JaMarcus Russell was the wrong pick, clearly. But, 12 years later, who would've been the right pick for the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft?
With the No. 1 pick, you should be taking the best future NFL player, right? Realistic? That's debatable, but with the pick of the litter, the goal is, obviously, to pick the best future NFL player.
Since 2000, how many teams drafted, what proved to be, the best future NFL player, or at least the best future NFL player for their team?
2000: Courtney Brown, Browns
Correct Pick: Brian Urlacher
The Browns tried drafting an elite franchise-fixture defender. Instead, they got Courtney Brown.
While Brown showed big promise with 61 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a rookie in 2000, he struggled to stay healthy over his next four seasons and played only 31 total games for Cleveland after his rookie season.
Brian Urlacher, meanwhile, became a Hall of Fame linebacker and one of the best defenders in NFL history after the Bears selected him eight picks later.
2001: Michael Vick, Falcons
Correct Pick: LaDainian Tomlinson
This is a tough one.
Eighteen years later, I have a hard time saying Vick was the wrong pick and gag at the thought of selecting a running back with the first pick. Nonetheless, Tomlinson could've been a hell of an asset with a conservative, veteran quarterback for a couple of years as the Falcons found a franchise quarterback.
2002: David Carr, Texans
Correct Pick: Ed Reed
No quarterback could've survived behind the Texans' eye-bleeding offensive line. In hindsight, they should've signed a capable veteran quarterback and drafted future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, who went 24th to the Ravens.
Julius Peppers, the No. 2 pick, would've been just fine, too.
2003: Carson Palmer, Bengals
Correct Pick: Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer was the only Pro Bowl quarterback selected in a weak 2003 class that also included Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller and Rex Grossman in the first round.
Palmer led Cincinnati to only two playoff games in eight seasons, but the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner was the best pick in 2003 and remains the best pick in 2019.
2004: Eli Manning, Chargers
Correct Pick: Ben Roethlisberger
This is complicated. The Manning-Rivers trade worked out fine for both teams — and all three quarterbacks have relatively similar career numbers — but the right pick would've been Big Ben.
2005: Alex Smith, 49ers
Correct Pick: Aaron Rodgers
No explanation necessary.
2006: Mario Williams, Texans
Correct Pick: Mario Williams
Houston could've used a franchise quarterback redo as David Carr limped through his first four seasons, but selecting Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Jay Culter or any of the other 10 quarterbacks would've been far worse than drafting Mario Williams.
Williams had at least eight sacks in four of the five seasons in which he played at least 10 games for the Texans.
2007: JaMarcus Russell, Raiders
Correct Pick: Calvin Johnson
Hell, in hindsight, Kevin Kolb would've been a better pick than JaMarcus Russell.
Soon-to-be Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson was the best player in the 2007 draft. Another future inductee, the third-overall pick Joe Thomas, would've been a great pick, too.
2008: Jake Long, Dolphins
Correct Pick: Matt Ryan
Miami opted to protect John Beck, a 2007 second-round pick, and two veteran quarterbacks, Chad Pennington and Josh McCown (and, later, 2008 second-round pick Chad Henne), instead of drafting another quarterback.
Jake Long was one of the NFL's best linemen during his first four seasons before various injuries sent his career on a downward journeyman spiral.
2009: Matthew Stafford, Lions
Correct Pick: Matthew Stafford
When Detroit drafted Matthew Stafford in 2009, they had zero playoff appearances since 1999 and zero playoff wins since 1991. Stafford has delivered three appearances but zero wins in 10 seasons.
Still, a decade later, he was the right pick. The 2009 draft produced some high-end talent like Alex Mack, Clay Matthews and Brian Orakpo, but none of those three or anyone else would've been a better pick for a quarterback-starved franchise.
2010: Sam Bradford, Rams
Correct Pick: Antonio Brown
I'd listen to an argument for Sam Bradford. I'd also listen to a bust argument for Sam Bradford. It's a bizarre line for the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year who was turning a corner in 2012 and 2013 before injuries ended his Rams' career.
The right pick is Antonio Brown, one of the best skill players in NFL history. Earl Thomas would've been a hell of a pick, too.
2011: Cam Newton, Panthers
Correct Pick: Cam Newton
Several potential Hall of Famers were drafted after Cam Newton: Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, J.J. Watt and Richard Sherman.
Still, the Panthers needed a quarterback before the franchise could become a real Super Bowl contender. Newton did that, and while they've fallen short of a Lombardi Trophy in each of his first eight seasons, he was the correct pick.
2012: Andrew Luck, Colts
Correct Pick: Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson
Flip a coin.
Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have similar regular-season numbers, and, arguably, had Luck been as healthy as Wilson, he could've had similar postseason numbers.
2013: Eric Fisher, Chiefs
Correct Pick: DeAndre Hopkins or Le'Veon Bell
After rookie struggles, Eric Fisher has been an adequate, steady offensive tackle. But you don't draft adequate, steady offensive tackles at No. 1.
Two elite offensive players, DeAndre Hopkins (No. 27) or Le'Veon Bell (No. 48) would've been the right pick for Andy Reid's new offense.
2014: Jadeveon Clowney, Texans
Correct Pick: Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald
Ideally, it would've been a high-level quarterback at No. 1 in 2014. Instead, it was a high-level defensive lineman with 29 sacks in his last 58 games.
Clowney has proved to be worth the top pick, though Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald would've been worth more than the top pick.
2015: Jameis Winston, Bucs
Correct Pick: Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston hasn't been a franchise-altering quarterback, though he has been a semi-reliable starter in four seasons. Four years later, Winston's Bucs' future is cloudy at best, but he remains the best pick from an underwhelming class.
2016: Jared Goff, Rams
Correct Pick: Jared Goff
Don't let Super Bowl LIII cloud your judgment.
Jared Goff was the right pick in 2016 and remains the right pick (over Carson Wentz, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and the other top players) in 2019.
2017: Myles Garrett, Browns
Correct Pick: Patrick Mahomes
Clearly, Patrick Mahomes landed in a perfect situation. Had the Browns selected him first in 2017, would he be thriving in Cleveland like he is in Kansas City?
Like each situation in this pointless exercise, no one knows. But, right now, it seems like Mahomes is headed to a better pro career than Baker Mayfield.
2018: Baker Mayfield, Browns
Correct Pick: Baker Mayfield
It appears like the Browns finally found a competent quarterback. If that proves true, it'll be one of the best picks in NFL history and won't matter what Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or any other 2018 pick does in their respective careers.