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Top-Five First-Round NFL Draft Classes Since 2010

Josh Allen - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Every year, all fans hope their favorite teams land a franchise-changing asset in the first round of the NFL Draft. Some years, there are very few impact players taken within the first 32 picks, but in other drafts, half or more of the first-round selections go on to be Pro Bowl-caliber X factors.

The 2024 NFL Draft class is rumored to be littered with can't-miss stars, so it will be interesting to see how the class stacks up with the classes on the list when we look back in five or six years.

For now, let's dive into the Top-Five First-Round NFL Draft Classes Since 2010. While some of the recent draft classes look promising, we'll exclude the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 for this exercise. It's just too early to tell.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Honorable Mention - 2020 NFL Draft Class

No. 1 Overall Pick: Joe Burrow

Pro Bowlers: Nine

Top Players (Draft Position)

Players from the 2020 draft class have only been in the NFL for four seasons, but the first-round selections have made significant impacts on organizations. Burrow, Tagovailoa, and Herbert form one of the better trios of quarterbacks in any draft class, and Jordan Love showed signs of being just as good as those guys in his first season as a starter.

Jefferson and Lamb are up there with any two receiver duos from the same class, and Thomas and Wirfs are both All-Pro talents at tackle. This class could enter the top five with more seasoning.

 

5) 2012 NFL Draft Class

No. 1 Overall Pick: Andrew Luck

Pro Bowlers: 15

Top Players (Draft Position)

  • Andrew Luck (1)
  • Robert Griffin III (2)
  • Luke Kuechly (9)
  • Stephon Gilmore (10)
  • Fletcher Cox (12)
  • Chandler Jones (21)
  • David DeCastro (24)
  • Harrison Smith (29)

If it weren't for injuries, the 2012 class, especially at quarterback, would be viewed in a brighter light. RG3's career was way too short thanks to early-career knee issues, and Luck retired in the thick of his prime with all kinds of ailments. However, he still had a fantastic career, and he lived up to the hype as a generational prospect.

Unfortunately, injuries also caused Kuechly to hang it up earlier than expected, but having earned seven All-Pro honors and a Defensive Player of the Year Award, he deserves to go into the Hall of Fame. Cox, Jones, DeCastro, and Harrison Smith all have legitimate chances to make it to Canton, too.

 

4) 2018 NFL Draft Class

No. 1 Overall Pick: Baker Mayfield

Pro Bowlers: 16

Top Players (Draft Position)

When a two-time NFL MVP is taken with the final first-round pick of a draft, the class is likely great -- and that's true here. Jackson has taken the league by storm, and Allen is viewed as a top-three player in the NFL. Even Mayfield led the Browns to a playoff victory and is reviving his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This class has quarterback star power.

However, the class is well-balanced with stud offensive linemen and defensive players -- making it the fourth-best overall class since 2010.

 

3) 2014 NFL Draft Class

No. 1 Overall Pick: Jadeveon Clowney

Pro Bowlers: 17

Top Players (Draft Position)

  • Jadeveon Clowney (1)
  • Khalil Mack (5)
  • Jake Matthews (6)
  • Mike Evans (7)
  • Taylor Lewan (11)
  • Odell Beckham Jr. (12)
  • Aaron Donald (13)
  • Zack Martin (16)
  • C.J. Mosley (17)

The 2014 NFL Draft class leaves a lot to be desired at the quarterback spot, but Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Derek Carr were productive at times in the league. Unfortunately, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel were the first two signal-callers off the board.

Regardless, this class is loaded with Hall of Fame talents and studs all over the field. Clowney and Mack got things started on the edge, Lewan and Matthews were franchise left tackles, Evans and Beckham were two of the best at their position in their primes, and Donald and Martin were two of the greatest at their positions ever.

 

2) 2010 NFL Draft Class

No. 1 Overall Pick: Sam Bradford

Pro Bowlers: 17

Top Players (Draft Position)

  • Ndamukong Suh (2)
  • Gerald McCoy (3)
  • Trent Williams (4)
  • Eric Berry (5)
  • Joe Haden (7)
  • Brandon Graham (13)
  • Earl Thomas (14)
  • Jason Pierre-Paul (15)
  • Maurkice Pouncey (18)
  • Demaryius Thomas (22)
  • Dez Bryant (24)
  • Devin McCourty (27)

Bradford didn't quite work out as the No. 1 overall pick, and Tim Tebow didn't last long in the NFL, but the rest of the first-round selections were mostly successes, especially on defense. Suh and McCoy were dominant on the interior to begin their careers, and Berry looked Hall of Fame-bound before undergoing a battle with cancer and suffering lower-body injuries.

Williams is one of the best overall football players to ever take the field. Meanwhile, Thomas and Bryant were dominant physical receivers in the thick of their primes.

 

1) 2011 NFL Draft Class

No. 1 Overall Pick: Cam Newton

Pro Bowlers: 16

Top Players (Draft Position)

  • Cam Newton (1)
  • Von Miller (2)
  • A.J. Green (4)
  • Patrick Peterson (5)
  • Julio Jones (6)
  • Tyron Smith (9)
  • J.J. Watt (11)
  • Robert Quinn (14)
  • Mike Pouncey (15)
  • Ryan Kerrigan (16)
  • Cameron Jordan (24)
  • Mark Ingram II (28)
  • Cameron Heyward (31)

12 of the first 16 selections in the 2011 NFL Draft were named to at least one Pro Bowl during their career. That's a heck of a start to a draft, and later selections like Jordan and Heyward are still productive to this day.

This class is loaded with talent, and the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks faced off in Super Bowl 50, with Miller taking home Super Bowl MVP honors. This group of players will be recognized as one of the greatest classes of all time, so it's easily the best since 2010.



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