NFL Draft Lesson: The recent history of the fourth overall pick

We take a look back at the last ten 4th overall picks in the NFL draft.
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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2022: Sauce Gardner, CB - New York Jets

Much like the Cardinals, the Jets had multiple first-round picks in 2022 and selected cornerback Sauce Gardner out of Cincinnati. In two seasons with the Jets, Gardner has established himself as one of the top shutdown corners in the league amongst serious wide receiver talent. Despite the Jets being a disappointment overall, the defense has been one of the top units across the league and Gardner plays a great role in keeping it that way. 

Gardner has been a hit for the Jets so far and if he keeps playing at an elite level, he will be getting a big payday in the next 2-3 years.

2021: Kyle Pitts, TE - Atlanta Falcons

Another Florida Gator drafted 4th overall, Kyle Pitts was a highly thoughted talent that could bring an immediate impact for any team in the NFL. That has not been the case with the Falcons, who have found ways to not utilize his talents and build him up as a serious impactful player. In addition, Pitts has had injuries that have kept off the field and not producing. He has just one 1,000+ yard receiving season and has 6 touchdowns in 3 seasons. 

Is it Pitts’ fault, or was it the play calling by former head coach Arthur Smith? We will learn with new head coach Raheem Morris and whoever is under center in Atlanta in 2024.