Alex Smith was the first pick of the 2005 draft and has mostly been unimpressive thus far. He might be running out of chances to get off this list.
The AAFC held drafts from 1947 to 1949. Many of their drafted players elected to play in the NFL instead.
Frank Aschenbrenner was the first ever player drafted. He lasted one year with the Buffalo Bills, carrying the ball eight times for 14 yards before retiring.
Clyde Scott was the first pick in 1948 by the Buffalo Bills, but he was also the eighth overall selection by the Philadelphia Eagles. He joined the Eagles for just over three years, before finishing his career with the Detroit Lions. He won a championship with each team.
Abe Gibron was the last number-one draft pick of the AAFC, also by the Bills. He played ten games in Buffalo, then the league went defunct.
He joined the Cleveland Bowns for over 6 years, making the Pro Bowl four times. He was traded to the Philadephia Eagles late in 1956, then joined the Chicago Bears in 1958. He retired after the 1959 season, having won three championships with Cleveland.
He later became a head coach of the Chicago Bears for three years, then one year for the Chicago Winds of the World Football League. He later joined the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was beloved for his sense of humor and love of food.
The fourth installment of the American Football League held drafts from 1960 to 1966.
Like the AAFC, many drafted players went to the NFL, though the AFL was much more aggressive and signed more players.
This aggressiveness led to better play than what the NFL was producing, forcing a merger between the two leagues.
The 1960 draft was a territorial draft, though officially the Oakland Raiders selected a player in a supplemental draft who never played for them.
The first pick of the 1961 draft was Bob Gaiters by the Denver Broncos, but he opted to play with the New York Giants instead.
Roman Gabriel was the first pick in 1962 by the Raiders, but he too chose the NFL.
Hall of Fame defensive tackle Buck Buchanan was the first selection in 1963 by the Kansas City Chiefs, and he became the first to actually play in the AFL. Amazingly, the New York Giants waited until the 19th round to draft him in the NFL, and 264 players were chosen before him.
Buchanan led the Chiefs to two Super Bowls, winning one, in a 13-year career that saw him named to eight Pro Bowls and four First Team All-Pro honors.
Jack Concannon was the first pick in 1964 by the Boston Patriots. The NFL Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in the second round, so he chose to go there. He lasted ten years, promarily as a reserve.
"Broadway" Joe Namath was the first pick of the 1965 AFL draft by the New York Jets.
He is widely regarded as the man who saved that franchise from extinction.
He became the first man to throw for over 4,000 yards, quite a feat in the ten-yard chuck rule era. He lasted 12 years with the Jets and one with the Los Angeles Rams.
He led the league in passing yards three times, as well as interceptions. He went to five Pro Bowls, but the Hall of Famer is best remembered for the "Guarantee".
His Jets upset a favored Oakland Raiders in the AFL Champoionship, a team that handled them just five weeks earlier, that enabled them to oppose the heavily favored NFL Champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
New York won 16-7, shaking up the world of professional football and bringing respect to the AFL and helped force the eventual merger in 1970.
The 1966 season was the last AFL Draft before the leagues merged their drafts.
The Miami Dolphins selected Jim Grabowski, but he elected to join the Green Bay Packers. They had selected him ninth overall that season.
Though Buchanan and Namath were the only first overall picks to play in the AFL, their impact is historic.
Both brought the AFL their only Super Bowl trophies,proving to all their league wasn't as inferior as the NFL loved to claim.
They made football better then, which in turn made the future of professional football better off.