By JERRY TAPP
With the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine going on this weekend, there has been a lot of discussion about who might be the overall first pick in the draft, a pick currently held by the Cleveland Browns.
Experts are wondering if the Browns will use the pick on a quarterback, a position where they could use an upgrade. Is there a franchise QB that could turn around the Browns fortunes?
Since 1970, the merger between the AFL and NFL, there have been 22 quarterbacks who were the first overall pick in the draft. In 1970 it was Terry Bradshaw; the last time a QB was the first overall pick was two years ago when the L.A. Rams selected Jared Goff.
Among those 22 QBs chosen as the first pick, there have been many hits, some misses, and a few “wait-and-see” choices. Of the 22 QBs chosen first since 1970, 13 of them are no longer active in the league. If we use career TD passes as a yardstick, it’s safe to say that Peyton Manning has been the most successful of these 13 QBs; he had 539 career TD passes, exactly 200 TD passes ahead of his nearest first-choice QB, brother Eli Manning, who has 339 career TD passes.
Here is the career TD passes of the 22 QBs who were the first overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1970. (The year each of these QBs was drafted is listed after their names; the nine QBs chosen first overall since 1970 who are still active in the NFL are noted.)
539-Peyton Manning, 1998
339-Eli Manning, 2004 (active)
300-John Elway, 1983
294-Carson Palmer, 2003 (active)
275-Vinny Testaverde, 1987
251-Drew Bledsoe, 1993
216-Matthew Stafford, 2009 (active)
212-Terry Bradshaw, 1970
183-Alex Smith, 2005 (active)
165-Troy Aikman, 1989
164-Jim Plunkett, 1971
158-Cam Newton, 2011 (active)
156-Steve Bartkowski, 1975
154-Jeff George, 1990
133-Michael Vick, 2001
132-Andrew Luck, 2012 (active)
101-Sam Bradford, 2010 (active)
69-Jameis Winston, 2015 (active)
65-David Carr, 2002
64-Tim Couch, 1999
18-JaMarcus Russell, 2007
14-Jared Goff, 2016 (active)
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