Trading for the #1 overall pick in the draft ... is it worth it?

Trading for the #1 overall pick in the draft ... is it worth it?

The Bengals have done it; so have a few other teams... paid a ransom for the opportunity to make the top pick in the NFL draft.

1983 DRAFT ... John Elway

Go back 30 years to the most famous trade for the 1st overall pick. Baltimore had the top choice, but Elway insisted he’d rather pursue baseball than play for the Colts (pre-Indy days).

The Colts traded the #1 overall pick in 1983 to the Denver Broncos for the #4 pick in the 1983 draft, their 1st round pick in the 1984 draft, and a QB already on the Bronco’s roster (Mark Herrmann).


#1 (1983) John Elway


#4 (1983) Chris Hinton

#19 (1984) Ron Solt

QB Mark Herrmann

On the surface it looks like a homerun trade for Denver, because he’s in the Hall of Fame, and nobody has ever heard of the other guys. In reality, it was a beneficial trade for Denver, but not as lopsided as it may appear. Chris Hinton was a 7 time Pro-Bowl Left Tackle who played for over a dozen years in the NFL. Ron Solt was a solid starting Tackle who also reached a Pro-Bowl. Although Mark Herrmann was rather horrid as a QB

It was a good trade to move up for the #1 overall pick.

1990 DRAFT ... Jeff George

Seven years later the Colts were involved in the next trade to involve the #1 overall selection. This time in Indy, they traded for the #1 overall pick.

The Colts gave up a young stud WR Andre Rison, Multi-Pro-Bowl Left Tackle Chris Hinton (acquired in the earlier trade), their 5th round selection in 1990, and their 1st round pick in 1991.


#1 (1990) Jeff George


WR Andre Rison

LT Chris Hinton

#121 (1990) Reggie Redding

#13 (1991) Mike Pritchard

Jeff George had a decent career in the NFL, but struggled to become more than mediocre.

Andre Rison and Chris Hinton both became All Pro selections with Atlanta. Rison made 5 Pro Bowl trips, compiling over 10,000 receiving yards. Pritchard was a decent receiver, starting 6 years in the NFL totaling over 5,000 receiving yards.

In a funny twist of fate, after 4 miserable years of Jeff George at QB, the Colts shipped him off to Atlanta, of all places.

It was a very bad trade to move up for the #1 overall pick.

1995 DRAFT ... Ki-Jana Carter

As we all know, those Penn State running backs always pan out. Carter boasted speed, power, and elusiveness, and Mike Brown wanted him badly.

In exchange for the #1 overall selection, the Bengals shipped their #5 overall selection and #36 selection to the expansion Panthers.


#1 Ki-Jana Carter


#5 Kerry Collins

#36 Shawn King

As everybody knows, Carter never made it to his first regular season game before injury derailed any chance he had of a productive career. Meanwhile, the Bengals struggled with the likes of Akili Smith and David Klinger while Kerry Collins passed for over 40,000 yards and tossed over 200 td’s.

It was a very bad trade to move up for the #1 overall pick.

2001 DRAFT ... Michael Vick

Seen as the poster child for a revolution at the quarterback position, Vick was seen as a once in a generation type of game changer who could zip laser passes while outrunning the fastest of defensive backs.

After having traded away a #1 overall pick a decade earlier, the Falcons traded for the #1 overall pick this time. They gave up their #5 overall selection, their 3rd round selection, their 2nd round selection in 2002, and receiver / returner Tim Dwight.


#1 Michael Vick


#5 (2001) LaDanian Tomlinson

#67 (2001) Tay Cody

#48 (2002) Reche Caldwell

WR/KR Tim Dwight

Vick was a good QB, and showed signs of promise. But constant injuries and a dog-fighting arrest limited his career numbers to only 21,000 passing yards and 128 td’s over the last 13 years. Tomlinson was a multiple All-Pro selection, and Pro-Bowl selection who topped 18,000 total yards and 100 td’s. LT himself made the trade one-sided. Adding the mediocre Dwight, Cody and Caldwell made the trade slightly more lopsided.

It was a bad trade to move up for the #1 overall pick.

2004 DRAFT ... Eli Manning

Three years later, and the Chargers again had the top pick, and again traded it away. Archie Manning avowed that his son would NEVER play for the Chargers, and the Chargers obliged. They drafted Eli Manning, but quickly moved him on to the Giants.

The Giants gave up their #4 overall selection and 3rd pick, and their 1st round pick in 2005.


#1 Eli Manning


#4 (2004) Philip Rivers

#65 (2004) Nate Kaeding

#12 (2005) Shawnee Merriman

Eli has been an above average QB who happened to be on 2 teams with great defenses that went on to win Super Bowls. That much cannot be taken away from him. But the on-field production of the pieces involved clearly seem to point to the Chargers. Rivers has thrown for 40 more TD’s, and has a much much much better QB rating. Merriman cranked out 39.5 sacks in his first 3 years. Both he and Kaeding were All-Pro and made it to multiple Pro-Bowls.

It was a bad trade to move up for the #1 overall pick.


2012 DRAFT ... RGIII

Granted, RGIII was not the top overall choice, but the price that Washington paid for his selection at #2 overall was so high that it might of well have been for the #1 overall pick. Similar to the other trades listed above, shelling out a king’s ransom for a top notch draft pick doesn’t seem to be worth it.

The evidence seems to point that it is not worth trading for the top pick.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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