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Who’s The Best #1 Draft Pick Of The Past 10 Years?

We are rapidly approaching arguably the most anticipated NFL draft in recent years, with much-hyped Caleb Williams likely going as the number one pick to the Bears. Looking at the past ten years, it's fair to say the overall first-draft pick is not always a lock to be a superstar. In fact, you can say some of them have not lived up to their potential. Now, when you are the first pick in the NFL draft, that acclaimed position comes with incredibly high and sometimes unfair expectations. However, you are receiving an insane amount of money and attention. In addition, you are often counted on to be the new face of the franchise. It's a prestigious honor. Some of the best NFL players to ever hit the field were the first pick in the draft. Players like Peyton Manning, John Elway, and Bo Jackson all heard their respective names called first. Conversely, missing the first pick in the draft can have major ramifications, including the loss of jobs for General Managers and coaches. Over the past ten years, many big names have been selected first. Some of these players became immediate celebrities even before draft night, as the sports world knew they would be the first pick. Who Is The Best Overall First Draft Pick Of The Past 10 Years? Let's first set the stage. This question dates back to 2014. That year, the Houston Texans owned the top pick and selected defensive pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina. Clowney is now on his sixth team (Carolina Panthers) and only spent five years in Houston. We then have seven quarterbacks selected first over the next nine years. The only other non-QB's were also defenders. Myles Garrett went to the Browns in 2017 and Travon Walker to the Jaguars. The QBs included Kyler Murray, Jared Goff, Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, Trevor Lawrence, and Bryce Young. There is one name that jumps out at me in this list of ten. Joe Burrow in 2020 to the Cincinnati Bengals seems like the clear choice as the biggest home run of the first picks since 2014. If you recall, Burrow was the first guy that Commissioner Roger Goodell called out from his basement couch during the 2020 draft, done from home during the start of the pandemic. In year two, Burrow led the team to the Super Bowl. He was tasked with completely changing the perception of the lowly Bengals, in addition to being the face of the team. He did just that very quickly. This still does not come without major challenges for Burrow. He was hurt last season and missed the majority of the year. It's fair to say this upcoming season is a very important one for Burrow. He has to stay healthy. Myles Garrett, who has won Defensive Player of the Year and had a monster season in 2023, is a name to consider here. Garrett, though, has not been able to single-handedly change the Browns. It's a quarterback-driven league. Trevor Lawrence still has potential but also has not brought the Jaguars to the next level. In addition to Clowney, Winston is out of Tampa, Goff is out of Los Angeles, and Mayfield is out of Cleveland. Even when injured, Burrow is recognized as one of the best players in the entire league. His demeanor factors into this as well. He has a cool confidence and always backs that confidence up on the field. Other star players on the Bengals (like Ja'Marr Chase) don't want to go anywhere else, knowing #9 is their captain. So, Williams (assumed to be the #1 pick this year) will have a lot of eyes on him in Chicago. He has a great supporting cast in place already. Will it be enough to have him top Burrow as the best #1 draft pick of recent years? We shall see. [select-listicle listicle_id="690584" syndication_name="3-potential-nfl-draft-destinations-for-uncs-drake-maye" description="yes"]

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