Ranking the last 20 number one overall NFL Draft picks.
From Michael Vick to Joe Burrow, the number one draft slot in the NFL Draft has received more attention every year. With 15 quarterbacks, three defensive ends, and two offensive tackles taken with the first pick over the last 20 years, we go in-depth to see how they stack up against each other.
The rankings were completed by considering the player’s success with the team they were drafted by, or in the case of Eli Manning the team they were traded to, overall career success and success compared to other players that the pick could have been used on. If a player played in a Super Bowl, won the Super Bowl, or was voted to the Pro Bowl or named an All-Pro, that obviously played a factor in how they ranked, even if it was a fluke.
As for the team-by-team breakdown, the Houston Texans led the pack, having had the first pick in the draft three of the last 20 years. The Cleveland Browns weren’t far behind, having the pick twice over the span after having it in 1999 and 2000 as well.
The Cincinnati Bengals also have held the pick twice as have the Los Angeles Rams, despite having to acquire it via trade in the 2016 draft. Oddly enough, the Chargers have held the pick twice, being in 2001 and 2004, but ended up trading the pick both times.
The rest of the selections have been one-and-done for the teams at the top, having 11 other teams make the first selection of the draft with perhaps the most surprising being the Indianapolis Colts landing the first pick after a single season without Peyton Manning.
So, without further ado, we’ll jump into it, beginning with the worst draft selection to kick off the draft of the last 20 years and work our way up to the best number one pick since 2001.