The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft will start on Thursday. The Cleveland Browns are on the clock. Every team is hoping to draft a Pro Bowler but which picks perform the best in the NFL Draft?
To answer this question we looked at every draft since 2000 and tallied the number of Pro Bowlers and 1st Team All-Pro selections by round using Pro-Football Reference.
As you would expect 1st Round draft picks have generated the most Pro Bowlers. Since 2000, there have been 540 1st Round picks, 212 of them have been invited to the Pro Bowl. The Browns have two picks in the first round; some might consider it a win if Cleveland can get two starters, let alone a Pro Bowler.
The 2nd Round has produced a lot of great players in the last decade: Drew Brees, LeSean McCoy, Rob Gronkowski and LeVeon Bell just to name a few. Yet, compared to the 1st Round there is a clear drop off in talent. Out of 539 players only 90 have managed to reach a Pro Bowl and even fewer have been honored as 1st Team All-Pros.
The overall success of players continues to decline as one moves down the draft. Just 44 players have been selected to a Pro Bowl that were drafted in the 3rd Round. The Patriots don’t have a first or second round pick this year. Unless New England makes a move the team won’t draft until late Friday evening. With the Pats best pick being in the third round there isn’t a great chance the team unearths a Pro Bowler.
Every team wants to find the next Tom Brady in the 6th Round but history suggests the best way to get Pro Bowl talent is to have picks at the top of the draft.
2017 NFL Season
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Pro Bowlers by Round since 2000
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