The NFL has a history of making a lot of noise surrounding new drafts.
This means that certain players who have already proven themselves as high-achieving athletes are likely to be celebrated when they are drafted onto their first NFL team. 

Rookies have a great deal to prove to themselves and to the team, and it is no wonder that they have caused such a widespread hype within the NFL and across international sports.

Here are ten of the most hyped draft picks in the history of the NFL. To find out more about the newest rookies, check out the latest NFL betting.

Travon Walker

Following a highly impressive performance at the NFL combine, Travon Walker was the number one pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2022 draft. Talent scouts and managers of the team saw a great deal of potential in Walker as an edge player in their defense. 

The outside linebacker showed versatility, football IQ, and power to carry the team during his time at the NFL combine and as a college player. Because of this, it isn’t any surprise that Walker’s draft selection caused a huge amount of hype across the board. 

Peyton Manning

Another NFL recruit that made football headlines is Peyton Manning’s 1998 draft. The high achieving quarterback was the Indianapolis Colts’ first pick, and he shone as a key part of his college football team. 

Most people know Manning as a champion quarterback who is closely matched in football IQ and agility to Tom Brady. Manning led the Tennessee Volunteers for each of the three years that he played for them. This was just one of the reasons why the 1998 number one draft caused such a great deal of hype. 

Bruce Smith

During the 1985 draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Bruce Smith as first overall. He is widely regarded as the NFL’s ‘sack king,’ but it was his college performance that made Smith stand out from the rest of his teammates. Smith was a two-time All-American at Virginia Tech. 

He earned the Outland Trophy and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame as a result of a highly successful college career. Following this, Smith’s achievements continued within the NFL. 

Andrew Luck 

This quarterback was drafted in an attempt to fill the shoes of Peyton Manning. Although expectations were high, Luck’s range of collegiate achievements showed that he was more than capable of filling the role. 

The Indianapolis Colts drafted Luck in 2012 after winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as a senior. The quarterback did not waste any time proving himself worthy of the Colts’ number one pick. This could be seen by Luck setting rookie records during his first NFL season. 

Lawrence Taylor

Photo: Buffalo Bills

Another defensive player who seemed like a natural choice was Lawrence Taylor. He was the New York Giant’s second overall selection during the 1981 draft. Taylor boasted a reckless approach to the game, which earned him the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors. 

The outside linebacker set many defensive records during his time at the University of North Carolina, which caused a great deal of hype by the time he was drafted by the Giants. 

Aiden Hutchinson

Having set team single-season sack records as a senior player in college, Hutchinson’s draft was no surprise to many. The defensive end was chosen second overall by the Detroit Lions during the 2022 draft. 

Hutchinson is expected to achieve huge things as a defensive player for the Lions, and his selection of awards from his college career demonstrates his football IQ and versatility. 

Terry Bradshaw

Another highly hyped draft within the NFL was the addition of Terry Bradshaw. Despite doubts regarding his football IQ, Bradshaw was selected first overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970 draft.

The quarterback went on to become an NFL icon, and his number has been unofficially retired by the Steelers as a result of his achievements. 

John Elway

This quarterback made his debut at Stanford University, where he set college records for football and baseball.

In 1983, he was the Baltimore Colts’ first selection. Elway is widely regarded as a legend for his achievements on the field. 

Derek Stingley

The third overall selection by the Houston Texans during the 2022 NFL draft is Derek Stingley. His achievements as a college player made him stand out from an early age.

The cornerback led the Southeastern Conference as a starter in 2019. As a result, there was a great deal of hype surrounding Stingley’s NFL draft. 

Troy Aikman

Finally, Troy Aikman was the Dallas Cowboys’ longest-tenured quarterback. He was selected first overall in the franchise’s 1989 NFL draft, and it certainly paid off.

Aikman won three Super Bowl titles during his career and was named MVP as a result of these efforts. 


The NFL has seen many impressive drafts throughout the years. Some of these have created a significant amount of excitement as a result.

Each of the drafts above proved highly successful for the teams involved following the selection process. 

Featured Image: Buffalo Bills
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