. In his career he has posted a 108-91 record, while throwing for 48,218 passing yards to go along with 320 touchdowns and 215 interceptions. He has been a quality quarterback and has a few years left in the tank.
1. Peyton Manning (1998)
One of the best quarterbacks of the 2000s, Peyton Manning was taken number one overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Manning has had only two losing seasons in his whole 17 year illustrious career. He has been an all-time great and was named to the 2000s all decade team. His list of accomplishments is outstanding as he has been 14 time Pro Bowler, seven time All-Pro, two time Super Bowl champ, and a five time MVP.
Peyton Manning holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season (55) and the most touchdowns in a career (539). In his illustrious hall of fame career, Peyton Manning has posted a 186-79 record, while throwing for 71,940 passing yards while adding 539 touchdowns and 251 interceptions. Peyton is hands down a first ballot hall of famer and one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
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