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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2017: Leonard Fournette, RB - Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette’s production came in the early part of his career with the Jaguars, but managed to be a main contributor with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. In 3 seasons in Jacksonville, Fournette had two 1,000 rushing yard seasons and has been a great receiving back in his career. With running backs being devalued as the NFL progresses, it is unlikely to see running backs get taken early without some sort of risk. 

You can make an argument that the Jaguars hit or missed on Fournette because he was only with Jacksonville for 3 seasons, but he did produce for them which included a trip to the AFC championship game in 2018.

2016: Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Dallas Cowboys

Despite what Elliott has become in recent memory, the Cowboys drafted the perfect running back for their offense in Ezekiel Elliott. In 7 seasons with Dallas, Elliott rushed for over 1,000 yards over 4 times and had no less than 876 rushing yards with the Cowboys. Without Elliott in the offense, the Cowboys would not have been as successful and Dak Prescott would not have been able to grow as a rookie in 2016. 

Even though Elliott has gone down in production each year, he still is a great pass protecting back who can pick up the tough 3 yards in crucial moments.