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The NFL Draft's 1st pick isn't as important as you might think

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Is the NFL Draft really that important? Well yes it is, but how important? Every season there is a big deal made about the number one pick in the draft, but how effective is that player?

'Johnny Football' Manziel is arguably the most talked about player in American Football at the moment because of the debate about when he will be drafted. Some mock drafts say he will be number one, and some say much later.

So here at GiveMeSport, we thought we would get our analysing hat on and find out how successful previous number one picks have been. Lets start by looking at all of the number one picks since Peyton Manning came into the NFL at that position in 1998.

1998 Peyton Manning QB
1999 Tim Couch QB
2000 Courtney Brown DE
2001 MIchael Vick QB
2002 David Carr QB
2003 Carson Palmer QB
2004 Eli Manning QB
2005 Alex Smith QB
2006 Mario Williams DE
2007 JeMarcus Russell QB
2008 Jake Long OT
2009 Matthew Stafford QB
2010 Sam Bradford QB
2011 Cam Newton QB
2012 Andrew Luck QB
2013 Eric Fisher OT

This includes 12 quarterbacks and only two defensive players. Now lets evaluate the success of these guys.

Manning of course is a four-time MVP of the league, but out of the other number one picks, we don't have any MVP's or Defensive Player's of the Year.

Since 1998, only one NFL MVP has come from a player picked with the first overall pick. There have been some good first round picks that have come up with the award though, such as Marshall Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson.

However, players that have been chosen in the later rounds have faired well. Take two-time league MVP Tom Brady for example, 198 players were taken before him in the 2000 NFL Draft.

Then there is Rich Gannon, who was a fourth round pick, and lets not forget three-time Super Bowl appearance veteran Kurt Warner, who was undrafted.

Alternatively, if we look at some of the most recent 1st overall picks like Stafford, Newton and Luck. All three have been integral parts in turning round their organisation, specifically Luck who has more than filled the void left by Manning at the Colts.

Simply put, the NFL Draft's first pick can be important depending on the need of the team. Take Houston for instance this year, they desperately need a QB, and the first choice they have will benefit them tremendously.

However, the NFL Draft is all about finding the right fit for your team, and the right mentality and skill set for the NFL. Take Oakland's pick of Russell in 2007, he was not the right player for the Raiders, and his skill set clearly wasn't up to NFL standards.

Whoever the Houston pick at number one - whether that be Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Jadeveon Clowney or another player - the Texans will have to make sure they are the right fit regardless of their highlight reels.

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Topics:
NFL
Oakland Raiders
Houston Texans
Peyton Manning
Indianapolis Colts
NFL Draft

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