List of first overall National Football League Draft picks

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The National Football League Draft is an annual sports draft in which NFL teams select newly eligible players for their rosters. To be eligible, a player must be out of high school for at least three years. Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL Draft. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams also have the option to trade with another team to move up to a better draft position. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record, with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).

From 1947 through 1958 the first selection was awarded by a random draw. The team which received this "bonus" pick forfeited its selection in the final round of the draft. The winner of the "bonus pick" was eliminated from the draw in future years. By 1958 all twelve clubs in the league at the time had received a bonus choice and the system was abolished.

Before the AFL-NFL merger agreements in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft. This led to a massive bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues, along with the subsequent drafting of the same player in each draft. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues held a multiple round "common draft". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the common draft simply became the NFL draft.

Key

K Kicker NT Nose tackle C Center
LB Linebacker FB Fullback DB Defensive back
P Punter HB Halfback DE Defensive end
QB Quarterback WR/E Wide receiver/End DT Defensive tackle
G Guard T Offensive tackle TE Tight end
* Selected to a Pro Bowl/All-Star Game
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
§ Denotes an expansion team

List of first overall picks

Season Name Position College Team
1936 Jay Berwanger HB Chicago Philadelphia Eagles
1937 Sam Francis FB Nebraska
1938 Corbett Davis Indiana Cleveland Rams
1939 Ki Aldrich* C TCU Chicago Cardinals
1940 George Cafego HB Tennessee Chicago Cardinals
1941 Tom Harmon Michigan Chicago Bears
1942 Bill Dudley HB Virginia Pittsburgh Steelers
1943 Frank Sinkwich HB Georgia Detroit Lions
1944 Angelo Bertelli QB Notre Dame Boston Yanks
1945 Charley Trippi HB Georgia Chicago Cardinals
1946 Frank Dancewicz QB Notre Dame Boston Yanks
1947 Bob Fenimore HB Oklahoma A&M Chicago Bears
1948 Harry Gilmer* HB, WR Alabama Washington Redskins
1949 Chuck Bednarik C, LB Penn Philadelphia Eagles
1950 Leon Hart* E Notre Dame Detroit Lions
1951 Kyle Rote* HB SMU New York Giants
1952 Bill Wade* QB Vanderbilt Los Angeles Rams
1953 Harry Babcock E Georgia San Francisco 49ers
1954 Bobby Garrett QB Stanford Cleveland Browns
1955 George Shaw Oregon Baltimore Colts
1956 Gary Glick DB Colorado A&M Pittsburgh Steelers
1957 Paul Hornung HB Notre Dame Green Bay Packers
1958 King Hill QB Rice Chicago Cardinals
1959 Randy Duncan Iowa Green Bay Packers
1960 Billy Cannon HB LSU Los Angeles Rams
1961 Tommy Mason* HB Tulane Minnesota Vikings§
1962 Ernie Davis HB Syracuse Washington Redskins
1963 Terry Baker QB Oregon State Los Angeles Rams
1964 Dave Parks* WR Texas Tech San Francisco 49ers
1965 Tucker Frederickson* HB Auburn New York Giants
1966 Tommy Nobis* LB Texas Atlanta Falcons§
1967 Bubba Smith* DE Michigan State Baltimore Colts
1968 Ron Yary T USC Minnesota Vikings
1969 O.J. Simpson HB Buffalo Bills
1970 Terry Bradshaw QB Louisiana Tech Pittsburgh Steelers
1971 Jim Plunkett QB Stanford New England Patriots
1972 Walt Patulski DE Notre Dame Buffalo Bills
1973 John Matuszak Tampa Houston Oilers
1974 Ed "Too Tall" Jones* DE Tennessee State Dallas Cowboys
1975 Steve Bartkowski* QB California Atlanta Falcons
1976 Lee Roy Selmon DE Oklahoma Tampa Bay Buccaneers§
1977 Ricky Bell HB USC Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1978 Earl Campbell HB Texas Houston Oilers
1979 Tom Cousineau LB Ohio State Buffalo Bills
1980 Billy Sims* HB Oklahoma Detroit Lions
1981 George Rogers South Carolina New Orleans Saints
1982 Kenneth Sims DE Texas New England Patriots
1983 John Elway QB Stanford Baltimore Colts
1984 Irving Fryar* WR Nebraska New England Patriots
1985 Bruce Smith DE Virginia Tech Buffalo Bills
1986 Bo Jackson HB Auburn Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987 Vinny Testaverde* QB Miami (FL) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1988 Aundray Bruce LB Auburn Atlanta Falcons
1989 Troy Aikman QB UCLA Dallas Cowboys
1990 Jeff George QB Illinois Indianapolis Colts
1991 Russell Maryland* DT Miami (FL) Dallas Cowboys
1992 Steve Emtman DE Washington Indianapolis Colts
1993 Drew Bledsoe* QB Washington State New England Patriots
1994 Dan Wilkinson DT Ohio State Cincinnati Bengals
1995 Ki-Jana Carter HB Penn State
1996 Keyshawn Johnson* WR USC New York Jets
1997 Orlando Pace T Ohio State St. Louis Rams
1998 Peyton Manning QB Tennessee Indianapolis Colts
1999 Tim Couch QB Kentucky Cleveland Browns§
2000 Courtney Brown DE Penn State Cleveland Browns
2001 Michael Vick* QB Virginia Tech Atlanta Falcons
2002 David Carr QB Fresno State Houston Texans§
2003 Carson Palmer* QB USC Cincinnati Bengals
2004 Eli Manning* Ole Miss San Diego Chargers
2005 Alex Smith* Utah San Francisco 49ers
2006 Mario Williams* DE North Carolina State Houston Texans
2007 JaMarcus Russell QB LSU Oakland Raiders
2008 Jake Long* T Michigan Miami Dolphins
2009 Matthew Stafford* QB Georgia Detroit Lions
2010 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma St. Louis Rams
2011 Cam Newton* QB Auburn Carolina Panthers
2012 Andrew Luck* Stanford Indianapolis Colts
2013 Eric Fisher T Central Michigan Kansas City Chiefs
2014 Jadeveon Clowney* DE South Carolina Houston Texans
2015 Jameis Winston* QB Florida State Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016 Jared Goff* California Los Angeles Rams
2017 Myles Garrett* DE Texas A&M Cleveland Browns
2018 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma Cleveland Browns
2019 Kyler Murray* QB Oklahoma Arizona Cardinals
2020 Joe Burrow QB LSU Cincinnati Bengals
2021 Trevor Lawrence Clemson Jacksonville Jaguars
2022 Travon Walker DE Georgia Jacksonville Jaguars
National Football League Draft first overall picks
1936: Berwanger • 1937: Francis • 1938: C. Davis • 1939: Aldrich • 1940: Cafego • 1941: Harmon • 1942: Dudley • 1943: Sinkwich • 1944: Bertelli • 1945: Trippi • 1946: Dancewicz • 1947: Fenimore • 1948: Gilmer • 1949: Bednarik • 1950: Hart • 1951: Rote • 1952: Wade • 1953: Babcock • 1954: B. Garrett • 1955: Shaw • 1956: Glick • 1957: Hornung • 1958: Hill • 1959: Duncan • 1960: Cannon • 1961: Mason • 1962: E. Davis • 1963: Baker • 1964: Parks • 1965: Frederickson • 1966: Nobis • 1967: Bu. Smith • 1968: Yary • 1969: Simpson • 1970: Bradshaw • 1971: Plunkett • 1972: Patulski • 1973: Matuszak • 1974: Jones • 1975: Bartkowski • 1976: Selmon • 1977: Bell • 1978: Campbell • 1979: Cousineau • 1980: B. Sims • 1981: Rogers • 1982: K. Sims • 1983: Elway • 1984: Fryar • 1985: Br. Smith • 1986: Jackson • 1987: Testaverde • 1988: Bruce • 1989: Aikman • 1990: George • 1991: Maryland • 1992: Emtman • 1993: Bledsoe • 1994: Wilkinson • 1995: Carter • 1996: Johnson • 1997: Pace • 1998: P. Manning • 1999: Couch • 2000: Brown • 2001: Vick • 2002: Carr • 2003: Palmer • 2004: E. Manning • 2005: A. Smith • 2006: Williams • 2007: Russell • 2008: Long • 2009: Stafford • 2010: Bradford • 2011: Newton • 2012: Luck • 2013: Fisher • 2014: Clowney • 2015: Winston • 2016: Goff • 2017: M. Garrett • 2018: Mayfield • 2019: Murray • 2020: Burrow • 2021: Lawrence • 2022: Walker


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Chicago Bears (Soldier Field)
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San Francisco 49ers (Levi's Stadium)
Seattle Seahawks (Lumen Field)
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Related American Football League • League publications • Hall of Fame inductees • Pro Bowls • Seasons • Stadiums • First overall draft picks • American Bowl • NFL International Series • Pro Football Hall of Fame Game