The tradition that is known as the NFL Draft came into existence in 1936. The first player ever taken in the NFL Draft was Running Back Jay Berwanger. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Berwanger, unfortunately he would never play a pro football game due to salary disputes with multiple teams
Since then the NFL Draft has involved thousands of players, many of which have gone on to become all time greats. Many more however went on to have careers that would earn them the dubious distinction of being called a “Draft Bust”. The most coveted position for any team is the first overall pick. The team that holds this position is usually in desperate need of a break out rookie that can turn their franchise around. There is only one chance for first overall greatness every year.
There have been only 78 men who can call themselves the first overall pick in the NFL draft. The positions picked the most may not surprise you but the positions that were picked the least might shock you.
The quarterback position has the title of the most popular first overall pick in draft history. Twenty seven QBs have been nabbed by teams with the most coveted draft spot. Ten of those twenty seven became pro bowl players, names like Eli Manning (2004), Peyton Manning (1998), Drew Bledsoe (1993) and Vinny Testaverde (1987) just to name a few. Only Troy Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Terry Bradshaw (1970) had careers so great they were inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Twenty five Running Backs have been picked first overall. Seven of them became Pro Bowlers including Bo Jackson (1986), Billy Sims (1980) and Tucker Frederickson (1965). The Running Backs hold the record of most Hall Of Fame inductees with five. Running Back Bill Dudley (1942) was the first player at any position drafted first overall to become a Hall Of Famer. The most recent Running Back to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame is Earl Campbell (1978) who was drafted by the Houston Oilers.
Defensive End’s have also been a very popular choice with eleven picked first overall. Defensive Ends Mario Williams (2006), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (1974), Dave Parks (1964) and Leon Hart (1950) were all voted to the Pro Bowl. Bruce Smith (1985) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976) were the only Defensive End’s to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Positions that were drafted the least with the top pick are Defensive Tackle (4), Offensive Tackle (4), Line Backer (3), Center (2) and Wide Receiver (2). Eight different positions have all seen the top choice. Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle and Line Backer are the only positions to never have a first overall player reach the Hall Of Fame.
A few of the players drafted in the last decade will more than likely find a home in the Hall Of Fame. As of now the first overall pick has only been a future Hall Of Famer twelve of the seventy seven times. Who knows, we might see the next great NFL player drafted with the first pick tonight in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
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Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select from Michigan, quarterback Tom Brady. Those words spoken by then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would change the future of the the Patriots and the NFL. Tom Brady has gone on to have a great career and is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of not only his era but in football history. Brady has led the Patriots to 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Championships. He is the biggest late round draft pick ever, being selected in the 6th round. But their were 6 QB’s selected before Brady. Here is a look at the six that came before Brady and the teams that missed out on greatness.
18th Overall Pick – Chad Pennington, New York Jets
Pennington was the most hyped QB going into the draft. Pennington had a solid college career with Marshall. Pennington retired after the 2010 season. He played for the Jets the majority of his career and played his final 3 season with the Miami Dolphins. Pennington would play in 4 post seasons and had a post season record of 2 wins and 4 loses. Pennington did make history during his career, holding the record for career passing percentage among QB’s with more than 1500 pass attempts at 66.0%.
No Quarterbacks Drafted
65th Overall Pick – Giovanni Carmazzi, San Francisco 49ers
Carmazzi played at Hofstra during his college years. He would never play in a regular season NGL game. Carmazzi finished his pro football career in the CFL in 2005.
75th Over All Pick – Chris Redman, Baltimore Ravens
Redman has played for the Ravens, Patriots, Titans and most recently the Falcons before his release in August of 2012. He was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl ring as a backup to Trent Dilfer on the 2000 Ravens championship team. Redman would best be described as a career back up QB.
No Quarterbacks Drafted
163rd Overall Pick – Tee Martin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tee Martin played only one game for the Steelers and never started a game in his career. He spent the 2002 season in NFL Europe playing for the Rhein Fire. In 2003 he signed with the Oakland Raiders for his final NFL season. Martin ended his professional career in 2005 as a part of the CFL. In total Martin played only 3 games in the NFL.
168th Overall Pick – Marc Bulger, New Orleans Saints
Marc Bulger was the only Pro Bowl QB selected before Tom Brady. In the first of his two Pro Bowl appearances Bulger won the MVP award in that game. He went on a crazy ride after the draft by signing with the Saints, Falcons and the Ravens before the 2000 season began. Bulger took over at QB for the Rams when Kurt Warner retired. Bulger retired in 2010 with the Ravens.
183 Overall Pick – Spergon Wynn, Cleveland Browns
Spergon Wynn spent his career as a back up QB. He played for 2 NFL teams and 4 CFL teams. Wynn retired from football in 2006.
The list QB’s selected before Tom Brady is pretty shocking. Only one of those players made it to a Pro Bowl. The majority were career back up QB’s and none of these players are still professionally active. There was a lot of belief that Brady’s frame was not built for the NFL which was the greatest ding against him. The Patriots saw something in Brady that no other team did and they were able to reap the benefits of that faith. When Tom Brady retires he will undoubtedly head to the Hall Of Fame and the history books. While all of the others before him are just history.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
Tagged 2000, 49ers, 6, browns, bust, busts, cfl, chad pennington, chris redman, doubters, giovanni carmazzi, great pick, hall of fame, jets, legend, marc bulger, miss, new england patriots, NFL, nfl draft, pro bowl, qbs, quaerterback, ravens, ring, saints, selected before, spergon wynn, steelers, super bowl, tee martin, tom bady, who did they select