NFL Draft – History of Draft Picks Order

In preparation for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, which takes place on April 23rd, I went back and took a look at each team’s history of picking in their current draft slot.

Note – number next each team is how many times they have picked in their 2020 slot and only includes picks since the “modern era” of the NFL began in 1970.

1. Cincinnati Bengals – 3

Previous #1 picks: QB Carson Palmer (2003), RB Ki-Jana Carter (1995), DT Dan Wilkinson (1994)

Joe Burrow is going to the #1 pick, the second QB to be drafted #1 by the Bengals since 2003. The Bengals have drafted 5 quarterbacks in the first round, dating back to 1969. Those 5 have combined records of 58-95-2 and 0 playoff wins.

You can read more on the Bengals history at #1 and the failures of Carter and Wilkinson.

2. Washington Redskins – 2

Previous #2 picks: QB Robert Griffin III (2012), LB LaVar Arrington (2000)

The last time the Redskins picked #2, they traded a king’s ransom to the Rams to move up to draft the Heisman Trophy winner. Among the guys the Rams got with the Redskins picks – Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Isaiah Pead, Alec Ogletree, Greg Robinson.

The very first NFL Draft was held in 1936, and the Redskins picked #2, drafting QB Riley Smith from Alabama, as the first ever second overall pick.

3. Detroit Lions – 3

Previous #3 picks: Joey Harrington (2002), Barry Sanders (1989), S Bennie Blades (1988)

Quite the mixed bag. Harrington was a huge bust, Sanders is one of the best running backs of all-time, and Blades had a good, solid career.

4. New York Giants – 1

Previous #4 picks: Philip Rivers (2004)

Rivers was traded during the draft to the Chargers for Eli Manning. Giants also gave up their 2004 first round pick (Shawne Merriman) and a 2003 third round pick (Nate Kaeding)

5. Miami Dolphins – 0

Assuming they don’t trade up, Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert will be the Dolphins’ first ever 5th overall pick. One of those two would also be the first QB drafted by the Dolphins in round one since Ryan Tannehill in 2012 and the 5th QB ever (Tannehill, Dan Marino, Bob Greise, Rick Norton).

6. Los Angeles Chargers – 1

Previous #6 picks: DB Mossy Cade (1984)

Cade never played in the NFL, only the USFL.

IF the Chargers take a QB, they have had a rough past with first round quarterbacks. Marty Domres was the 9th pick in 1969 and started on 6 games. Ryan Leaf was drafted #2 in 1998. Eli Manning was #1 in 2003 and never played for the Chargers.

7. Carolina Panthers – 0

Panthers never picked 7th, but they did take RB Christian McCaffery #8 in 2017 and LT Jordan Gross #8 in 2003.

8. Arizona Cardinals – 2

Previous #8 picks: WR David Boston (1999), CB Antrel Rolle (2005)

Boston caught 18 TDs in 4 years with the Cardinals, and led the NFL in receiving yards in 2001 with 1,598 yards.

These are the only two 8th overall picks, since the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – 3

Previous #9 picks: RB Fred Taylor (1998), DT John Henderson (2002), WR Reggie Williams (2004)

Jags have hit on two of their three #9 picks. Taylor is a legend who holds the franchise record 11,271 yards. His 62 TDs are second all-time (to Maurice Jones-Drew) but 29 more than third place.

John Henderson made 2x Pro Bowls and was Second-team All-Pro in 2006.

Williams was a major disappointment, who caught 189 career passes in 79 games, over 5 years.

10. Cleveland Browns – 0

Since the Browns’ rebirth in 1999, they have picked in the top 10 a total of 13 times – but never at #10.

11. New York Jets – 0

Jets have picked in the top 6 in 4 of the last 5 drafts. The last non-top 10 pick the Jets took was LB Darron Lee at #20 in 2016.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – 2

Previous #12 picks: S Patrick Bates (1993), CB DJ Hayden (2013)

Based on history, Raiders should avoid drafting a defensive back. Bates played three years with Raiders and was plagued by off-field issues. He recorded just one interception.

Hayden missed 19 games in 4 years and had just 3 interceptions.

13. San Francisco 49ers – 1

Previous #13 picks: RB Earl Cooper (1980)

Cooper was never the 49ers’ leading rusher, but he did catch a touchdown pass from Joe Montana in Super Bowl XVI, when the 49ers beat the Bengals in 1982.

49ers acquired this pick from the Colts, in a trade involving DeForest Buckner. Colts have never picked #13 in their franchise’s history.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1

Previous #14 picks: OT Kenyatta Walker (2001)

Bucs could use an offensive lineman in 2020 to protect Tom Brady in their attempt to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. That 2005 season saw Walker start at left tackle. Walker was a key cog on the Bucs’ OL and started at left tackle in Super Bowl XVI when the Bucs beat the Raiders to end the 2002 season. Between 2001-2005, Walker missed just 8 games.

15. Denver Broncos – 4

Previous #15 picks: OG Tom Glassic (1976), DB Dennis Smith (1981), LB John Mobley (1996), CB Deltha O’Neal (2000)

#15 has been successful for the Broncos – Dennis Smith made 6 Pro Bowls, 2x First-team All Pro and is in the Broncos’ Ring of Honor.

Mobley was an All-Pro in his second season and helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

O’Neal had more success after leaving the Broncos, but did make the Pro Bowl in 2001.

16. Atlanta Falcons – 1

Previous #16 picks: DE Mike Pitts (1983)

Pitts played 4 years in Atlanta, recording 25 sacks, 6 fumble recoveries, one interception and touchdown.

17. Dallas Cowboys – 3

Previous #17 picks: DT Kevin Brooks (1985), RB Emmitt Smith (1990), DB Kevin Smith (1992)

#17 has treated Dallas well – Emmitt Smith is one of the greatest running backs of all-time and is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.

Kevin Smith played 8 years in Dallas, grabbing 19 interceptions and winning 3 Super Bowls.

18. Miami Dolphins – 0

Since 2004, the Dolphins have picked 19th twice, drafting an offensive tackle both times (Vernon Carey 2004, Ja’Wuan James 2014) but never picked #18.

Dolphins acquired this pick from the Steelers for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Steelers last picked 18th in 2010, when they drafted 8x Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey.

19. Las Vegas Raiders – 2

Previous #19 picks: CB Jack Tatum (1971), OT Henry Lawrence (1974)

#19 has plenty of Super Bowl experience for the Raiders – Tatum was part of the 1976 Championship team, while Lawrence was part of all 3 of the Raiders franchise’s Super Bowls (1976, 1980, 1983)

Raiders acquired this pick from the Bears, who have picked #19 twice – LB Otis Wilson (1980) and DE Shea McClellin (2012).

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – 0

In 27 all-time first round picks, the Jaguars have picked in the 20s just 8 times. RB James Stewart (1999) was drafted #19 and three guys were drafted at #21 – DT Renaldo Wynn (1997), WR Matt Jones (2005), S Reggie Nelson (2007).

This pick originally belonged to the Rams, who acquired Jalen Ramsey for the Jaguars pick. Rams haven’t had a first round pick since 2016. They have picked #20 five times – Hall of Fame DE Jack Youngblood (1971), OT Doug France, (1975) RB Elvis Peacock (1978), WR Aaron Cox (1988), DB Adam Archuleta (2001)

21. Philadelphia Eagles – 2

Previous #21 picks: LB Jerry Robinson (1979), OG Danny Watkins (2011)

Robinson played 6 years in Philly. He made the Pro Bowl in 1981 and multiple All-Pro teams.

Watkins, a former firefighter, was drafted at age 26, and was largely ineffective for two seasons, before being released in 2012.

22. Minnesota Vikings – 1

Previous #22 picks: WR Percy Harvin (2009)

Harvin didn’t have a long career and only spent 4 years in Minnesota, but they were mostly successful years – 20 receiving TDs, 3,302 yards receiving, 4 rushing TDs, 683 rushing yards

23. New England Patriots – 3

Previous #23 picks: OT Bruce Armstrong (1987), CB Ty Law (1995), OL Isaiah Wynn (2018)

#23 has treated the Patriots extremely well. Armstrong was a 6-time Pro Bowler and his #78 jersey is retired by the Patriots. Ty Law won 3 Super Bowls with the Pats, made 5 Pro Bowls and in 2019, was named to the NFL Hall of Fame.

Wynn’s career has been slowed by injuries through two years, but he is a projected starter heading into 2020.

24. New Orleans Saints – 3

Previous #24 picks: LB Alvin Toles (1983), RB Craig Heyward (1988), DE Cameron Jordan (2011)

Cameron Jordan has made 5 Pro Bowls and was recently named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s. Heyward’s most successful season came years after leaving the Saints (with the rival Falcons). Toles impact was mostly on special teams.

25. Minnesota Vikings  – 6

Previous #25 picks: OT John Ward (1970), OT Steve Riley (1974), DE Mark Mullaney (1975), DT James White (1976), DT Chris Hovan (2000), CB Xavier Rhodes (2013)

Vikings will pick #25 for the 7th time, the most of any team picking in one spot in the 2020 Draft. Of the course 6 previously drafted, only Xavier Rhodes ever made a Pro Bowl.

26. Miami Dolphins – 2

Previous #26 picks: DE Don Reese (1974), CB Jamar Fletcher (2001)

Dolphins acquired this pick from the Texans, in a trade for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. Like the Dolphins, Texans have also picked twice at #26, drafting LT Duane Brown in 2008 and DE Whitney Mercilus in 2012.

27. Seattle Seahawks – 1

Previous #27 picks: RB Rashaad Penny (2018)

Penny was drafted to replace Marshawn Lynch, but has played behind Chris Carson the last two years. He has only 789 yards and 5 TDs through two seasons and is trending towards being out of the league sooner than later.

28. Baltimore Ravens – 0

Ravens have never picked #28 but have a strong history picking towards the end of the draft – Hall of Famers Ed Reed (24) and Ray Lewis (26), MVP Lamar Jackson (32), and Pro Bowlers TE Todd Heap (31) and OG Ben Grubbs (29).

29. Tennessee Titans – 0

Of the Titans’ 55 first round picks all-time, only 11 picks have been in the 20s-30s. Titans have never picked 29 and the latest pick they have ever had is #30 (twice) and most recently was 2009 when they drafted WR Kenny Britt and LB Keith Bulluck in 2000.

30. Green Bay Packers – 2

Previous #30 picks: OG Ross Verba (1997), S Damarious Randall (2015)

Verba was a great pick for the Packers, making history by being the first rookie to ever start a Super Bowl at left tackle in 1997, when the Packers lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. Randall was a decent player, starting 30 games in 3 years and picking off 10 passes, before being traded to the Browns in 2018.

31. San Francisco 49ers – 2

Previous #31 picks: WR Rashaun Woods (2004), LB Reuben Foster (2014)

Super Bowl runner-ups always get the #31 pick. Last time the 49ers lost the Super Bowl (2013), they traded up to get safety Eric Reid.

#31 hasn’t been good to the Niners at all. Woods played one season and caught 7 passes before injuries derailed his career. Foster played 16 games over two seasons and was release due to off-field misconduct and an arrest.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – 0

Shouldn’t be a surprise that the Chiefs have never picked #32. Pending a trade, the 32nd pick belongs to the Super Bowl champions, which the Chiefs are for the first time since 1969.

Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.

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