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Ranking the Last 10 No.1 NFL Draft Picks

Being the first overall pick in the NFL draft has to be one of the most life-changing experiences in the world.

With the world’s eyes on you, there’s no real room for mistakes. You either come through making an enormous splash on the league from the get-go, or you live to become an afterthought that is remembered mainly for being picked above other players who did better than you.

Ranking the Last 10 No.1 NFL Draft Picks
Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals | Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Yes, I know, that sounded harsh. But this is the NFL we’re talking about, not a peewee league.

As we continue on the road to the 2024 NFL draft, let’s rank the last 10 No.1 picks in the NFL draft to see who has truly succeeded and who was left to become an afterthought.

 

1. Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals, 2020

Have you ever watched a college player and just get excited thinking about how damn good he’ll be once he reaches the pros? That was my sentiment watching Joe Burrow back at LSU.

Even though he couldn’t finish his first season because of an injury in 2020, Burrow came back in amazing form and showed NFL betting fans what he is all about in his second year.

After leading the Bengals to Super Bowl LVI, Burrow came back in 2022 to once again take Cincinnati to a second consecutive AFC title game. In 2023, after signing a whopping five-year, $275 million contract –making him the highest-paid player in the history of the league on an annual basis– he would go down with another season-ending injury in Week 11.

Set to come back in 2024, NFL lines experts are already putting Cincinnati as one of the AFC’s favored squads to go for a title run, mostly in part due to Burrow and his enormous talent.

 

2. Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns, 2017

Making it in a team as volatile as the Cleveland Browns deserves all the accolades a player could get.

Furthermore, achieving the level of mega-stardom that defensive end Myles Garrett has obtained, leading Cleveland’s defense to become one of the best –if not the best– unit in the league since joining the NFL in 2017, is something worth applauding.

With five Pro Bowl nods, one NFL Defensive Player Of The Year award, three First-Team All-Pro recognitions, and being one of the most imposing athletes in the league, it was like hitting the jackpot with Garrett for Cleveland, a team that doesn’t always get their act together.

 

3. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2021

Let me just go ahead and say this. If Trevor Lawrence didn’t have to deal with that awful first year in the pros under Urban Meyer, he would probably be considered one of the best QBs in the league right now.

But because of that, in this list of top NFL first overall picks, Lawrence takes third place and not any higher.

Seriously, for a player deemed as a generational talent, that first year in the pros felt more like a generational nightmare.

Thankfully, in 2022, Lawrence managed to bounce back and lead the Jaguars –now under Doug Pederson– to a postseason appearance where they pulled off a huge upset in NFL betting lines against the LA Chargers in the Wild Card round, falling the following week in their divisional round bout against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Going through 2023 with strong numbers –but not so strong results team-wise– here’s hoping for a better 2024 for Lawrence and his Jags.

 

4. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams, 2016

Yes, before being the leader of the Detroit Lions’ high-octane offense, Jared Goff started his career out with the Los Angeles Rams, who selected him first overall in the 2016 NFL draft.

After a rocky rookie season, once Goff and Rams coach Sean McVay linked up, everything started going much better for the passer. They booked a trip to Super Bowl LIII, which ended in a losing 13-3 effort for LA in a snooze fest of a game against Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.

He followed that with a couple more seasons with LA before making a move to Detroit, where he is now one of the team’s main leaders. Goff could be looking at another Super Bowl trip coming soon if my NFL predictions don’t prove me wrong.

5. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals, 2019

It’s hard to give a verdict on Arizona’s Kyler Murray. On one hand, when healthy, he has shown to be one of the best and most versatile young passers in the league. On the other hand, while there are some that blame the team, the passer sometimes gives off an imposter syndrome kind of feel to his game that shatters many expectations created around him.

After three very promising initial years in the pros, Murray has seen injury issues punish his progression in the league. But, again though, a healthy Murray can be one of the league’s best passers.

Now, it’s up to the Cardinals to try and get the best out of their most important player.

 

6. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns, 2018

Oh Baker, Baker, Baker. I want to like you, I truly do. I feel like if we would have been in high school together, we probably would have hung out and had at least one keg stand story to tell our respective kids later on.

Mayfield’s rookie season is still to this day one of the best in recent memory, even after starting out as a backup. A couple of years later he even managed to take the Browns to the playoffs, something unheard of for Cleveland back in those days.

But a rocky end to his Browns tenure, followed by a short stint with the Carolina Panthers and a career resurrection of sorts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has reshaped Mayfield’s presence in the league in the hopes of becoming a truly relevant passer once and for all.

 

7. Eric Fisher, OT, Kansas City Chiefs, 2013

Even if his list of personal accolades doesn’t necessarily amaze fans, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Eric Fisher was one of the better offensive tackles back in his prime.

Joining the Chiefs in 2013, Fisher became a pivotal piece in the team’s offensive line, helping Patrick Mahomes grow into his role as KC’s new offensive leader. After eight seasons with the Chiefs, which included a Super Bowl win and two Pro Bowl appearances, Fisher would join the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins later on.

Nowadays, Fisher is a free agent looking for a new team to give him a chance to continue in the pros.

 

8. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans, 2014

Every single football fan who loves to bet on NFL action probably remembers Jadeveon Clowney, not because of his career in the pros –which hasn’t been that bad– but because of how dominant he was back in his college football days with the South Carolina Gamecocks.

We all remember that hit against Michigan’s Vincent Smith in the 2013 Outback Bowl.

However, after a strong stint in the pros with the Texans, Clowney has become more of a journeyman kind of player, showing sparks of what he can bring to the field but not being the explosive, game-changing defender everyone expected him to be back in the day.

 

9. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2015

How can anybody hate a guy like Jameis Winston? This man gives off the perfect good guy vibes everyone in the league has come to love.

The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner came into the league in 2015 to be the leader of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team in dire need of a true explosion on offense. With his best year statistically coming in 2019 –his last with the Bucs– Winston would move on to play with the New Orleans Saints. He didn’t get much playing time in NOLA, but he managed to become one of the team’s locker room leaders.

Besides that, not much can be said about a player who just couldn’t live up to his true potential.

 

10. Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers, 2023

In Bryce Young’s defense, it’s not his fault the Carolina Panthers were such a bad team in 2023.

Shooting yourself on the foot and then going on a 10-mile hike would have paid better dividends than taking the Panthers as an NFL pick last season.

Hopefully, in his second year in the pros, and with a new head coach and hopefully some better weapons to work with, we will see Young finally launch his career to where it deserves to be.

 

Who Has The First Pick Of The 2024 NFL Draft?


The Chicago Bears hold the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Which Player Has The Best Odds To Be Selected First Overall In The Draft?


According to BetUS Sportsbook, USC QB Caleb Williams has the best odds of being selected first overall in this year’s draft.

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