With the first overall pick int the NFL Draft the…..we’ve all heard it. When it comes to draft time the biggest and baddest hype is always surrounding the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell are constantly and will forever be associated with the No. 1 overall pick. But a recent trend is aiming to change that — a trend of talent.
Of the last 5 NFL Draft, all of the players that have been selected No. 1 overall will be starting when the season kicks off today. And not only will they be starting, but they will be starting because they’ve thoroughly earned their jobs and are set up for bright futures. Furthermore, four of the last five No. 1 overall picks have been dubbed “franchise” quarterbacks and have thus far lived up to the mantra.
First Overall Draft Choices
Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford.
Luck is really the only exception here but his impressive start to the preseason is boding well that he’ll join this group. Bradford could be argued to have underperformed, but entering his third year as an NFL quarterback, the jury is still out which is more than what could be said about Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, Tim Couch and David Carr.
Dating back to 1998, when Broncos starter Peyton Manning was drafted No. 1 overall by the Colts, 12 of the 15 first overall picks have been quarterbacks and of those 12, nine will be starting when their teams take the field and one will be serving as a backup (David Carr). Only Tim Couch and JaMarcus Russell are out of the NFL.
Only 3 players outside of quarterbacks have been selected first overall and two of them are joining the start party. Mario Williams and Jake Long will be starting for the Bills and Dolphins respectively and both have overcome the curse of being a No. 1 overall pick.
This trend towards talent is one of the reasons the NFL is the most popular sport in America. It was a trend to be a No. 1 bust in the 90’s from Rick Meir to Ki-Jana Carter. But of the last 15 first overall picks 11 will be hitting the field Sunday (well Eli Manning has technically already taken the field). It is yet to be seen if Andrew Luck can continue this trend and it’s unclear when this talent trend will end, but right now the NFL is in another Golden Age of talent and boy, oh boy is it sweet.