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History of the No. 1 pick (when it comes to quarterbacks)Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 9:00 AM
When the clock runs out on the Indianapolis Colts first-round choice of the 2012 National Football League (NFL) draft, they will have drafted Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick of the event.
Colts' brass announced Luck will be their choice for the pick earlier this week.
He will become the fourth Stanford quarterback to be drafted No. 1. Other Stanford quarterbacks chosen No. 1 include John Elway (1983), Jim Plunkett (1971) and Bobby Garrett (1954).
Among those quarterbacks are four Super Bowl trophies. Elway and Plunkett each won two. Elway took teams to five Super Bowls.
Garrett played just one season in the league.
There's a rich history here, however. Hopefully, for Colts' fans, Luck will pan out.
Since the beginning of the NFL draft, 30 quarterbacks have been the top pick, not counting Luck just yet.
Notre Dame's Angelo Bertelli was the first quarterback ever drafted with the top pick. That took place in 1944.
Among the quarterbacks drafted with the first pick, several have gone on to spectacular careers, most notably Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, Elway and Terry Bradshaw.
The first quarterback ever drafted with the No. 1 pick to have a significant career was Roman Gabriel, who was taken by the Oakland Raiders (then of the American Football League in 1962. Gabriel put up really good numbers with the Raiders in Al Davis' high-flying offense, but never won a title.
In 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Louisiana Tech standout Terry Bradshaw with the top pick. All Bradshaw did was win four Super Bowls in 10 seasons.
In 1989, the Dallas Cowboys drafted UCLA standout Troy Aikman, who went on to win three Super Bowls.
Peyton Manning was selected with the top pick in 1998 and has won a Super Bowl, and his brother Eli, who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the top pick in 2004, has won two Super Bowls.
Other notable quarterbacks drafted with the top pick have included Steve Bartkowski (in 1975 by the Atlanta Falcons), Vinny Testaverde (in 1987 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and Drew Bledsoe (in 1993 by the New England Patriots).
The jury is still out as to whether recent top drafted quarterbacks -- such as Matthew Stafford (2009 by the Detroit Lions), Sam Bradford (2010 by the St. Louis Rams) and Cam Newton (2011 by the Carolina Panthers) will have spectacular or good careers.
There have also been some busts drafted with the top spot.
Looking at the list, the first one that pops out took place in 1990, when the Colts drafted Jeff George with the top pick.
While George put up decent numbers (for other teams), he never really panned out.
Tim Couch was drafted with the No. 1 pick in 1999 by Cleveland and didn't last very long in the league.
David Carr was drafted in 2002 by the Houston Texans. He still plays in the league, but has been a backup for several years.
And in 2007, the Raiders drafted JaMarcus Russell with the top pick. Russell was out of the league two years later.
Since 2001, nine teams have drafted quarterbacks with the top pick.
Including the above mentioned players, Alex Smith was drafted No. 1 in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers. Smith led the squad to the NFC Championship game this year.
In 2003, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Carson Palmer, who is now a Raider.
In 2001, the Falcons drafted Michael Vick, who is now with the Philadelphia Eagles.
While a handful of these quarterbacks have been incredibly successful, only a handful stand out as being top notch: Bradshaw, Elway, Aikman, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.
Some of the others have won playoff games and put up really good numbers throughout their careers (see Bledsoe, Testaverde, Plunkett, etc.).
Will Luck eventually have his name included among these players? Or will he end up being talked about with the likes of George, Couch or Russell? Only time will tell.