It’s maybe more fun to remember the high-round busts and the low-round gems and think that where a player gets drafted isn’t really a predictor of future success.
The reality, though, is that for every JaMarcus Russell, the first overall pick in 2007 who was out of the league three years later, there are lots of Peyton Mannings and Andrew Lucks, who proved worthy of the No. 1 spot.
In fact, consider the variance in success of players taken with the first pick from those taken with what is now the last pick of the first round — No. 32 overall.
Of the 84 players taken No. 1 overall, 46 later made it to at least one Pro Bowl (or what passed for the league’s All-Star game). Of the 84 players taken No. 32, just 13 have.
That’s particularly relevant to the Seahawks, who have the No. 32 pick this year by virtue of winning the Super Bowl and getting the last spot in the first round.
Seattle will hope its pick (if it keeps it, anyway) will be more like Drew Brees, the most-decorated player taken No. 32, having made eight Pro Bowls.
Such success has proven rare of late, though, as just one of the last 10 players taken No. 32 overall has ever made a Pro Bowl.
Here’s the list:
2013: Safety Matt Elam, Baltimore: Started 15 games as heir apparent to departed Ed Reed.
2012: Running back David Wilson, Giants: Has 504 yards in two seasons, battling injuries.
2011: Offensive lineman Derek Sherrod, Green Bay: Has played just 12 games, also hit by injuries.
2010: Defensive back Patrick Robinson, New Orleans: Started in 2012, injuries held him to two games last season.
2009: Defensive end Evander Hood, Pittsburgh: Just 11.5 sacks in five seasons.
2008: Defensive end Phillip Merling, Miami: First pick of second round when Patriots forfeited pick due to SpyGate.
2007: Receiver Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis: 99 receptions in five years, already out of football.
2006: Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants: Has had a serviceable, if unspectacular career. Still with Giants.
2005: Offensive lineman Logan Mankins, New England: Six-time Pro Bowler
2004: Tight end Ben Watson, New England: Has 340 receptions in a solid career.