Since 2015, quarterbacks have become the top pick in all but two NFL Drafts.
Breaking that trend are Myles Garrett in 2017 and Travon Walker this year.
Play-callers have become a valuable commodity ever since the NFL became a pass-first league.
Teams that get it right have a franchise cornerstone that could play for at least a decade.
However, it’s not every year that can’t-miss quarterback talent is available.
Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback drafted in the first round this year.
The last time that situation happened was in 2013 when the Buffalo Bills took EJ Manuel.
In 1996, no quarterbacks were taken in the first round.
That’s a stark contrast from the 2018 NFL Draft, wherein five quarterbacks were taken in round one.
That count is tied with the 1999 and 2001 drafts for second-most quarterbacks taken in the opening round.
But four seasons later, the careers of the 2018 draftees unfolded differently.
2018 Draft QBs, four years later …
• Baker Mayfield (1): starting for his 2nd team.
• Sam Darnold (3): backing up Mayfield on his 2nd team.
• Josh Allen (7): Top 5 player at the position.
• Josh Rosen (10): cut by his 6th team.
• Lamar Jackson (32): ’19 MVP, 2 Pro Bowls.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 30, 2022
Mixed Paths Taken
cAlbert Breer shared the fate of the five quarterbacks taken in the opening round of the 2018 draft.
Baker Mayfield, the top overall selection, was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers last month and will start in Week 1 against his former team.
Taken two spots behind him was Sam Darnold, his backup at Carolina.
Josh Allen was taken seventh overall and remains the undisputed starter for the Buffalo Bills.
Last offseason, he agreed to a six-year, $258 million contract extension.
Then there’s Josh Rosen, who uttered the infamous line, “nine mistakes were made ahead of me.”
Unfortunately, he will have to continue his NFL journey elsewhere after the Browns released him.
With the last pick in that first round, the Baltimore Ravens took Lamar Jackson, who has become a league MVP.
Both parties are working their way towards a contract extension.