Top Pick Success

Kyle Garlett

We won't know who will be the top pick in the draft until Thursday night. But it appears that we do know what position he will be if we're going by rumors, grades, and oddsmakers.

Right now, Georgia EDGE Travon Walker is the betting favorite, just ahead of Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, who began the offseason as the first pick favorite.

And both players make sense. Over the last 25 drafts, the first overall pick has come from one of three positions - quarterback, defensive end, and offensive tackle.

None of the quarterbacks are worthy of the spot, and there are enough good tackles that none of the top teams need to zero in on just one. So Walker, who was fantastic at the combine, seems to be the guy.

First Pick History

When picking first overall, you must get an impact player. Not just a starter, but a perennial Pro Bowler. This man should become the cornerstone of your franchise for the better part of a decade or longer.

Trevor Lawrence has an incomplete at the moment. He was the obvious choice last season, but Urban Meyer's Jaguars were so dysfunctional that it's hard to know anything about him as a pro. This year should tell us more.

The Bengals get an A+ for Joe Burrow. In just his second year and recovering from a torn ACL, he was in the Super Bowl. There is no redoing this top pick - the Bengals' future is in good hands.

The next two are Kyler Murray in 2019 and Baker Mayfield in 2018. We can with confidence say that Mayfield is a bust.

After four seasons, he is no longer the starter in Cleveland and probably won't be on the roster when the new season kicks off. He helped the team end their playoff drought, but then it all went wrong, and he is out.

Murray's status is stickier. The Cardinals insist he is the man. He says he loves his team and teammates.

Yet, all of us can easily envision a scenario where he is playing for a different team in two years. He's asking for a lot of money, and if the Cardinals make the wrong choice here, it will set them back for years to come.

Myles Garrett - big win for the Browns. It doesn't make up for the bad Mayfield pick, but having him as the face of the defense eases the pain. He is exactly what you want when you pick a defensive player with the top pick.

Jared Goff - oops. Gone from L.A., although he did play in a Super Bowl, and he's just a placeholder in Detroit until they find someone better. Jameis Winston is kind of in the same boat.

The first pick of the Bucs in 2015 started strong, throwing for 4,000 yards as a rookie. But he never made the postseason in five years, and after 30 interceptions in his final season, he was out.

2014 top pick Jadeveon Clowney also has to be considered a bust as a No. 1 overall. He has never been great, topping out as good in his fourth season with the Texans. Playing across from J.J. Watt, he simply has no excuse for not being more productive.

The final two top picks over the last ten years are Eric Fisher of the Chiefs and Andrew Luck of the Colts.

Fisher was dogged by his top pick status during his time in Kansas City, but in a draft short on talent, the truth is the Chiefs made the right call.

Fisher played in two Pro Bowls and protected Patrick Mahome's backside during the Chiefs' win in Super Bowl LIV. The No. 2 pick that year, tackle Luke Joeckel, was out of football after 50 games.

Andrew Luck was the top pick in 2012, and like with Lawrence and Burrow, he was the obvious choice. He played in four Pro Bowls and led Indianapolis to the playoffs in four years, and ultimately was sent to early retirement because of injuries.

First Pick Wins and Losses

So if you're keeping track at home, those are wins for Joe Burrow, Myles Garrett, Eric Fisher, and Andrew Luck.

We'll call it a draw on Trevor Lawrence (could move to win) and Kyler Murray,

It's a loss for the picks of Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff, Jameis Winston, and Jadeveon Clowney.

Good luck to this year's top pick, whomever he may be.