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When Did Your Team Draft A QB In The First Round?

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EJ Manuel was the only QB selected in the first round last year. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.
EJ Manuel was the only QB selected in the first round last year. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.

The 2013 NFL Draft saw only one quarterback taken in the first round: Florida State’s E.J. Manuel was selected with the 16th pick by the Buffalo Bills. It was the first time in over a decade that only one QB was chosen in the first round … the last time was in 2001 when Michael Vick was the only QB taken in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons.

This year’s mock draft projections seem to indicate that probably three quarterbacks are likely to be taken in the first round: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortels and Johnny Manziel. Who selects them is still anyone’s guess, but draft experts predict anywhere from seven to 13 teams will select a QB in the draft. Included on that list are teams such as Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota, Tennessee, the New York Jets, and Houston.

For some teams, it has been a long time since taking a quarterback in the first round. Consider the New Orleans Saints. The Saints last took a QB in the first round back in 1971 when they selected Archie Manning. With Drew Brees at the helm, it probably won’t be anytime soon that they use their first round pick on a QB.

Following are the years each of the NFL teams last drafted a quarterback in the first round.

Last year drafted QB in first round, team(s)

1971: New Orleans (Archie Manning)

1983: Kansas City (Todd Blackledge)

1989: Dallas (Troy Aikman*)

1993: New England (Drew Bledsoe); Seattle (Rick Mirer)

1999: Philadelphia (Donovan McNabb**)

2002: Houston (David Carr)

2003: Chicago (Rex Grossman); Cincinnati (Carson Palmer)

2004: New York Giants (Philip Rivers); Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger); San Diego (Eli Manning)

2005: Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers); San Francisco (Alex Smith)

2006: Arizona (Matt Leinart)

2007: Oakland (JaMarcus Russell)

2008: Atlanta (Matt Ryan); Baltimore (Joe Flacco)

2009: Detroit (Matt Stafford); New York Jets (Mark Sanchez); Tampa Bay (Josh Freeman)

2010: Denver (Tim Tebow); St. Louis (Sam Bradford)

2011: Carolina (Cam Newton); Jacksonville (Blaine Gabbert); Minnesota (Christian Ponder); Tennessee (Jake Locker)

2012: Cleveland (Brandon Weeden); Indianapolis (Andrew Luck); Miami (Ryan Tannehill); Washington (Robert Griffin III)

2013: Buffalo (E.J. Manuel)

* The Cowboys drafted Quincy Carter with their first pick in 2001, but that pick was a second round selection

** The Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb with their first pick in 2007, but that pick was a second round selection

Here’s a few more notes regarding quarterbacks taken in the first round:

  • The last time no quarterbacks were chosen in the first round was 1996. The first QB taken that year was in the second round when Tony Banks was chosen by the St. Louis Rams.
  • The last year where no QB was selected in the first two rounds was 1988.
  • Most quarterbacks taken in the first round was six in 1983. That draft class included Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Also chosen in the first round that year was Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien.