History of #1 & #2 Picks in the NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day

Goff and Wentz

The Eagles traded for the #2 pick from the Cleveland Browns. The Eagles sent five draft picks to the Browns: the No. 8 pick in the first round, a third-round pick (77th overall) and a fourth-round pick (100th overall) in this year’s draft, a first-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018. Cleveland also sends a fourth-round pick in 2017 to the Eagles.

Presumably, the Eagles are going to use the 2nd round pick to draft Cal’s Jared Goff or North Dakota States Carson Wentz, whichever is not drafted by the Ram’s at 1. I’m a firm believer that you need a stellar QB to win football games. If your team has a bad QB, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your team is because not only is it their job to score points, but it’s also their job not to give up points to the other team by means of turnovers. I understand the desire for a premier QB and why trading up seems like a good idea but it’s worth looking at how QB’s drafted 1 or 2 fare.

I’m going to set a 20 year time span and look at all the 17 QB’s drafted with the #1 and #2 picks and rank them based off performance.

Ranking of #1 & #2 Picked QB’s

    1. peyton-manning-020716-getty-ftrjpg_141e73vxk1t1n10o5m3h1e4bh9Peyton Manning – Peyton Manning played 13 years with the Colts and 4 with the Bronco’s winning 2 Super Bowls. “Manning is the first and only quarterback to achieve 200 career wins (regular and postseason),his five NFL MVP awards are a league record, he was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, was named to a record 14 Pro Bowls, has 14 4,000-yard passing seasons (NFL record), and is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (71,940) and touchdown passes (539). His career record was 186-79 and is being mired by some strange drug scandal that most likely will go away. His ability to market Papa John’s and Budweiser is also unquestioned.
    2. Cam_Newton_Dabbing_History_Why_Do_The_Panthers_DabCam Newton – Cam led the best regular season team to his first Super Bowl last year eventually losing to Peyton Manning’s Bronco’s. Known primary as a rushing QB during his first few years, he’s evolved into the most dynamic QB in the NFL. I would be shocked if he doesn’t win multiple Super Bowls considering he is only 26 years old. Known as Superman and bringing the Dab to extreme popularity, he has become America’s QB.
    3. The Eli disappointed face

      The Eli disappointed face

      Eli Manning – I ranked Cam ahead of Eli even though Eli has 2 rings and everyone knows rings are all that matter. Eli has always thrown tons of picks and tends to whine more than the average football player should. He miraculously beat the Patriots twice but hasn’t done much other than that. Eli’s career record is 97-86 which puts him at 6 more losses than his brother and 89 less wins.

    4. 833560_1280x720Donovan McNabb – No rings but he led the Eagles to 5 NFC championship games and one eventual defeat to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Donny lacked some accuracy but had Philadelphia heart and gave the team a decades worth of competitive football. He’s managed to stay in the limelight with boneheaded tweets and getting a multiple DUI’s.
    5. Me caveman

      Me caveman

      Andrew Luck – I hesitate to put Luck this high after a terrible season last year after getting hurt and only playing a total of 7 games in 2016. I would add that he played miserably during those games. However, he went 11-5 and made the playoffs for each of his first 3 seasons in the NFL which is impressive to say the least. He’s gotten spanked by the Patriots twice now in the playoffs and has yet to overcome that hurdle.

    6. carson-palmer-hulaCarson Palmer – No rings but still playing at the age of 36 and leading the Cardinals to the NFC championship game against the Panthers last year show’s he still has it. Tremendous accuracy as a passer but little to know playoff success. He’s running out of time to get that Super Bowl ring but he seems to possess the proper QB skills if the team around him is built correctly.
    7. "I don't throw downfield."

      “I don’t throw downfield.”

      Alex Smith – I’ve started to respect Alex Smith. They love using the term “game manager” and although I’d never want him as my fantasy QB, I think he wins football games. In his 10 year career he’s only seen the playoffs 3 times winning 1 game twice. He needs to get riskier to start becoming an elite QB and he seems content to dink and dunk and play within his limits which doesn’t win Super Bowls.

    8. Matthew-Stafford-Kelly-Fiancee-Suh-RodgersMatthew Stafford – 0-2 in playoff games and seems to be on the decline. He threw for 5,000 yards one season which seems to be his claim to fame. His career record is 42-51. He has a smokeshow wife though and played blackjack next to Sam one time. You could certainly argue that he deserves to be much much lower on this list.
    9. 1410069065000-USATSI_8069615Marcus Mariota – Obivously too early to call at this stage in his career but doesn’t seem to be heading into bust territory even though he put up a measly 3 wins in 12 games. He’s got decent legs and is working with no WR’s in Tennessee currently. I’d give him a chance and see if he develops.
    10. img24238608Jameis Winston – Jameis has pure ability. Whether that develops into QB skills is another story. His off the field antics have earned him a lousy reputation but he hasn’t been in the news in a while so maybe he’s starting to take his role seriously. He did manage to become the youngest player in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards even though his team was only 6-10 with him at the helm so there is certainly upside.
    11. 18f15dkjzpal8jpgMichael Vick – Ahh the dog fighter. Vick has been in the playoffs 3 times during his 14 year career winning 2 total games. The epitome of a running QB with no passing accuracy. Aside from a few decent years with the Falcons, and 1 career year with the Eagles where Matthew Berry said it made sense to take him with the #1 pick in fantasy drafts, he’s been a bust. How he is still playing shows how hard it is to get a decent QB in the NFL.
    12. Wonky eye

      Wonky eye

      Sam Bradford – I think Sam Bradford is horrible. At the beginning of last season when he torched the Packers in preseason, I was all over the hype. I thought the system would play perfectly into his strengths and he would produce HUGE fantasy numbers. Boy was I wrong. He sucks. He’s actually better when he’s hurt because at least he’s not sucking on the field. If you wanted to argue and put him last on this list I would say I’m fine with it. It’s like he’s just mediocre at everything and in a league where you need to be at least elite at something, he’s not.

    13. 714032470Robert Griffin III – How he took the Redskins to the playoffs his rookie season is beyond me. For reference in how he did that game against the Seahawks, he was 10-19 for 84 yards losing 24-14. His 3-10 sophomore year opened the door for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins decided who was better fit to lead the team. I think they made the right decision. Oh yeah, he also gets injured pretty easily.
    14. davidcarrDavid Carr – A horrible NFL QB for the Houstan Texans. He holds a 23-56 lifetime career record. I can’t say much about him because I don’t know much other than he stinks and is the older brother of Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders. Also this fact I dug up, “he also set the NFL record for fumble recoveries in a single season, recovering 12 of his own.”
    15. kozar_couchTim Couch – Tim Couch’s greatest feat is that he’s married to Heather Kozar. After being selected #1 by the Browns, he never developed into a stud QB. He played for 5 seasons battling injuries because of a shitty Browns offensive line and finished 22-37 overall record. This tidbit though, “Couch holds the distinction of being the only quarterback in NFL history to throw two game-winning passes of 50 yards or more with 0:00 left on the clock”
    16. alg-mugshot-russell-jpgJaMarcus Russell – After a 5-10 2nd year season in which Russell started every game, he didn’t exactly take care of himself in the offseason. NBC Sports described Russell as “annually and incredibly overweight”, saying he arrived at mini-camp weighing 290 pounds, up from his initially reported weight of 271. He played 9 games that year going 2-9 and as they say, “that was that.”
    17. ryan-leaf-mugshot-cropped2Ryan Leaf – Ryan Leaf is described as the #1 bust in NFL history. In 3 seasons of play, he amassed a career record of 4-17. On February 4, 2016 in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Leaf himself compared the problems of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel to his own, saying it was like “looking in the mirror” and that the only difference was that Leaf’s substance abuse problems happened after he retired. Leaf went on to state that Manziel is able to get the help he needs.

What to Make of This?

These 17 examples show that you can get the greatest QB in NFL history or just another bum. There have been 4 Super Bowl rings won by these players and they all have the last name of Manning. It goes to show that it doesn’t matter if you have the #1 pick or not. Drafting up tends to bite you more than it helps your team. Remember Ricky Williams? There is so much emphasis on the draft and building a future but no one has a crystal ball and there is no guarantee that a QB pans out over the length of his career. I personally think the Eagles are making a mistake even though I agree getting rid of Bradford is essential.