Most successful players taken first overall


Bruce Smith is one of the best draft picks in NFL history. Photo of the United States today.

Like 2021 NFL Draft approaches, with the first selection, but already made by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the excitement grows.

Clemson’s superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence is going to be taken with the prestigious pick.

Top picks in first place in NFL draft

Let’s go back to the shoes he hopes to fill.

Here are the top five overall picks in NFL Draft history.

5. Troy Aikman, QB, Cowboys – 1989

In the Super Bowl era, there were 54 NFL Drafts.

In this half-century, 25 of the top overall picks have been used on the Quarterback position. This is the prime position in football, and if a team has the top pick in the overall standings, chances are they will need it. Troy aikman starts our list here, the first overall pick in 1989. It was the first pick made by Jerry jones as owner of Dallas Cowboys – and what a choice it was.

When Aikman was drafted, out of UCLA, he was joining a team that drafted Michael irvin a year ago in the first round. Then, a year later, they wrote Emmitt Smith. They’ve drawn Hall of Fame to WR, QB and RB in three straight first-round picks.

It was with this trio that the Cowboys rose to the top of the NFL and dominated the 90s. Troy Aikman won 3 Super Bowls and made 6 Pro Bowls in his 12 year career. During that time, he completed 2,898 passes for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful quarterbacks of all time and is without a doubt one of the best overall first picks in NFL Draft history.


4. John Elway, QB, Colts [Traded to the Broncos] – 1983

Among the few infamous players who were drafted and then traded to another team, there’s one person at the top of the pile.

Eli manning deserves a shout out, but he just can’t compete with the best overall first pick to never pay for the team that picked him, John elway.

The Baltimore Colts “won” the first draft in the 1983 draft and won the Stanford QB with strong arms. However, Elway didn’t want to play for Baltimore. His father publicly stated that he would “never” play for them and six days later he was traded to the Denver Broncos.

The trade sent a first round of 1984, QB Mark Hermann and OT Chris Hinton at the Colts and Elway became a star for Denver.

Another Hall of Fame, John Elway won 2 Super Bowls, an MVP and went to 9 Pro Bowls. In his 16-season career, spent entirely with Denver, he started 231 games and won 148. He threw 300 touchdowns (another 12e all weather) and 51,475 yards (10e All the time). In just 2 of his 16 seasons – and one was his first – he had a losing record in his starts. Elway is one of the best QBs of all time and the fact that he did it from 23 to 38 with just one team makes him even more impressive.

3. Terry Bradshaw, QB, Steelers – 1970

The first Super Bowl took place in 1967. In 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Terry bradshaw be their quarterback.

In January 1980, Bradshaw and the Steelers celebrated their fourth Super Bowl title. It’s not just about making the right choice in the project; it was the start of the Super Bowl era, absolutely dominated by a team and a player.

In his four Super Bowl wins, he won two SB MVPs and is one of the most successful players in NFL history.

Bradshaw played 14 seasons with Pittsburgh, throwing 212 touchdowns and 27,989 yards at a time when passing was much less powerful than today. He had fantastic defense behind him and all good QBs need guns, but Terry Bradshaw is the face of the start of the Super Bowl era and he’s 100% one of the best first picks ever. .

2. Bruce Smith, DE, Bills – 1985

Someone who is not a quarterback! As you can imagine, for someone to squeeze through this list playing any other position is quite a challenge. And a defensive end? Bruce smith was so good at what he did. And what did he do? He sacked the quarterback a lot.

There have been some amazing rushes over the years, without a doubt, and you can debate who’s the best there is. I won’t hear any arguments, though – he’s the best non-QB to ever come out on top in the NFL Draft.

the Buffalo bills Drafted him out of Virginia Tech in 1985 and he spent 19 years in the league, with 15 seasons on the team that selected him.

To this day, Bruce Smith remains the all-time leader in sacks, with 200 career sacks recorded. Behind him are incredible names, with Reggie White out of 198 and the next best all the way back to 160 for Kevin greene.

The two closest players who are still currently signed up for NFL teams are Von Miller (106) and JJ Watt (101), so his record looks secure for a long time, to say the least.

Bruce Smith is one of the best players in the NFL and one of the top 5 defensive players, without a doubt. And, for my money, he’s just a shy of the NFL’s best first pick in history.

1. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts – 1998

This one is no surprise, I’m sure. One of the best QBs to ever play the game and the best overall first pick in NFL Draft history, without a doubt – Peyton manning.

When the Indianapolis Colts drafted the HOF QB out of Tennessee, they had no idea how good that would be. He won 2 Super Bowls, 5 MVPs and went to the Pro Bowl 14 times in 17 career seasons. Manning sits near the top of almost every statistic.

He’s third all-time in touchdowns with 539, just behind Tom brady and Drew brees. His 71,940 passing yards are also third.

In his rookie season, he went 3-13 with the struggling team, then proceeded to just one more losing season in his career.

He has a career record of 186-79 and is one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen. The first of his Super Bowl wins came in SB XLI, then the second came when he won with the Denver Broncos in SB 50. The fiftieth Super Bowl was Manning’s last game in the NFL and he took his champion retirement, at 39 years old. He won 200 games (both regular and playoff) and retired in the lead.

Peyton Manning is one of the best and most successful players of all time and the best player ever to be selected for No. 1.



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