Ranking the Top 3 Selections of the Last 5 NFL Drafts

The last five NFL Drafts have consisted of some really good talent. The teams with the first three picks in the draft usually had a bad season the year before, giving them the advantage over everybody else at a good pick and the opportunity to change their franchise around. Some teams make a good pick but still have no success. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only team in the past five drafts that have had more than one top three selection with three of them and they still cannot get it right.

A top three pick in a draft can, not only change a team around for the upcoming season, but also change around the entire franchise for years to come. In the past decade, some players that were drafted top three include Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, LaVar Arrington, Calvin Johnson, Julius Peppers, Eli Manning, Andre Johnson, Donovan McNabb, and Larry Fitzgerald. Not only did these players help their respective franchises, but they also are some of the best players ever at their positions.

Although a lot of teams made the right decision with their picks, there are many teams that did no do so well. In the 1998 draft, the San Diego Chargers selected QB Ryan Leaf with the second overall pick. Leaf ended up being one of the biggest busts in NFL history, opposed to Peyton Manning who was selected before him. In the 2007 draft, the Oakland Raiders drafted QB JaMarcus Russell first overall, who also turned out to be a bust.

In the past five years, these are the teams that did well with their top three picks and teams that did not do so well.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Dante Fowler Jr.: Third Overall, Jacksonville Jaguars (2015)

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

During the first day of minicamp last year, Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL and missed his entire rookie season. This was devastating news, not only for Fowler, but for the Jacksonville Jaguars who had a lot of faith in him to make their team better. During his final season for the Florida Gators, Fowler had 60 tackles (15 for loss), 8.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles, earning him a trip to the first-team All-Southeastern Conference roster. There's still time for Fowler to remove himself from the bottom of this list, but at the moment, he's the most disappointing pick.

14 Dion Jordan: Third Overall, Miami Dolphins (2013)

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When the Miami Dolphins drafted DE Dion Jordan in 2013, they did not know how much of headache he would be. Jordan has the potential to be a great defender, which is why the Dolphins drafted him, but he's always in trouble. His second season, Jordan was suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy. Later on that same season, Jordan violated the drug policy once again and was given an additional two game suspension. His third year in the league was no better as he was suspended for the entire 2015 season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy. In 26 games, Jordan has 46 tackles and three sacks. If Jordan can stay out of trouble, he could be a top defender in the league.

13 Trent Richardson: Third Overall, Cleveland Browns (2012)

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns drafted RB Trent Richardson in 2012 hoping that he would bring them some help on offense and he did, even if it was for only one season. Richardson's rookie season he rushed 267 times for 950 yds and 11 rushing TDs, although the Browns weren't a good team. The following season, Richardson was surprisingly traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round draft pick. Richardosn ended up not having much success with the Colts and was released in 2015. The Oakland Raiders signed Richardson but he was released before the 2015-16 season. Richardson is currently a free agent and does not have a team yet. In three seasons, Richardson has rushed 614 times for 2,032 yards and 17 rushing TDs.

12 Eric Fisher: First Overall, Kansas City Chiefs (2013)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted OT Eric Fisher in order to get better protection for their QB and running game. However, Fisher has not helped the Chiefs out at all. Although the Chiefs had one of the best running games in the league, that was mostly due to star RB Jamal Charles and his talented backups. The passing game, on the other hand, has been at the bottom of the league since Fisher has been drafted. Being the first overall pick, the Chiefs must have noticed something in Fisher that nobody else saw. Hopefully, we will see that Fisher sooner rather than later.

11 Robert Griffin III: Second Overall, Washington Redskins (2012)

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III gave the Redskins hope for the first time in a while. In 15 regular season games for his rookie season, Griffin completed 65.6% of his passes and threw for 3,200 yardds and 20 TDs. Griffin also added 815 rushing yds and seven rushing TDs, earning him Rookie of the Year honors. Griffin led the Skins to a 10-6 record and their first playoff appearance in five seasons. Griffin's worst nightmare came during the playoffs of his rookie season against the Seattle Seahawks when he re-aggravated his LCL and ACL injuries, causing him to have surgery. Girffin has not been the same since then. In the 2014 season, he was benched after nine games and last season he did not play in a single game. This offseason Griffin has been given new life, as he has signed with the Cleveland Browns and will most likely be their starting QB.

10 Luke Joeckel: Second Overall, Jacksonville Jaguars (2013)

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a top 10 passing offense for the first time in 2015 since, who knows? However, that was due to QB Blake Bortles and his phenomenal receiving tandem, not thanks to OT Luke Joeckel. Their run offense has been terrible since Joeckel has joined the team, ranking in the bottom half all three seasons. The good part is Joeckel is still young and has time to grow into a better player at a position where it normally takes some time for players to find their feet.

9 Jadeveon Clowney: First Overall, Houston Texans (2014)

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After his massive hit with South Carolina in college on Michigan running back Vincent Smith, Jadeveon Clowney began receiving comparisons to Ray Lewis. Clowney came across the line in less than one second, forced a fumble, recovered the fumble, which set up a TD for his team the next play. When Clowney got to the NFL, things didn't go according to plan. His rookie season, Clowney only played in four games due to a torn meniscus and having micro fracture surgery. Last season, Clowney played in 13 games and recorded 40 tackles and four and a half sacks. If Clowney can get his confidence and work ethic up, as well as stay healthy, he can live up the the hype he had coming into the league.

8 Greg Robinson: Second Overall, St.Louis Rams (2014)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, during OT Greg Robinson's rookie season, the St. Louis Rams were ranked 20th overall in the rushing offense. Last season, the Rams were ranked seventh overall, and although they did draft some new RBs, Robinson was a part of opening holes for them to run through. This was only Robinson's second season and that was a pretty big difference between two seasons.  If Robinson keeps improving, the Rams could eventually have a good passing game if their QBs can stay healthy for a full season.

7 Marcell Dareus: Third Overall, Buffalo Bills (2011)

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The season prior to DT Marcell Dareus being drafted, the Buffalo Bills defense was ranked 24th overall. During Dareus' rookie season, the Bills defense improved to seventh overall, showing how much of an impact Dareus had on the Bills defense. So far in his career, Dareus has 253 tackles, 30.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He's also been a First-Team All_Pro selection and has made two Pro Bowls. If the Bills make some noise this year in the AFC East, Dareus will be a big reason why.

6 Marcus Mariota: Second Overall, Tennessee Titans (2015)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

When rookies come into the NFL, they want to make a good first impression and that is exactly what QB Marcus Mariota did with the Tennessee Titans. In his first regular season game against the first overall pick Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mariota had the best game any rookie QB can have. Mariota completed 13 of 15 passes for 209 yards and four TDs. Although he had a great first game, Maritoa did not finish the season that way. Mariota ended his rookie campaign by completing 62.2% of his passes for 2,818 yards, 19 TDs, and 10 INTs for a QB rating of 91.5. Mariota is a good QB and had a good season, but the Titans were only 3-13. Mariota will most likely have a better second year in the league if he can stay consistent.

5 Blake Bortles: Third Overall, Jacksonville Jaguars (2014)

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Bortles was predicted to be the best NFL-ready QB in his draft class, but in his rookie season, he did not show that talent. In 14 games, Bortles completed 58.9% of his passes for 2,908 yards, 11 TDs, and 17 INTs for a QB rating of 69.5. Bortles led the Jaguars to a 3-13 record and many started doubting if the Jaguars made the right pick. However, in his second season, Bortles showed that he was NFL-ready but completing 58.6 of his passes for 4,428 yards, 35 TDs, 18 INTs, and even had two rushing TDs in 16 games. The Jaguars went 5-11 and did not make the postseason again, but their offense showed a lot of promise, giving the Jaguars hope for the future. After having a career season last year, can Bortles improve more and lead the Jags to the playoffs?

4 Jameis Winston: First Overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015)

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

When players are selected first overall, they have a lot of expectations to live up to. Jameis Winston knew this and showed why he was selected first by the Bucs. In 16 games, Winston completed 58.2% of his passes and threw for 4,042 yards, 22 TDs and 15 INTs for a QB rating of 84.2. Winston also rushed for six TDs, earning him the Rookie of the Year honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl. Winston acheived some milestones during his rookie career, including throwing five TD passes in one game, which tied the rookie record. Winston also holds the Bucs rookie record for passing yards and TDs. The Bucs went 6-10 on the season, despite having many injuries. Winston has the potential to lead this team to the playoffs next season.

3 Von Miller: Second Overall, Denver Broncos (2011)

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Von Miller came into the league and made an immediate impact for the Broncos. Opposing offenses learned of Miller's name very quickly when he stepped on the field. In just five seasons, Miller has 204 tackles, 60 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 10 pass deflections, one interception, and one TD. Miller has helped the Broncos become one of the elite defenses in the league today, including helping them to two Super Bowls appearances (XLVIII and 50). Last season, the Broncos made it to Super Bowl 50 and were the underdogs to the 15-1 Carolina Panthers. However, the Panthers season meant nothing to Miller as the Broncos beat the Panthers 24-10 and Miller was named the Super Bowl MVP.

2 Andrew Luck: First Overall, Indianapolis Colts (2012)

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of debate on whether the Colts would draft Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck with the first overall pick to replace the legendary Peyton Manning as their new franchise QB. The Colts went with Luck and have not looked back. Although Luck lost out to Griffin for the Rookie of the Year Award, he still had a pretty good rookie season  Luck completed 54.1% of his passes for 4,374 yards and 23 TDs. Since his rookie season, Luck has gotten better and has made Colts fans forget all about Manning.His rookie season, he led the Colts to the playoffs with a 11-5 record but lost in the Wild Card round to the Baltimore Ravens. The following season Luck led the Colts to the playoffs again and made it to the Divisional Round but lost to the New England Patriots. His third season, Luck carried his team to the Conference Championship against the Patriots but lost again. Last season, Luck only played in seven games due to injury, causing the Colts to miss the playoffs. However, Luck is ready to bounce back.

1 Cam Newton: First Overall, Carolina Panthers (2011)

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton had the best season of his career, earning him his first NFL MVP Award. Newton led the panthers to a 15-1 record while completing 59.6% of his passes for 3,837 yards and 35 TDs. Newton also rushed for 636 yards and 10 rushing TDs. Newton carried his team all the way the Super Bowl 50 but fell short of the goal to the Denver Broncos. So far for his early career, Newton has completed 59.6% of his passes for 18, 263 yards and 117 TDs. Newton has also rushed for 3,207 yards and 43 rushing TDs. Newton was also awarded Rookie of the Year in 2011 and the future only looks good for Newton.

More in NFL