List Time!! With the NFL Draft underway, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the various picks from my Sports Viewing Timeline (post-1980). I will start with the coveted #1 pick.
Top 5 Players Selected #1 in the NFL Draft since 1980
5. Eli Manning, QB, San Diego Chargers, 2004
4. Troy Aikman, QB, Dallas Cowboys, 1989
3. Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills, 1985
2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts, 1998
1. John Elway, QB, Baltimore Colts, 1983
This list comes with a unique twist, as the Colts franchise selected the top 2 #1's in the past 33 years, but only one of them actually played for the franchise. Bruce Smith is hands down the best defensive player to be selected #1 and who can argue with the rings that Troy Aikman accumulated. I thought there would be 5 easy names here, but the fifth spot took a little thought. Has Eli Manning done enough compared to the solid career of Orlando Pace? In the case of #1 picks, quarterback always wins.
Worst #1 NFL Draft Picks Since 1980
3. Tim Couch, QB, Cleveland Browns, 1999 (62 games, 22-37 record as a starter, 64 TD, 67 Int)
2. Steve Emtman, DT, Indianapolis Colts, 1992 (50 games, 121 tackles, 8 sacks)
1. JaMarcus Russell, QB, Oakland Raiders, 2007 (31 games, 7-18 record, 4,083 yds, 18 TD, 23 Int)