Every No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Pick Before 2016 Is No Longer with the Same Team

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

NFL teams typically hope to land a franchise icon for the next decade when they select a No. 1 overall pick.

That hasn't been the case as of late.

With the Kansas City Chiefs' release of 2013 top pick Eric Fisher, none of the players taken No. 1 overall in 2016 or before are still with the teams that selected them.

NFL Update @MySportsUpdate

All No. 1 overall picks drafted before 2016 are no longer with the team that drafted them: 16: Goff 15: Winston 14: Clowney 13: Fisher 12: Luck 11: Newton 10: Bradford 09: Stafford 08: Jake Long 07: Jamarcus Russell 06: Mario Williams 05: Alex Smith 04: Eli Manning

Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff exited their respective teams when they were traded for one another earlier this offseason. Fisher was a cap casualty as the Chiefs attempt to get under the lowered cap total of $182.5 million.

While Stafford's exit was part of a mutual agreement with the Lions, most of the No. 1 picks have been discarded by teams as they failed to live up to the billing. Stafford, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck are the only names who stand out in the crowd, and even those names come with some caveats. Stafford has one Pro Bowl to his name; Newton's body gave out by his 30th birthday; Luck retired before his body did the same.

The picture gets a little rosier when we advance to 2017, with Myles Garrett looking like he'll be mauling opposing offensive linemen for the next decade. The jury's still not totally out on Baker Mayfield (2018) but he's far from a bust, Kyler Murray (2019) is already a star in the making, and Joe Burrow (2020) looked ready for the limelight before suffering an ACL tear as a rookie.

It's also worth noting that it's exceedingly rare for players in any sport to stick around their original teams their entire careers. If we apply the same criteria to the NBA, only Ben Simmons (2016) and Karl-Anthony Towns (2015) are with their original teams among players drafted in 2016 or before.