was the first ever number one overall draft pick in 1936.
This is a list of first overall National Football League draft picks. The National Football League draft is an annual sports draft in which NFL teams select newly-eligible players for their rosters. To be eligible, a player must be out of high school at least three years. Teams are ranked in reverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first. As of the 2012 NFL Draft, a total of 76 players have been selected first overall. The current draft system has seven rounds, and in 2012, 253 players were selected. The Indianapolis Colts - formerly the Baltimore Colts - have picked first a record 7 times.
Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL Draft. The draft rules were last updated in 2009. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record, with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).
Before the merger agreements in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft. This led to a massive bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues, along with the subsequent drafting of the same player in each draft. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues held a multiple round "Common Draft". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the "Common Draft" simply became the NFL Draft.
78 players have been selected first overall in the NFL Draft, with the most recent being Eric Fisher in 2013. Of the first overall draft picks, 42 have been selected to a Pro Bowl and of those 42, twelve have be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Only five first overall draft pick players have been selected the NFL Rookie of the Year: Earl Campbell (1978); Billy Sims (1980); George Rogers (1981); Sam Bradford (2010); and Cam Newton (2011).
List of first overall picks 
was selected with the first overall pick in 1941 by the Chicago Bears.
The Detroit Lions chose Leon Hart
with the first overall pick in 1950.
O. J. Simpson
was drafted first overall by Buffalo Bills in 1969.
was the first pick in the 1983 NFL Draft.
was drafted first overall by the St. Louis Rams in 1997.
was the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
The Indianapolis Colts chose Andrew Luck
with the first overall pick in 2012.
- Seven teams have made the playoffs in the same season in which they made the first overall selection in the draft. They were the 1968 Minnesota Vikings, 1978 Houston Oilers, 1982 New England Patriots, 1991 Dallas Cowboys, 2004 San Diego Chargers, 2008 Miami Dolphins, and 2012 Indianapolis Colts.
- No team has ever gone from the first overall pick to a Super Bowl win in the same season. The Minnesota Vikings lost Super Bowl IV the year after they had the first overall pick and the Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVII the year after making the first overall selection.
- ^ In American and Canadian football, a back is a player who is lined up behind the linemen, the players who line up closest to the line of scrimmage.
- ^ Jay Berwanger did not sign with the Philadelphia Eagles.
- ^ Billy Cannon signed with the AFL team Houston Oilers rather than the Los Angeles Rams.
- ^ Ernie Davis was subsequently traded to the Cleveland Browns after being drafted by the Washington Redskins.
- ^ a b c Because of the NFL–AFL merger agreement, the history of the AFL is officially recognized by the NFL and therefore this list includes the Common Draft for the years 1967, 1968, and 1969.
- ^ Tom Cousineau chose to sign with the CFL team Montreal Alouettes over the Buffalo Bills.
- ^ John Elway was subsequently traded to the Baltimore Colts after being drafted by the Denver Broncos.
- ^ College seniors who had already sign with the USFL or CFL were not eligible for the regular draft. Instead the NFL held a three round special draft on June 5, 1984. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Steve Young first overall in that draft.
- ^ Bo Jackson did not sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and chose to enter the 1987 NFL Draft the following year.
- ^ The Cleveland Browns - via the Buffalo Bills originally - possessed the number one overall pick but because they selected Bernie Kosar in the 1985 Supplemental Draft, the pick was subsequently given to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- ^ The Dallas Cowboys originally possessed the number one overall pick but because they selected Steve Walsh in the 1989 Supplemental Draft, the pick was given to the Indianapolis Colts who originally held the second overall pick.
- ^ Eli Manning was subsequently traded to the New York Giants after being drafted by the San Diego Chargers.
See also