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Quarterbacks drafted first overall: No. 8

3/14/2015

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely draft Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the No. 1 overall pick. So how does this type of thing usually work out? We continue our countdown of the 18 quarterbacks who were drafted with the top selection over the past 40 years.

Michael Vick, 2001, Atlanta Falcons

It’s sad to think about what could have been if Vick had stayed out of trouble. He might still be with the Falcons and on his way to a Hall of Fame career. At very least, he would have had a long and productive stay.

Vick got off to a good start in Atlanta, leading the Falcons to two playoff berths and making three Pro Bowls. Vick was the first African-American quarterback selected with the No. 1 overall pick and his style of play was ahead of its time. A strong-armed passer, Vick also had fantastic mobility.

In 2006, Vick rushed for a stunning 1,039 yards. He was the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards and averaged 8.4 yards per carry. He and Warrick Dunn became the first quarterback-running back tandem to each have 1,000 yards rushing.

But Vick’s career came to a grinding halt after that. In 2007, Vick pled guilty to dog-fighting charges and was promptly suspended by the NFL. Vick went to prison and the Falcons cut him upon his release in 2009.

With Tony Dungy serving as his mentor, Vick got another chance with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. Vick backed up Donovan McNabb that first year and began the 2010 season as the backup to Kevin Kolb. But Vick moved into the starting role after Kolb was injured in September and Vick led the Eagles to the playoffs. Vick made his fourth Pro Bowl and was selected as the Comeback Player of the Year.

On Aug. 29, 2011, Vick signed a six-year deal worth up to $100 million. Injuries limited Vick’s play and effectiveness in 2012 and ’13 and Nick Foles began to get some playing time.

Vick signed with the New York Jets in 2014 and split time with Geno Smith. He is a free agent in 2015.

Final analysis: Good pick.