List of Quarterbacks Drafted #1 Overall in NFL Draft by Year

The reason this post exists was to find our where Bryce Young’s rookie season stacked up historically.

I was shocked to not find a simple list of all quarterbacks drafted #1 overall in the NFL Draft. So I made this.

Through the 2023 NFL Draft, 88 players have been selected first overall. 35 quarterbacks have been selected as the first overall pick. 40% of the time a QB has been selected #1.

A quarterback was not selected as the #1 pick until 1944.

There are two things you will notice about this list immediately:

1) The same teams draft QBs #1 overall consistently.

The Colts have done it 5 times.
The Rams have done it 4 times.
The Browns have done it 3 times.
The Patriots have done it twice.
The Bengals have done it twice.
The Falcons have done it twice.
The Panthers have done it twice.
The Buccaneers have done it twice.
The Boston Yanks did it twice.

2) The phenomenon of drafting a quarterback number one overall is a recent trend.

As noted above it took 8 drafts for a QB to go #1.

In the span of the last 25 years from 1998 to 2023, QBs were selected first overall 19 times. 76% of the time.

Here are the 35 QBs that have been drafted #1 overall:

1944 — QB Angelo Bertelli, Boston Yanks
1946 — QB Frank Dancewicz, Boston Yanks
1952 — QB Bill Wade, Los Angeles Rams
1954 — QB Bobby Garrett, Cleveland Browns
1955 — QB George Shaw, Baltimore Colts
1958 — QB King Hill, Chicago Cardinals
1959 — QB Randy Duncan, Green Bay Packers
1963 — QB Terry Baker, Los Angeles Rams
1970 — QB Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers
1971 — QB Jim Plunkett, New England Patriots
1975 — QB Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta Falcons
1983 — QB John Elway, Baltimore Colts
1987 — QB Vinny Testaverde, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1989 — QB Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys
1990 — QB Jeff George, Indianapolis Colts
1993 — QB Drew Bledsoe, New England Patriots
1998 — QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
1999 — QB Tim Couch, Cleveland Browns
2001 — QB Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons
2002 — QB David Carr, Houston Texans
2003 — QB Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
2004 — QB Eli Manning, New York Giants
2005 — QB Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
2007 — QB JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders
2009 — QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
2010 — QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
2011 — QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
2012 — QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
2015 — QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016 — QB Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
2018 — QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
2019 — QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
2020 — QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
2021 — QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
2023 — QB Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

Random NFL Draft Quarterback Factoids

The first NFL Draft after the NFL and AFL merger was in 1970. From 1947 through 1958 the first selection was awarded by a random draw.

The NFL Draft started in 1936. The first overall draft pick ever was running back Jay Berwanger. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles.

3 first overall draft pick quarterbacks have been named NFL Rookie of the Year: Sam Bradford (2010); Cam Newton (2011); and Kyler Murray (2019).

The Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams have each made the most first overall selections in history with seven.