We’ve Been Here Before
31 of the 32 teams have had this draft position previously, how’d those pan out?
The NFL Draft has long been the best way to immediately add talent to your team, whether you are selecting 2nd or 32nd, you are (hopefully) selecting someone you hope can step in day one and provide an immediate impact on the field.
Thanks to years of draft data to comb thru, we dive into find out who the best player each team has selected at their (current, barring trades) 2015 draft position. Some busts, some stars, and Hall of Famers. So if you think that your draft is ruined because of where you are slotted, I am here to show you that having that pick is not always a bad thing.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – In 1976 the Creamsicle’s first ever draft, they came away with one of the all-time greats. Oklahoma defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon was selected first overall and became the cornerstone of the Bucs franchise for nine seasons. Selmon made six Pro Bowls, and in 1995 was enshrined in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tampa also selected Bo Jackson first overall in the 1986 Draft, but Jackson vowed to not play for the Buccaneers, and instead opted to play baseball. The following season, Tampa Bay again had the #1 pick, which they used to select Vinny Testaverde.
- Tennessee Titans – Offensive Tackle Dean Steinkuhler was drafted 2nd by the then Houston Oilers in 1984. Steinkuhler played 100 games over seven seasons, but never played in Tennessee as the Oilers relocated from Houston in 1997.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Second season in a row that Jacksonville will select third overall. Last year the Jags took Blake Bortles, which was a bit of a surprise at the time, but after seeing Blake on the field in 2014, you can understand what Gus Bradley and company saw in the future of their franchise.
- Oakland Raiders – The Raiders drafted Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson 4th overall in the 1998 draft, where he played for eight seasons en route to becoming a future Hall of Famer. Eight time Pro Bowl selection, AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, played in two Super Bowls (winning one), Woodson is beloved by two very different franchises. The Black Hole in Oakland, and in Green Bay where he spent seven years helping the Packers win a title. Woodson remains the only player in NFL history with at least 60 career Interceptions and 20 quarterback sacks.
- Washington Redskins – Washington caught lightning in a bottle when they took safety Sean Taylor fifth overall in the 2004 draft. Taylor to this day, almost a decade after his death, remains one of the most respected, feared, and loved defensive backs in NFL history. In just over three and a half seasons, Taylor racked up 12 interceptions, and still holds the record for the best play ever in the history of the Pro Bowl.
- New York Jets – Richard Todd might be the most forgotten Jets quarterback in the history of the franchise. Todd followed Joe Namath both at Alabama AND as the starting quarterback of the Jets. Talk about huge shoes to fill. Todd played for eight seasons with the Jets and two seasons with the Saints playing in 119 games throwing for 124 touchdowns, and just like Namath, only took New York to the playoffs twice.
- Chicago Bears – The Bears have not had many drafts inside the top 10, but their best pick at the 7th spot goes to wide receiver Curtis Conway. Conway played seven seasons in Chicago catching 31 of his 52 career touchdowns for the Bears, including a career high 12 in 1995.
- Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta has twice drafted impact players at the #8 spot, but none have been as dynamic as DeAngelo Hall. Coming out of Virginia Tech, Hall had posted on one of the fasted 40-yard dash times in the history of the NFL Combine, and the Falcons used that speed and tenacity to their advantage as Hall grew into one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Hall went on to become a shutdown corner for the Redskins.
- New York Giants – The Giants have only drafted in the 9th spot once before, where in 1936 the selected tackle Art Lewis from the University of Ohio. Lewis only played one season in New York before heading west to play two seasons for the Cleveland Rams.
- St. Louis Rams – In the 1993 Draft, the Los Angeles Rams took running back Jerome Bettis from Notre Dame. Bettis spent the first three years of his Hall of Fame career with the Rams before being traded to Pittsburgh in April of 1996 where Bettis thrived for 10 seasons rushing for 10,571 yards and 78 touchdowns as a Steeler. Bettis will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.
- Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota selected the eventual successor to Randall Cunningham with the 11th pick in 1999 when they took quarterback Daunte Culpepper out of Central Florida. Culpepper sat his rookie year before taking over the reins in 2000 leading the Vikings to two playoff appearances in eight seasons.
- Cleveland Browns – With the 12th pick in the 1978 draft Cleveland drafted into one of the most prestigious football families the NFL has ever seen when they selected Clay Matthews. Clay’s father, brother, two sons, and two nephews have all played in the NFL. Clay played 19 seasons on the offensive lines in Cleveland and Atlanta before retiring after the 1996 season. A Hall of Fame finalist in 2012, it is an absolute crime that he has not yet earned enshrinement in Canton.
- New Orleans Saints – New Orleans has three times selected starters out of the 13th overall spot. In 2005 the Saints selected Guard Jammal Brown, in 2002 took receiver Donte’ Stallworth, and in 1994 drafted defensive end Joe Johnson.
- Miami Dolphins – Miami has only once selected from the 14th slot where in 1984 they took linebacker Jackie Shipp from Oklahoma. Shipp totaled only one sack in his five year NFL career.
- San Francisco 49ers – Twice the 49ers have hit the jackpot from the 14th spot, drafting a pair of four-time Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman. In 1956 they took Guard Bruce Bosley who played thirteen of his fourteen NFL seasons in the 49ers earning three straight Pro Bowl selections from 1965-1967, then in 1968 San Francisco landed center Forrest Blue who made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1971-1974.
- Houston Texans – Houston has only one selected 16th overall, in 2005 when they selected Defensive Tackle Travis Johnson from Florida State. Johnson played four seasons in Houston before ending his career in San Deigo
- San Diego Chargers – San Diego took linebacker Dave Robinson 17th overall in the 1963 AFL draft, but never played for the Chargers as he was also selected in the 1963 NFL draft by Green Bay where he ended up playing 10 seasons for the Packers. Robinson earned induction into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City has NEVER selected 18th overall in their 45 years in the NFL.
- Cleveland Browns – Cleveland took running back Prentice Gautt 19th overall in the 1960 NFL draft, Gautt only played one season for the Browns before playing seven years for the St. Louis Cardinals. Gautt’s place in history stems from 1956 where he was the first black football player at the University of Oklahoma under Bud Wilkinson.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Philly has only selected once at the 20th overall pick, where in 1982 they selected wide receiver Mike Quick out of North Carolina State. Quick make the Pro Bowl five times in his nine years with the Eagles pulling in 61 touchdowns in that span.
- Cincinnati Bengals – If history is any indication, the Bengals will be adding an offensive weapon at 21. Three times Cincy has held the 21st pick and all three were pass catchers. Tight Ends Tyler Eifert (2013) and Jermaine Gresham (2010) and wide receiver Tim McGee (1986).
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Hard to beat a Hall of Famer at 22nd In 1950 the Steelers picked defensive tackle Ernie Stautner out of Boston College, and fourteen seasons and nine Pro Bowls later, Stautner was enshrined in Canton as a member of the Class of 1969.
- Detroit Lions – Three times the Lions have taken offensive lineman at 23rd Riley Reiff (2012), Jeff Hartings (1996), and Dan LaRose (1961).
- Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have called three different cities home, but only once have selected 24th overall where in 1964 the St. Louis Cardinals took tackle Herschel Turner out of Kentucky. Turner played in 27 games in two years in the NFL.
- Carolina Panthers – Carolina drafted a cornerstone linebacker in Jon Beason when he was taken 25th overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. Beason started 71 games in seven seasons for Carolina before being traded to the Giants in 2013.
- Baltimore Ravens – When Balitmore entered the league in 1996, they struck gold twice in the first round selecting two future NFL Hall of Famers in Jonathan Ogden (4th overall) and Ray Lewis at 26th. Lewis spent all 17 seasons of his career with the Ravens and is a sure fire Hall of Fame inductee when he is up for enshrinement in 2017. Lewis won a pair of Super Bowls in Baltimore, went to the Pro Bowl 13 times, and was a three time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
- Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Kyle was selected 27th overall by the Cowboys in 1976 playing four years in Dallas before moving onto to Denver for three seasons. Kyle posted 11 interceptions during his seven year NFL career.
- Denver Broncos – In 1997 defensive tackle Trevor Pryce was selected 28th overall by the Broncos, and quickly found a home in Denver. Pryce racked up 64 sacks in 9 years in Denver winning a pair of Super Bowls, and finished with 91 career sacks in his 15 NFL seasons.
- Indianapolis Colts – The Colts have had a lot of success in selecting defensive players at the 29th overall spot. Defensive back Marlin Jackson (2005) who had the game clinching interception of Tom Brady in the 2007 AFC Championship game, cornerback Ashley Ambrose (1992) amassed 42 career interceptions, and linebacker Vernon Maxwell (1983) stared 31 games for the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts.
- Green Bay Packers – Eight year NFL veteran Ross Verba played four seasons for the Packers.
- New Orleans Saints – The Saints took a local kid 29th overall in 1986 when they selected LSU running back Dalton Hilliard. Hilliard made one Pro Bowl appearance in his nine seasons with New Orleans.
- New England Patriots – The Patriots have a history of going big at 32. Guard Logan Mankins (2005), tight end Ben Watson (2004), center Mike Montler (1969), and tackle Tom Funchess (1968) all started multiple seasons for the Pats.