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The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked 

Ranker NFL
Updated July 25, 2019 13.1k votes 897 voters 5.6k views 53 items

List Rules Vote for players who had the most success with the franchise that drafted them. Only in Super Bowl era (since 1967).

Every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft is a potentially franchise-changing player. Sometimes that player leads his team to multiple Super Bowls like Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman, two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

Other times, he leads another franchise to multiple Super Bowls like John Elway and Eli Manning, neither of whom played a snap for the team that drafted them.

Nine Hall of Famers have gone been the top overall pick in the NFL draft and five league MVPs.

But who has been the best No. 1 overall draft pick for his franchise. Stats below reflect only a player's time with the team that drafted him, unless otherwise noted, and that's how these players should be ranked. How much did they help the team that spent a No. 1 pick on them?

list ordered by
1
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1998
Team: Indianapolis Colts

Achievements
4-time NFL MVP with Colts (2003-2004, 2008-2009)
2004 Offensive Player of the Year
2005 Walter Payton Man of the Year
2006 Super Bowl MVP
2006 Super Bowl champion with Colts

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2
John Elway is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1983
Team: Baltimore Colts

Achievements
Never played for Colts
2004 Hall of Fame inductee
1987 NFL MVP
1992 Walter Payton Man of the Year
2-time Super Bowl champion (1997-1998)

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#15 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Everlisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

3
Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1978
Team: Houston Oilers

Achievements
1991 Hall of Fame inductee
1979 NFL MVP
3-time Offensive Player of the Year (1978-1980)
1978 Offensive Rooke of the Year
5-time Pro Bowl selection (1978-1981, 1983)
3-time first-team All-Pro (1978-1980)

4
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1986
Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Achievements
Never played for Buccaneers

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5
Terry Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1970
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Achievements
1989 Hall of Fame inductee
1978 NFL MVP
2-time Super Bowl MVP (1978-1979)
3-time Pro Bowl selection (1975, 1978-1979)
1978 first-team All-Pro
4-time Super Bowl champion (1974-1975, 1978-1979)

6
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1985
Team: Buffalo Bills

Achievements
2009 Hall of Fame inductee
2-time Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1996)
11-time Pro Bowl selection (1987-1990, 1992-1998)
8-time first-team All-Pro (1987-1988, 1990, 1993-1997)

7
Troy Aikman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1989
Team: Dallas Cowboys

Achievements
2006 Hall of Fame inductee
1997 Walter Payton Man of the Year
6-time Pro Bowl selection (1991-1996)
3-time Super Bowl champion (1992-1993, 1995)

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8
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1974
Team: Dallas Cowboys

Achievements
3-time Pro Bowl seletion (1981-1983)
1982 first-team All-Pro
1977 Super Bowl champion

9
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1969
Team: Buffalo Bills

Achievements
1985 Hall of Fame inductee
1973 NFL MVP
1973 Offensive Player of the Year
6-time Pro Bowl selection (1969, 1972-1976)
5-time first-team All-Pro (1972-1976)

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10
Eli Manning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2004
Team: San Diego Chargers

Achievements
Never played with Chargers

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#1,008 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #177 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever

11
Orlando Pace is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1997
Team: St. Louis Rams

Achievements
2016 Hall of Fame inductee
7-time Pro Bowl selection (1999-2005)
3-time first-team All-Pro (1999, 2001, 2003)
1999 Super Bowl champion

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#160 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #5 of 86 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

12
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2001
Team: Atlanta Falcons

Achievements
3-time Pro Bowl selection (2002, 2004-2005)

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13
Andrew Luck is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2012
Team: Indianapolis Colts

Achievements
2018 Comeback Player of the Year
4-time Pro Bowl selection (2012-2014, 2018)

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#206 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #15 of 120 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time

14
Matthew Stafford is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2009
Team: Detroit Lions

Achievements
2011 Comeback Player of the Year
2014 Pro Bowl selection

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#5 of 116 The Best Detroit Lions of All Time #238 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever

15
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2011
Team: Carolina Panthers

Achievements
2015 NFL MVP
2015 Offensive Player of the Year
2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year
3-time Pro Bowl selection (2011, 2013, 2015)
2015 first-team All-Pro

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#207 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #10 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time

16
Jim Plunkett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1971
Team: New England Patriots

Achievements
Played with Patriots from 1971-1975
1980 Comeback Player of the Year
2-time Super Bowl champion (1980, 1983)

17
Bubba Smith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1967
Team: Baltimore Colts

Achievements
2-time Pro Bowl selection (1970-1971)
1971 first-team All-Pro

18
Lee Roy Selmon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1976
Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Achievements
1995 Hall of Fame inductee
1979 Defensive Player of the Year
6-time Pro Bowl selection (1979-1984)
1979 first-team All-Pro
 

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19
Jadeveon Clowney is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2014
Team: Houston Texans

Achievements
3-time Pro Bowl selection (2016-2018)

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#92 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time #3 of 50 The Best NFL Players From South Carolina

20
Jake Long is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2008
Team: Miami Dolphins

Achievements
4-time Pro Bowl selection (2008-2011)
2010 first-team All-Pro

21
Ron Yary is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1968
Team: Minnesota Vikings

Achievements
2001 Hall of Fame inductee
7-time Pro Bowl selection (1971-1977)
6-time first-team All-Pro (1971-1976)

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#16 of 103 The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time #678 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever

22
Billy Sims is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1980
Team: Detroit Lions

Achievements
1980 Offensive Rookie of the Year
3-time Pro Bowl selection (1980-1982)

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#580 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #47 of 192 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

23
John Matuszak is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1973
Team: Houston Oilers

Achievements
Played with Oilers in 1973
2-time Super Bowl champion (1976, 1980)

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#936 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #35 of 95 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

24
Drew Bledsoe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 1993
Team: New England Patriots

Achievements
3-time Pro Bowl selection (1994, 1996-1997)
2001 Super Bowl champion

25
Myles Garrett is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

Draft year: 2017
Team: Cleveland Browns

Achievements
2018 Pro Bowl selection