The 49ers made a trade up to No. 3 in this year’s draft with the hopes the massive move will be a turning point that throws their Super Bowl wide open.
Most teams are shooting for that player when drafting third overall though.
While two players are off the board, the third pick is still plenty early to find a Hall of Fame caliber player that can alter the course of a franchise.
The earlier picks come with more pressure though where the hits are nice, but the gravity of the misses is much greater.
Here’s a rundown of every player who’s gone third overall in the last 20 years:
2001, DT Gerard Warren, Cleveland Browns
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Warren had a nice 11-year career with 137 starts in 163 games. He didn’t make a Pro Bowl or earn an All-Pro nod though.
2002, QB Joey Harrington, Detroit Lions
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Harrington was an unmitigated disaster for what was supposed to be a franchise quarterback. He won just 26 of his 76 starts and was out of the NFL after six seasons.
2003, WR Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
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This is the type of pick a team hopes to make at No. 3 overall. Johnson could easily wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after playing for 14 years, going to seven Pro Bowls, earning two First-Team All-Pro nods and racking up 1,062 receptions, 14,185 receiving yards and 70 touchdowns.
2004, WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
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This is an even better version of the Johnson pick. Fitzgerald’s bust in Canton should already be in production. His 1,432 receptions are second all-time. So are his 17,492 receiving yards, and his 121 touchdown catches are the sixth-most ever.
2005, WR Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns
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Edwards was on a strong trajectory to start his career and went to a Pro Bowl during his third season when he posted 1,289 receiving yards. That was his only 1,000-yard season though and he was out of the league after eight years.
2006, QB Vince Young, Tennessee Titans
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Young might’ve just gotten into the league a little early before offensive coaches knew how to maximize his skill set. He did go 31-19 as a starter, but his 57.9 percent completion rate and 51 interceptions against 46 touchdowns wound up pushing him out of the league after six seasons.
2007, OT Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns
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This is another Hall of Famer off the board at No. 3 overall. He was a six-time First-Team All-Pro and went to 10 Pro Bowls. Thomas will go down as an All-Timer at his position.
2008, QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
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Ryan’s had a nice career, but a collapse in Super Bowl LI where his team blew a 28-3 lead has marred an otherwise strong career.
2009, DE Tyson Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs
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The Chiefs didn’t get what they paid for when they selected Jackson third overall. He had just 9.0 sacks in five seasons, and then none for the Falcons in his final three years.
2010, DT Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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While McCoy isn’t Hall-of-Fame bound, he has put together a solid career with six Pro Bowl appearances and one spot as a First-Team All-Pro. He’s started all 139 games he’s played and posted 59.5 sacks in those contests.
2011, DT Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills
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Dareus falls in a similar bucket to McCoy in that his career was fine, but maybe not worthy of the No. 3 overall selection. He played for 10 years, was once a First-Team All-Pro selection and twice a Pro Bowler. He played five years with the Bills before getting traded to Jacksonville midway through his sixth season in Buffalo.
2012, RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
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2013, DE Dion Jordan, Miami Dolphins
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Jordan struggled out of the gate, posting 3.0 sacks in two seasons with Miami. He was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy in 2015, missed all of that season and 2016, and has never quite broken through despite elite traits. He has 13.5 sacks in 63 games.
2014, QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Bortles tossed 35 touchdowns while leading the league in interceptions during his second season. That would be as good as it got for him as the Jags’ starter. He went 24-49 in five seasons with them and was most recently relegated to backup duty with the Rams.
2015, DE Dante Fowler, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Fowler had a short tenure in Jacksonville before getting traded to the Rams midway through his third season. He put up a career-high 11.5 sacks with LA in 2019, but couldn’t replicate that number in Atlanta last year when he had 3.0 sacks in 14 games.
2016, DE Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers
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Injury issues are the only thing holding this back from being a home-run pick. In his two 16-game seasons, Bosa has 24 total sacks. Despite missed time because of injuries though, he’s put up 47.5 sacks in 63 games and gone to three Pro Bowls.
2017, DL Solomon Thomas, San Francisco 49ers
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Thomas’ inability to be an effective pass rusher off the edge kept him from ever being a good selection at No. 3 overall. He spent four years in San Francisco and had only 6.0 sacks.
2018, QB Sam Darnold, New York Jets
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The Jets did a poor job putting talent around their young QB and he struggled through his first three years. He’s completing 59.8 percent of his throws and going for only 6.6 yards per attempt.
2019, DL Quinnen Williams, New York Jets
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Williams had a rough rookie campaign where he put up just 2.5 sacks in 13 games. He roared back in Year 2 though and looked every bit the dominant interior force the Jets wanted when they made him the third overall pick. He played in 13 games forced two fumbles, had 7.0 sacks and made a significant jump that could put him on track to be one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles.
2020, CB Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions
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The Lions failed to put Okudah in positions to succeed during his rookie season and he struggled badly. A new coaching staff could help him turn his career around in Year 2.
Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/every-player-drafted-no-3-034014810.html?src=rss