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American Football

How the last five quarterback NFL Draft classes have fared ahead of bumper 2024 crop

Joe Mewis
How the last five quarterback NFL Draft classes have fared ahead of bumper 2024 cropGetty
We look at the 16 quarterbacks to be drafted in the first round over the past five years.

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a month away as each of the league’s 32 franchises finalise their draft boards, weigh up trade offers and get ready to take their pick of the best college players. 

The early stages of this year’s draft look set to be dominated by quarterbacks, with some pundits predicting as many as six going in the first round, including a potential historic run of four signal callers in the first four picks. 

But simply picking a quarterback at the top end of the draft does not guarantee success, as several would-be franchise QBs have struggled to make an impression after being drafted.

Ahead of this year’s quarterback-heavy first round, here’s a look at the first-round classes from each of the last five years, plus those that hit in the later rounds. 


Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals - Pick 1

Daniel Jones - New York Giants - Pick 6

Dwayne Haskins - Washington - Pick 15

Other notable selections: Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville, sixth round)

Kyler Murray remains with the Cardinals, who look to have committed to the exciting playmaker for the foreseeable future this offseason. Daniel Jones was handed a big-money contract extension last year, but poor form and then injury wrecked his 2023 campaign. Dwayne Haskins was tragically killed in 2022. 

Gardner Minshew was a late pick by the Jaguars and has forged a career as a useful backup during stints with three teams and will now be fighting for the Raiders’ starting job in 2024. 


Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals - Pick 1

Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins - Pick 5

Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers - Pick 6

Jordan Love - Green Bay Packers - Pick 26

Other notable selections: Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia, second round)

Possibly the best draft clash on this list, with all four first-round picks the undisputed starters with the teams that drafted them. Burrow has been to a Super Bowl and has the poise of a future MVP, while Herbert made a very fast start to life in the NFL. Love, meanwhile, emerged as one of the best young QBs in the NFL after stepping into Aaron Rodgers’ shoes this season and second-round pick Hurts also has a Super Bowl appearance to his name. 


Trevor Lawrence - Jacksonville Jaguars - Pick 1

Zach Wilson - New York Jets - Pick 2

Trey Lance - San Francisco 49ers - Pick 3

Justin Fields - Chicago Bears - Pick 11

Mac Jones - New England Patriots - Pick 15

Five quarterbacks were selected in the 2021 first round, but only one remains as the starter with the team that selected him, four years on. Trevor Lawrence was viewed as a can’t-miss selection and has been steady rather than spectacular, but that should be enough to see him handed a decent contract extension, while Zach Wilson is a likely trade candidate for the Jets this offseason. 

Lance, Fields and Jones have all moved onto new teams and face battles to start in 2024. 


Kenny Pickett - Pittsburgh Steelers - Pick 20

Other notable selections: Brock Purdy (San Francisco, seventh round)

Not a lot to shout about at the top of the 2022 draft, with only one QB selected in the first round and even he’s not with the team who selected him, as the Steelers traded Kenny Pickett away to the Eagles this offseason. 

The likes of Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis, Bailey Zappe and Sam Howell were also selected further down in 2022 and have had NFL starts, but have failed to impress. There was a gem right at the end of the draft though, as Mr Irrelevant Brock Purdy has become one of the best passers in the league - and proof that NFL scouts have their blind spots.


Bryce Young - Carolina Panthers - Pick 1

C.J. Stroud - Houston Texans - Pick 2

Anthony Richardson - Indianapolis Colts - Pick 4

Other notable selections: Will Levis (Tennessee, second round), Aidan O’Connell (Las Vegas, fourth round)

While it’s probably too early to give any concrete conclusions on the 2023 crop, C.J. Stroud’s dazzling rookie season could well mark the start of a very bright career. Bryce Young needs more help from a misfiring supporting class, while Anthony Richardson will be looking to bounce back from the injury that ended his season early. 

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