Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III appear poised to be only the fourth pair of quarterbacks to go 1-2 in the NFL draft in the last 20 years. Both have had stellar college careers, but only one seems destined to have the same kind of success in the NFL ... if history repeats itself.
In all three cases during the last two decades, one member of the quarterback duo selected in the top two of the draft has gone on to enjoy a lengthy and successful pro career; the other has been more or less a bust.
In 1993, Drew Bledsoe was taken No. 1 overall by the New England Patriots. His 14-year career included two Super Bowl appearances (a win as Tom Brady’s backup and a loss as starter) and four Pro Bowl selections. He ranks in the top 20 on several all-time passing lists, including sixth in completions (3,839) and eighth in yards (44,611).
That same year, Seattle used the No. 2 pick on Rick Mirer, who spent four years with the Seahawks before bouncing around to several more teams. No playoff appearances or Pro Bowl selections.
In 1998, Peyton Manning was the top overall pick and spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts before signing with the Denver Broncos this off-season. The future Hall of Famer is the only four-time MVP in league history, is an 11-time Pro Bowl selection and led the Colts to two Super Bowl appearances, including one victory.
San Diego used the No. 2 pick that year on Ryan Leaf, who has become known as one of the biggest busts in league history. After three injury-plagued and overall disastrous seasons with the Chargers, Leaf made a handful of unsuccessful comeback attempts with various teams.
In 1999, Tim Couch was made the top overall pick by Cleveland. He did manage to lead the Browns into the playoffs once during his five seasons with the team but is largely considered to be a disappointment as an NFL quarterback.
Philadelphia took Donovan McNabb at No. 2 that year. In 11 seasons with Eagles (before spending the last two with Washington and Minnesota), he led the team to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. He is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and is in the top 20 on several all-time passing lists.
Hopefully the trend will end this year and both Luck and Griffin will enjoy long and successful careers. How do you think things will pan out? Vote in the poll, then leave us a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.
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