2024 NFL Draft: Diving into recent history of No. 1 overall pick

What have the previous No. 1 overall picks looked like in the NFL Draft?

NFL Combine
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With the 2024 NFL Draft happening later this month, now is the time to dive into the recent history of the No. 1 overall pick. Unless something crazy happens, Caleb Williams will be the top pick in this year's draft, as he'll head to the Chicago Bears to hopefully revive the franchise. The No. 1 overall pick is now typically a quarterback, but there are many instances of it not being a QB.

The last non-quarterback to go first overall as Travon Walker back in 2022. The top pick definitely comes with a good bit of fame, and the pressure to perform given their draft status is through the roof. Not every top pick works out though. With the 2024 NFL Draft later this month, let's take a look at the recent history of the No. 1 overall pick.

2024 NFL Draft: Diving into recent history of No. 1 overall pick


2023 NFL Draft - Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young's rookie season was a disaster, but it surely was not all his fault. The 2023 Carolina Panthers were a downright mess from top to bottom, as a new general manager and new coaching staff was brought in. However, even though 2023 wasn't all on Young, he does need to show some development in year two.

2022 NFL Draft - Travon Walker, DL, Jacksonville Jaguars

Perhaps a surprising top pick, Travon Walker went first overall to the Jaguars back in 2022 and did breakout a bit in 2023, racking up 10 sacks, 52 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 19 QB hits. The Jags regressed a bit from their promising 2022 season, but Walker looks like a superstar in the making, and year three could be a true arrival year for him.

2021 NFL Draft - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence going first overall was happening all along back in 2021, and the Jaguars were able to land T-Law, who has actually been rather inconsistent during his first three years in the NFL. Both 2021 and 2023 were forgettable seasons for Lawrence, but his 2022 season was his best year to date. At this point, there is no indication that the Jags plan on extending him this offseason.

2020 NFL Draft - Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback is easily the second-best QB in the NFL and is a bonafide franchise player. However, Burrow has suffered two separate season-ending injuries, which I think isn't talked about enough. When he's on the field and healthy, the Bengals are true Super Bowl contenders, and through the first four top picks we've looked at, Burrow is the best player by far.

2019 NFL Draft - Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Another No. 1 overall pick that was largely well-known was Kyler Murray going to the Arizona Cardinals, and that came after the Cardinals gave the "Josh Rosen is our guy" schtick, even though no one believed that. While Murray hasn't necessarily played quite as well as the No. 1 overall pick should, he's one of the true dual-threat passers in the NFL and I believe is set for a breakout year in 2024.

The last five No. 1 overall picks have been a mixed bag altogether. Does this spell trouble for the likely 2024 first-overall pick, Caleb Williams?