This is a list of second overall National Football League draft picks. The National Football League Draft is an annual sports draft in which National Football League (NFL) teams select newly eligible players for their rosters. In recent years, the team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. The second overall picks include 39 players who have received Pro Bowl honors, 10 players who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and six Heisman Trophy winners. Sports Illustrated in 2012 chose Lawrence Taylor as the best player ever selected with the No. 2 pick.
Recent No. 2 picks have included Chuck Bednarik Award winner Chase Young (2020), NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa (2019) and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley (2018). Four members of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team were drafted with the No. 2 pick: linebacker Von Miller (2011), defensive end Ndamukong Suh (2010), wide receiver Calvin Johnson (2007), and defensive end Julius Peppers (2002).
Winners and busts
A total of 39 second overall picks have received Pro Bowl Honors. Of those, ten have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees are: Sid Luckman (1939), George McAfee (1940), Les Richter (1952), Bob Brown (1964), Tom Mack (1966), Randy White (1975), Tony Dorsett (1977), Lawrence Taylor (1981), Eric Dickerson (1983), and Marshall Faulk (1994).
In addition, six Heisman Trophy winners have been selected with the second overall pick. They are: Marcus Mariota (2014), Robert Griffin III (2012), and Reggie Bush (2006), John David Crow (1957), Billy Vessels (1952), and Glenn Davis (1946).
In 2012, Sports Illustrated chose Lawrence Taylor as the best player ever selected with the No. 2 pick. Other No. 2 picks ranked as contenders by Sports Illustrated included Calvin Johnson, Julius Peppers, Donovan McNabb (1999), Tony Boselli (1995), Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, and Randy White.
Notable busts selected with the No. 2 pick include offensive tackle Tony Mandarich (1989), quarterback Ryan Leaf (1998), wide receiver Charles Rogers (2003), and offensive tackle Jason Smith (2009).
Teams with most picks
The universities with the most players selected second overall in the draft are Notre Dame with six, Texas A&M with five, and Baylor, Michigan State, North Carolina, and USC with four each. The NFL franchises who have had the second overall pick most frequently are the Cleveland/St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (nine), Philadelphia Eagles (six) and Detroit Lions (five).
List of second overall picks
|*||Selected to a Pro Bowl|
|‡||Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame|
(all were also selected to a Pro Bowl)
|1936||Riley Smith||Quarterback||Alabama||Boston Redskins||Second person ever drafted by the NFL; College Football Hall of Fame|
|1937||Ed Goddard||Back||Washington State||Brooklyn Dodgers|
|1938||Jim McDonald||Back||Ohio St.||Philadelphia Eagles|
|1939||Sid Luckman‡||Quarterback||Columbia||Chicago Bears||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1940||George McAfee‡||Halfback||Duke||Philadelphia||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1941||John Kimbrough||Fullback||Texas A&M||Chicago Cardinals||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1942||Jack Wilson||Halfback||Baylor||Rams||Appeared in only 10 NFL games, 3 as a starter|
|1943||Joe Muha||Fullback||VMI||Philadelphia||2x All-Pro|
|1944||Pat Harder||Fullback||Wisconsin||Chicago Cardinals||3× first-team All-Pro; College Football Hall of Fame|
|1945||Paul Duhart||Back||Florida||Pittsburgh||Appeared in only 13 NFL games, 7 as a starter|
|1946||Dub Jones||Halfback||LSU||Chicago Cardinals||2× AAFC champion, 3× NFL champion|
|1947||Glenn Davis||Halfback||Army||Detroit Lions||Heisman Trophy (1946)|
|1948||Skippy Minisi||Halfback||Penn||New York Giants||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1949||John Rauch||Quarterback||Georgia||Detroit Lions||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1950||Adrian Burk*||Quarterback||Baylor||Baltimore Colts||2× Pro Bowl|
|1951||Bob Williams||Quarterback||Notre Dame||Chicago Bears||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1952||Les Richter‡||Linebacker||California||New York Yanks||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1953||Billy Vessels||Halfback||Oklahoma||Baltimore Colts||Heisman Trophy (1952)|
|1954||Lamar McHan||Quarterback||Arkansas||Chicago Cardinals|
|1955||Max Boydston||End||Oklahoma||Chicago Cardinals|
|1956||Earl Morrall||Quarterback||Michigan State||San Francisco 49ers||3× Super Bowl champion, NFL Most Valuable Player (1968)|
|1957||Jon Arnett*||Halfback||USC||Los Angeles Rams||College Football Hall of Fame; 5× Pro Bowl|
|1958||John David Crow||Halfback||Texas A&M||Chicago Cardinals||Heisman Trophy (1957)|
|1959||Dick Bass*||Fullback||Pacific||Los Angeles Rams||3× Pro Bowl|
|1960||George Izo||Quarterback||Notre Dame||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1961||Norm Snead*||Quarterback||Wake Forest||Washington Redskins||4× Pro Bowl|
|1962||Roman Gabriel||Quarterback||NC State||Los Angeles Rams||College Football Hall of Fame; 4× Pro Bowl, NFL Most Valuable Player (1969)|
|1963||Jerry Stovall*||Defensive back||LSU||St. Louis Cardinals||3× Pro Bowl|
|1964||Bob Brown‡||Offensive tackle||Nebraska||Philadelphia Eagles||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1965||Ken Willard*||Fullback||North Carolina||San Francisco 49ers||4× Pro Bowl|
|1966||Tom Mack‡||Offensive guard||Michigan||Los Angeles Rams||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1967||Clint Jones||Running back||Michigan State||Minnesota vikings||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1968||Bob Johnson||Center||Tennessee||Cincinnati Bengals||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1969||George Kunz*||Offensive tackle||Notre Dame||Atlanta Falcons||8× Pro Bowl|
|1970||Mike McCoy||Defensive tackle||Notre Dame||Green Bay Packers|
|1971||Archie Manning||Quarterback||Mississippi||New Orleans Saints||2× Pro Bowl|
|1972||Sherman White||Defensive end||California||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1973||Bert Jones||Quarterback||LSU||Baltimore Colts||Pro Bowl (1976), NFL Most Valuable Player (1976)|
|1974||Bo Matthews||Running back||Colorado||San Diego Chargers|
|1975||Randy White‡||Defensive tackle||Maryland||Dallas Cowboys||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1976||Steve Niehaus||Defensive tackle||Notre Dame||Seattle Seahawks||NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year (1976)|
|1977||Tony Dorsett‡||Running back||Pittsburgh||Dallas Cowboys||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1978||Art Still*||Defensive end||Kentucky||Kansas City Chiefs||4× Pro Bowl|
|1979||Mike Bell||Defensive end||Colorado St.||Kansas City Chiefs|
|1980||Lam Jones||Wide receiver||Texas||New York Jets|
|1981||Lawrence Taylor‡||Linebacker||North Carolina||New York Giants||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1982||Johnie Cooks||Linebacker||Mississippi St.||Baltimore Colts|
|1983||Eric Dickerson‡||Running back||SMU||Los Angeles Rams||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1984||Dean Steinkuhler||Tackle||Nebraska||Houston Oilers||Outland Trophy (1983)|
|1985||Bill Fralic||Offensive guard||Pittsburgh||Atlanta Falcons||4× Pro Bowl|
|1986||Tony Casillas||Defensive tackle||Oklahoma||Atlanta Falcons||College Football Hall of Fame|
|1987||Cornelius Bennett||Linebacker||Alabama||Indianapolis Colts||5× Pro Bowl|
|1988||Neil Smith||Defensive end||Nebraska||Kansas City Chiefs||NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, 6× Pro Bowl|
|1989||Tony Mandarich||Tackle||Michigan State||Green Bay Packers|
|1990||Blair Thomas||Running back||Penn State||New York Jets|
|1991||Eric Turner||Defensive back||UCLA||Cleveland Browns||2× Pro Bowl|
|1992||Quentin Coryatt||Linebacker||Texas A&M||Indianapolis Colts|
|1993||Rick Mirer||Quarterback||Notre Dame||Seattle Seahawks|
|1994||Marshall Faulk‡||Running back||San Diego St.||Indianapolis Colts||Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|1995||Tony Boselli||Tackle||USC||Jacksonville Jaguars||College Football Hall of Fame; 5× Pro Bowl|
|1996||Kevin Hardy||Linebacker||Illinois||Jacksonville Jaguars||Pro Bowl (1999)|
|1997||Darrell Russell||Defensive tackle||USC||Oakland Raiders||2× Pro Bowl|
|1998||Ryan Leaf||Quarterback||Washington State||San Diego Chargers|
|1999||Donovan McNabb*||Quarterback||Syracuse||Philadelphia Eagles||6× Pro Bowl|
|2000||LaVar Arrington*||Linebacker||Penn State||Washington Redskins||Bednarik Award (1999), 3× Pro Bowl|
|2001||Leonard Davis*||Guard||Texas||Arizona Cardinals||3× Pro Bowl|
|2002||Julius Peppers*||Defensive end||North Carolina||Carolina Panthers||NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, NFL 2010s All-Decade Team|
|2003||Charles Rogers||Wide receiver||Michigan State||Detroit Lions||Biletnikoff Award (2002)|
|2004||Robert Gallery||Offensive tackle||Iowa||Oakland Raiders||Outland Trophy (2003)|
|2005||Ronnie Brown*||Running back||Auburn||Miami Dolphins||Pro Bowl (2008)|
|2006||Reggie Bush||Running back||USC||New Orleans Saints||Heisman Trophy (2005)|
|2007||Calvin Johnson*||Wide receiver||Georgia Tech||Detroit Lions||NFL 2010s All-Decade Team; 6× Pro Bowl|
|2008||Chris Long||Defensive end||Virginia||St. Louis Rams||2× Super Bowl champion, Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year (2018)|
|2009||Jason Smith||Offensive tackle||Baylor||St. Louis Rams|
|2010||Ndamukong Suh*||Defensive tackle||Nebraska||Detroit Lions||NFL 2010s All-Decade Team; 5× Pro Bowl|
|2011||Von Miller||Linebacker||Texas A&M||Denver Broncos||NFL 2010s All-Decade Team; 8× Pro Bowl|
|2012||Robert Griffin III||Quarterback||Baylor||Washington Redskins||Heisman Trophy (2011), Pro Bowl (2012)|
|2013||Luke Joeckel||Offensive tackle||Texas A&M||Jacksonville Jaguars||Outland Trophy (2012)|
|2014||Greg Robinson||Offensive tackle||Auburn||St. Louis Rams|
|2015||Marcus Mariota||Quarterback||Oregon||Tennessee Titans||Heisman Trophy (2014)|
|2016||Carson Wentz||Quarterback||North Dakota St.||Philadelphia Eagles||Bert Bell Award (2017), Pro Bowl (2017)|
|2017||Mitchell Trubisky*||Quarterback||North Carolina||Chicago Bears||Pro Bowl (2018)|
|2018||Saquon Barkley||Running back||Penn State||New York Giants||NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2018), Pro Bowl (2018)|
|2019||Nick Bosa||Defensive end||Ohio State||San Francisco 49ers||Defensive Rookie of the Year (2019), Pro Bowl (2019)|
|2020||Chase Young||Defensive end||Ohio State||Washington Redskins||Chuck Bednarik Award (2019), Pro Bowl (2020)|
- "In the NFL draft, the Number 2 pick isn't always worth keeping". The Washington Post. April 15, 2020.
- "NFL Draft history: Multiple running backs, but only one HOF quarterback taken with second pick". Tulsa World. April 21, 2020.
- Chris Burke (April 4, 2012). "Best of the Firsts, No. 2: Lawrence Taylor". Sports Illustrated.
- Jill R. Dorson (September 20, 2016). "No. 2 Overall Picks In NFL Draft: A Surprising Amount Of Busts". The Post Game.
- "NFL Draft: Boons & busts at No. 2". The Florida Times-Union. April 15, 2013.
- Jim Wyatt (April 29, 2014). "No. 2 pick in NFL Draft doesn't bring a sure thing". The Tennessean.