Teams are built through the draft, but the history of first overall draft pick success is mixed. Here's a look at all the No. 1 overall draft picks in NFL, from best to worst (84th).
Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, the former Tennessee star was named to 14 Pro Bowls and earned five MVPs and two Super Bowl wins. He is third all time in passing yards in the NFL with 71,940, and his 2013 season (5,477 passing yards, 55 touchdowns) is still arguably the greatest season by a quarterback in league history.
Elway never played for the Colts — he was traded to the Broncos after refusing to play for Baltimore. After the trade, he became one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, making nine Pro Bowls and winning two Super Bowls before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Elway is now GM of the franchise that he played for.
The top defensive player on the Bills teams that lost four Super Bowls, Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He had 200 career sacks, still ranking first in NFL history. The former Virginia Tech star made 11 Pro Bowls over his 19-year career, and played four seasons with Washington after 15 years in Buffalo.
Bradshaw's storied career with the Steelers included three Pro Bowls, four Super Bowls, two Super Bowl MVPs and the 1978 NFL MVP. While his numbers don't look great on the stats sheet by today's standards, the former Louisiana Tech star was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
Simpson, a Heisman Trophy winner at Southern Cal, rushed for 11,326 yards in the NFL, including his 2,003-yard season in 1973. He made six Pro Bowls and won the 1973 MVP before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 as one of the greatest running backs in history. Of course, Simpson may be best known for being charged with and found innocent of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1995.
Aikman, a star at UCLA, led the Cowboys dynasty during the 1990s, winning three Super Bowls and one Super Bowl MVP. He made six Pro Bowls and retired after a 12-year NFL career with nearly 33,000 yards passing. His career also included a string of six straight Pro Bowls from 1991-1996. Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and now serves as the lead NFL analyst for FOX.
Pace, a star at Ohio State, did a great job protecting Rams quarterbacks during their "Greatest Show on Turf" seasons. He was selected to six consecutive Pro Bowls from 1999-2005. Pace was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016, capping off his career as one of the greatest left tackles in league history.
Manning, a star at Mississippi, was selected first overall by San Diego but refused to play for the Chargers. He was traded to the New York Giants, where he helped lead the team to two Super Bowl wins. Capping off his career after 16 seasons with more than 57,000 passing yards, Manning is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate.
Drafted out of Southern Cal, Yary played 15 NFL seasons for the Vikings, making seven Pro Bowls, and he was an All-Pro six times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Palmer, a Heisman Trophy winner at Southern Cal, was a three-time Pro Bowler. Playing for the Bengals, Raiders and Cardinals, he passed for 46,247 yards. His career was plagued by injuries, but he was able to play 14 seasons in the NFL.
Newton led Auburn to a national title in 2010 and nearly led Carolina to a Super Bowl win in 2015. He won the NFL MVP that same season, but that was the last time he made a Pro Bowl. After missing nearly all of 2019 with a foot injury, the Panthers released Newton.
Bledsoe, a star at Washington State, had a productive 14-year NFL career, making four Pro Bowls. He's remembered fondly by Patriots fans mostly for getting injured in 2001, allowing Tom Brady to take over the team and lead it to the Super Bowl XXXVI title. He had a career 98-95 record as a starter and threw for more than 44,000 yards.
A solid starter, Stafford hasn't developed into the star Detroit expected when he was drafted out of Georgia. The strong-armed quarterback has thrown for more than 4,000 yards seven times, though team success has been fleeting for Stafford, who has only four winning seasons with the Lions. He has been named to the Pro Bowl only once (2014) in 11 seasons in the league.
Drafted out of Oklahoma, Selmon spent his entire nine-year career with the Bucs, making six Pro Bowls to end his career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
Campbell had a spectacular NFL career, rushing for 9,407 yards over eight seasons. He led the league in rushing yards in each of his first three seasons with Houston. His accomplishments include the 1977 Heisman Trophy while at Texas, five Pro Bowls, 1978 Rookie of the Year, 1979 NFL MVP and induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. Campbell ended his career with New Orleans in 1985.
A standout at Tennessee State, Ed "Too Tall" Jones had two stints with the Cowboys. His NFL career was briefly interrupted by a stint in boxing. A three-time Pro Bowler, he played until 1989 and was regularly a league sack leader.
The 1971 Heisman Trophy winner out of Stanford eventually found great NFL success, but it wasn't with the Patriots. After five seasons in New England and two seasons in San Francisco, Plunkett won two Super Bowls with the Raiders. He passed for more than 25,882 yards over his 16-year career and was the 1980 Comeback Player of the Year.
Drafted 23 spots ahead of Aaron Rodgers, the former Utah star has been a solid, if unspectacular, starter in the league between San Francisco, Kansas City, and Washington. Remarkably, he carried a winning record as a starter in eight straight seasons from 2011-2018. The Redskins QB suffered a gruesome leg injury against the Texans in November 2018, leaving his playing future in doubt.
One of the most celebrated football players of all time, Hornung won three NFL Championships and one Super Bowl with the Packers during a nine-year career. The former Notre Dame star and 1961 NFL MVP was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986, though none of his particular stats stand out by today's standards.
Vick was one of the most exciting quarterbacks in NFL history, as a unique dual-threat who ran for more than 500 yards six times. His career was disrupted by a prison sentence for a dog-fighting ring, but Vick managed to make a successful comeback in 2009 after a two-year hiatus. During his 13-year career, he rushed for 6,109 yards and passed for 22,464 yards while making four Pro Bowls.
A star at Miami, Testaverde played for seven teams in his 21 seasons in the league. A two-time Pro Bowler, he passed for 46,233 yards and 275 TDs but was also notorious for his interceptions, leading the league four times.
Luck's career was a story of what could have been. Considered one of the best quarterback prospects ever when he came out of Stanford in 2012, Luck replaced Peyton Manning as the Colts quarterback in 2012. However, his brief career was plagued by injuries, and he shockingly retired during the 2019 preseason. Luck had perhaps his best season in his final year in 2018, throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 TDs, and he made four Pro Bowls over seven years.
Still one of the best Eagles of all time, Bednarik went from Penn to the Philadelphia Eagles and played 14 seasons. He made eight Pro Bowls, won two NFL championships and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
Dudley, a star at Virginia, played nine NFL seasons for Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington. A two-time rushing yardage leader, he finished with 3,057 career rushing yards, won the 1946 NFL MVP, appeared in two NFL All-Star Games and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966.
Drafted out of Texas, Nobis was the first overall NFL draft choice and the sixth overall AFL draft choice (Oilers) in 1966. Nobis played 11 seasons with the Falcons and was a stalwart for the Atlanta defense, making five Pro Bowls and being named All-Pro in 1967.
Trippi, drafted out out Georgia, had a nine-year career with the Cardinals, rushing for 3,506 yards. He was an All-Pro in 1948, made the Pro Bowl in 1952 and 1953 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.
A star at Nebraska, Fryar had a long and productive career for four teams over 17 seasons, spending most of it (nine seasons) with the Patriots. He made five Pro Bowls and had more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season five times, including a 1,316 yard season with the Eagles in 1997.
The Texans controversially selected Williams, a star at North Carolina State, instead of USC running back Reggie Bush in 2006. It turned out to be the right choice, as he had 97.5 sacks and four Pro Bowl appearances during his 11-year career. Williams retired after the 2016 season.
Johnson, a star at Southern Cal, was productive over 11 seasons, making three Pro Bowls and retiring with more than 10,571 receiving yards. He had four 1,000-yard season and is now an NFL studio analyst for ESPN.
Drafted out of Cal, Bartkowski threw for more than 24,000 yards during his 12-year NFL career, mostly with the Falcons. He made the Pro Bowl twice in 1980-1981 and led the Falcons to a 12-4 regular-season record during the 1980 season.
Smith, a star at Michigan State, played nine NFL seasons, making two Pro Bowls, and was a part of the Colts' Super Bowl V team. He was an All-Pro in 1971 before missing the following season with a knee injury and then finishing his career with Oakland and Houston.
Wade had a successful 13-year NFL career after leaving Vanderbilt, throwing for 18,530 yards in the NFL. His career was split between the Rams and Bears, and he led Chicago to an 11-1-2 regular-season record in 1963. Wade made two Pro Bowls, including the 1963 season.
Long, a standout at Michigan, looked like a star tackle early in his career, making the Pro Bowl in four consecutive seasons, but injuries derailed his career. He retired in 2017, having appeared in a total of 15 games over his final three seasons.
The 1978 Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma played only five NFL seasons, but he was highly productive. He won the 1980 Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons. Sims had 5,106 rushing yards for his career, rushing for more than 1,000 yards three times.
Rogers, a Heisman Trophy winner at South Carolina, had an incredible rookie season, rushing for 1,674 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to the Rookie of the Year Award. He made the Pro Bowl during his first two seasons and rushed for over 1,000 yards four times in his seven-year career, also leading the league with 18 rushing touchdowns in 1986. Rogers played four seasons with the Saints and three more in Washington.
Parks, who played at Texas Tech, made the Pro Bowl in his first three NFL seasons. He led the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 1965 when he was also named an All-Pro. Over his 10-year career, Parks played four seasons in San Francisco, five seasons in New Orleans and one with Houston.
Drafted out of Tulane, Mason had a solid career in the NFL, playing 11 seasons and rushing for 4,203 yards. He made three Pro Bowls with the Vikings from 1962-1964 and was an All-Pro in 1963.
Rote, a star at SMU, had a solid 11-year career, making four Pro Bowls with the Giants and also winning one NFL championship. He had 4,797 receiving yards and 48 receiving touchdowns over his career, including a 10-touchdown season in 1960.
Wilkinson, a star at Ohio State, was productive over 13 NFL seasons despite a reputation as a draft bust, finishing with 54.5 sacks. He played only four seasons in Cincinnati before going to Washington and Detroit and then finishing his career with the Dolphins in 2006.
Maryland played his first five seasons in Dallas, winning three Super Bowls, before going to Oakland. He had 24.5 career sacks and made the Pro Bowl in 1993 as an elite run stuffer for much of his career.
Goff has had an up-and-down early career. He went 0-7 as a rookie but has led the Rams to three straight winning seasons since then. He led one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL to the Super Bowl in 2018 but regressed last year, with 22/16 TD/INT and a pedestrian 86.5 Passer Rating. After making back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2017-2018, he failed to get the honor last season.
Cannon won a Heisman Trophy with LSU in 1959 and spent most of his career in the AFL despite being drafted first overall by the Rams. He was a two-time AFL All-Star and the league's rushing leader in 1961 with the Houston Oilers before going onto Houston and Kansas City.
The first overall pick out of Central Michigan in a thin draft, Fisher has gradually improved as the Chiefs starting left tackle and made the Pro Bowl in 2018. He had a streak of five straight seasons without missing a game halted in 2019.
Gilmer, a standout at Alabama, had an eight-year career in the NFL, making two Pro Bowls with the Redskins. He finished his career with 3,786 passing yards after six seasons in Washington and two more with Detroit.
A two-way player out of TCU, Aldrich appeared in two NFL All-Star Games and became an NFL champion in 1942. He played seven NFL seasons over nine years, serving in the Navy during WWII in between. Aldrich played two years with the Cardinals before joining the Redskins.
One of the most-hyped defensive prospects in recent memory after a great career at South Carolina, Clowney has made three Pro Bowls in six seasons. He was traded from Houston to Seattle prior to the 2019 season and has 32 career sacks over six years.
Despite playing only 11 games in his rookie season because of injuries, Garrett put up solid numbers (seven sacks, one forced fumble) and showed great promise as a disruptive pass rusher. The former Texas A&M star had a breakout season in 2018 with 13.5 sacks, and his strong performance continued in 2019 until he got in an on-field scuffle with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph that caused him to be suspended for the stretch run of the season.
Given George's incredible talent, he was considered a disappointment over 12 NFL seasons with a 46-78 record as a starter between the Colts, Falcons, Raiders, Vikings, and Redskins. The former Purdue star passed for 27,602 yards over his career, leading the league with Oakland in 1997, but he never made a Pro Bowl.
After spending his first five seasons with the Rams, the oft-injured Bradford bounced around the league (Eagles, Vikings, Cardinals). In 2018, the former Oklahoma star was a disaster in Arizona, where he was benched in favor of rookie Josh Rosen and was forced to retire following the season due to injuries. He finished his career with a 34-48-1 record as a starter and appeared in 10 or fewer games in five of his nine seasons.
Jackson, a Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn, refused to play for the Buccaneers after he was drafted first overall. One of the most gifted athletes of all time, he played baseball for one year before getting drafted by the Raiders in the seventh round in 1987. He played only four seasons for the Raiders before suffering a career-ending hip injury. Jackson averaged 5.4 yards per carry in the NFL.
The 1949 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame, Hart played eight NFL seasons and made the 1951 Pro Bowl. He played in Detroit for his entire career.
Murray had a promising rookie season with the Cardinals after being drafted first overall and replacing Josh Rosen. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma threw for 3,722 yards and rushed for 544 yards in his first season.
Winston, a star on the field at Florida State, had a great rookie season in Tampa Bay, throwing for 4,042 yards and 22 TDs. However, his interceptions issues eventually caused the Bucs and Winston to part ways after the 2019 season in which he led the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and interceptions (30). He was also suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Bell, a star at Southern Cal, played only six NFL seasons. He peaked in 1979, rushing for 1,263 yards with the Buccaneers, his only 1,000-yard season in the league.
Glick, who played at Colorado State, played seven NFL seasons, finishing with 14 career interceptions. He played three-plus seasons with the Steelers before spending time with the Redskins, Colts and Chargers.
Frederickson, a two-way player at Auburn, made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season, rushing for 659 yards and five touchdowns. He never made it back due to injury the following year, but he did play six NFL seasons for the Giants.
A standout at Auburn, Bruce had a solid career between the Falcons and Raiders over 11 seasons. He finished his career with 32 sacks and four interceptions but didn't start regularly following his first two seasons in Atlanta.
A star at University of Tampa, Matuszak won two Super Bowls with the Raiders during his nine-year NFL career, where he played for most of his career. He played only one season with the Oilers before moving onto Kansas City for two years and then spending the bulk of his career (six seasons) in Oakland.
Sims had an uneven career after a great college career at Texas. Playing eight seasons in New England, the former college star had 17 career sacks.
Cousineau, a star at Ohio State, was drafted by the Bills but decided to sign with the CFL Montreal Alouettes, who offered more money. He arrived to the NFL in 1982 with the Browns, playing in the league for six seasons and recording 6.5 career sacks.
Couch, a star at Kentucky, was the first draft pick for the expansion Browns. He failed to live up to expectations, mostly because of injuries, and he played only 62 games over his five-year career with a 22-37 record as a starter. He finished his career with more than 11,000 passing yards, 64 touchdown passes and 67 interceptions.
After getting burned by the selection of Johnny Manziel in the 2014 draft, the Browns finally got their QB in the 2018 draft. Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma, passed for 3,725 yards and a rookie record 27 TDs for the Browns (7-8-1), who moved out of the AFC North cellar in the 2018 season for the first time since 2010.
Sinkwich played four NFL seasons, rushing for 1,090 yards. His career year came with Detroit in 1944, rushing for 563 yards and six touchdowns, garnering him All-Pro honors. Sinkwich played for three different teams during his career. He won the Heisman Trophy with Georgia in 1942.
The expansion Texans trusted Carr with the keys to their franchise, but the former Fresno State star crumbled without talent around him. Carr spent most of his career as a backup after five failed seasons as a starter in Houston and went 23-56 as a starter for his career. His younger brother Derek has spent several seasons as the Raiders quarterback and had much more NFL success.
Brown, a Penn State star, turned out to be a historic NFL bust, playing only 61 games in six seasons in Cleveland and Denver. He had 19 sacks for his career and missed significant time due to injuries.
Hill, a star at Rice, passed for 5,553 yards during his 12-year career, mostly with Philadelphia as a backup quarterback. He spent only two seasons with the Cardinals.
Shaw, a star at Oregon, passed for 5,829 yards over his eight-year career but played sparingly after his rookie season. He went just 12-17-2 in his career as a starter.
Drafted out of Notre Dame, Patulski played only five NFL seasons between the Bills and Cardinals. He was considered a draft bust, retiring after a knee injury following the 1977 season.
One of the biggest NFL draft busts of all time, the former Penn State star suffered a torn knee ligament in his first preseason game and didn't play in his rookie season. Carter did play seven seasons in the NFL, rushing for 1,144 yards during his career, but he saw the field sparingly after 1997.
A star at Washington, Emtman was plagued by injuries in the NFL. He played only six seasons in the league, amassing eight sacks, and he played more than nine games in only two seasons.
Francis played only four seasons in the NFL after his college career at Nebraska, rushing for 873 yards and five touchdowns. He was traded from Philadelphia to Chicago before ever taking the field, and he also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Dodgers.
Babcock, who played at Georgia, played only three NFL seasons for the 49ers, with only 16 catches for 181 yards.
Possibly the biggest NFL bust in the modern era, the strong-armed Russell played only 31 games over three seasons for the Raiders. His record was 7-18 as a starter, and he didn't get another shot in the league after 2009.
Fenimore, a member of the 1945 national champion Oklahoma A&M team (now Oklahoma State), played only one season in the NFL due to injuries, rushing for 189 yards.
Baker played only three seasons in the NFL, throwing just 21 passes after winning the 1962 Heisman Trophy at Oregon State. After his three seasons, he went to the CFL.
The 1943 Heisman Trophy winner for Notre Dame fought in World War II before his pro career finally started in 1946 with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. Bertelli played only three seasons due to knee surgeries.
Drafted out of Tennessee, Cafego played four NFL seasons in a career that was disrupted by WWII. He had a long coaching career after his playing days.
A fullback out of Indiana, Davis played four seasons for the Rams before enlisting in the service.
Dancewicz played only three seasons in the NFL after a successful college career at Notre Dame.
The 1940 Heisman Trophy winner out of Michigan played only two NFL seasons, in 1946-47. He played in the American Football League shortly after being drafted and signed a two-year contract with the Rams after returning from WWII. Harmon did find some success with the Rams, averaging better than 5 yards per carry in both of his seasons. He became a prominent sports announcer after his retirement.
Duncan, who starred at Iowa, went to the CFL instead of playing for the Packers. He finished his career with the Dallas Texans of the AFL, retiring after the team acquired Len Dawson.
Garrett, who played at Stanford, was traded to the Packers after being drafted. He played only one season due to a stuttering problem that made it difficult for him to call plays.
In 1961, the Syracuse star was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Davis was drafted by Washington before getting traded to the Browns. Sadly, he was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after being drafted and died in 1963 at age 23. His jersey number, 45, was retired by Cleveland.
A halfback at the University of Chicago who won the 1935 Heisman Trophy, Berwanger never played in the NFL. He was traded by the Eagles to the Bears, who were coached and owned by George Halas. Player and owner failed to reach a contract agreement, and Berwanger never played a down in the league.