3 NFL teams that have had back-to-back No.1 overall NFL draft picks

Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Jacksonville Jaguars are one game away from having back-to-back number one overall draft picks. With the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft this past offseason, the team selected Trevor Lawrence. Their once in a generation talent was supposed to make significant improvements.

Yet they find themselves at the bottom of the NFL standings yet again, with a record of 2-14. Which now sees them destined to receive another number one overall pick in this year's draft.

But they will not be the first team to have back-to-back #1 overall draft picks should it come to pass. In the history of the NFL, four teams have held the dubious record, two of which have done so twice. All these franchises exist in the NFL today, however, one team has a slightly different name.

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The Chicago Cardinals had back-to-back #1 overall draft picks in 1939 and 1940. But since their relocated to Arizona in the present day, we do not consider them to be the same organization and have opted to exclude them from this list.

Here is a look at the three NFL teams who have had back-to-back #1 overall draft picks.

Teams that suffered the ignominy of back-to-back #1 overall draft picks

1 - Philadelphia Eagles, 1936 and 1937

The team that had the first back-to-back #1 overall draft picks were the Philadelphia Eagles and they did so in the first two years of the NFL draft's existence. In 1936 they selected halfback Jay Berwanger. He was the 1935 Heisman Trophy winner and made perfect sense as the first pick. as they had finished the previous season with a 2-9 record.

The 1936 season did not go any better and they finished with an even worse 1-11 record that saw them being handed the first back-to-back number one overall draft picks in history. They went on to choose a fullback this time, namely Sam Francis out of Nebraska in the ensuing 1937 NFL draft.

2 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1976 and 1977, 1986 and 1987

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were an expansion team in 1976 and therefore had the first pick of the draft. They chose defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, who would go on to make 6 Pro Bowl appearances, while also eventually being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But the nascent franchise struggled and lost all their games enroute to a 0-14 record. They them chose halfback Ricky Bell first overall in the 1977 NFL draft.

They would repeat getting back-to-back #1 overall draft picks exactly a decade later. In 1985 and 1986, they went on to have consecutive 2-14 seasons, each year resulting in them being given the first overall pick in the draft. With the back-to-back #1 overall draft picks, they chose halfback Bo Jackson in 1986 and quarterback Vinny Testaverde in 1987.

Both were Heisman Trophy winners and both would make it to the Pro Bowl in their careers. Jackson, though, never suited up for the Buccaneers and earned his NFL honors with the Raiders, having chosen to play baseball that season rather than play on a losing team.

3 - Cleveland Browns, 1999 and 2000, 2017 and 2018

In the modern era, the Cleveland Browns have suffered some crushing seasons. On their return to the NFL as an expansion team, they had their first overall draft pick in 1999. They chose quarterback Tim Couch out of Kentucky. They finished with a 2-14 record that season and in 2000 they chose defensive end Courtney Brown first overall.

But competing with them on getting back-to-back #1 overall draft picks was the Cleveland Browns team of the mid-2010s. They had some of the worst seasons in recent memory, finishing the 2016 season with a 1-15 record, which saw them select Myles Garrett first overall the following season.

However, 2017 would be even worse as they failed to win a single game and finished with a 0-16 record. With the first pick of the 2018 NFL draft, they chose current starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has since stabilized the franchise.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Jacksonville Jaguars will join the aforementioned franchises in getting back-to-back #1 overall draft picks. The Jaguars head into a Week 18 game against the Indianapolis Colts and will look to finish the season strong.

Jacksonville might also be secretly hoping to better the record of the 2-13-1 Detroit Lions, to avoid the fate of being given back-to-back number draft picks.

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