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Five worst Nos. 1-2 overall draft pick combos in modern era

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» Five best Nos. 1-2 draft pick combos


The opening Sunday of this NFL season features a showdown of the top two selections in the 2015 NFL Draft -- Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans.


» Debate: Mariota vs. Winston, who is poised to prevail in Week 1?


Like many No. 1 and No. 2 picks in draft history, the NFL careers of Winston and Mariota will be intertwined for as long as they play in the NFL (and, perhaps, even well beyond). As the two quarterbacks embark on what their respective teams and fanbases hope will be long and productive careers, we take a look at the worst 1-2 overall pick punches in the NFL draft's modern era.

1. 1992 - Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt


No. 1: Emtman to Colts | No. 2: Coryatt to Colts
Total combined games played: 132
Total combined Pro Bowls: 0
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

The Indianapolis Colts had the first two picks in the 1992 NFL Draft, and it didn't go all that well for them. But, before we point fingers and laugh at the early-to-mid 1990s Colts and their draft adventures, let's remember that this overall draft class is arguably the worst in the past quarter century. Take a look at the players selected in the first round that year; a team was more likely to get a player who didn't come close to meeting expectations than one that had a productive career. Unfortunately for the Colts, they landed two players that didn't meet expectations. Emtman played just nine games over three injury-plagued years for the Colts. Coryatt's most famous play was a potential game-changing interception that he dropped against the Pittsburgh Steelers in that thrilling 1995 AFC Championship Game.


» Five worst NFL draft classes of last 25 years


2. 1972 - Walt Patulski and Sherman White


No. 1: Patulski to Bills | No. 2: White to Bengals
Total combined games played: 228
Total combined Pro Bowls: 0
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

Patulski has an unfortunate place in the rankings of the non-quarterbacks selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the modern era of the NFL draft (since 1967). White played 12 seasons in the NFL, and wound up with the Bills in the season after Patulski's final campaign with the team.

3. 1979 - Tom Cousineau and Mike Bell


No. 1: Cousineau to Bills | No. 2: Bell to Chiefs
Total combined games played: 201
Total combined Pro Bowls: 0
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

Cousineau never played for the Bills, opting instead to play for the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes. When Cousineau decided to return to the NFL, the Bills traded him to the Cleveland Browns. While Couiseau's NFL career was brief (six seasons), Bell had a 12-year career spent entirely with the Chiefs. In 1984, Bell posted a career-high 13.5 sacks (Bell and the Chiefs' top pick in 1978, Art Still, combined for 28 sacks in 1984).


» Non-QBs drafted No. 1 overall in modern era power rankings


4. 1982 - Kenneth Sims and Johnie Cooks


No. 1: Sims to Patriots | No. 2: Cooks to Colts
Total combined games played: 202
Total combined Pro Bowls: 0
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 2
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 1

Sims played eight seasons in the NFL, all for the Patriots, and was a member of the team that advanced to Super Bowl XX. However, with just 17 sacks over those eight years, Sims never lived up to the immense expectations that come with being the No. 1 overall selection in a draft. A year before the Colts got burned by selecting John Elway at No. 1 in the draft, the team took Cooks. Cooks played seven seasons for the team (five of which came after it relocated to Indianapolis), and registered a career-high 11.5 sacks in 1984.

5. 1990 - Jeff George and Blair Thomas


No. 1: George to Colts | No. 2: Thomas to Jets
Total combined games played: 195
Total combined Pro Bowls: 0
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

George had a long career in the NFL -- 12 seasons -- but played for five different teams (and then spent time with, but didn't play for, two others). In four seasons with the Colts, George threw 41 touchdowns and 46 interceptions. Thomas was a massive disappointment for the Jets, never reaching the 1,000-yard plateau. It also doesn't help that the second running back selected in the 1990 NFL Draft was Emmitt Smith, who went on to do some nice things for the Dallas Cowboys. After George, the next three quarterbacks selected were 1989 Heisman winner Andre Ware to the Detroit Lions, Tommy Hodson to the New England Patriots and Peter Tom Willis to the Chicago Bears.

Also considered ...


2013 - Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel


No. 1: Fisher to Chiefs | No. 2: Joeckel to Jaguars
Total combined games played: 51
Total combined Pro Bowls: 0
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

The 2013 NFL Draft is on the fast track toward recognition as one of the worst in NFL history. The first two players selected in this draft aren't aiding the class' case (though running backs Le'Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy are helping out), but there is still time for redemption for Fisher, Joeckel and others who might not have risen to fulfill pre-2013 draft promise at this point. Unfortunately for Fisher, however, the 2015 season isn't off to a promising start.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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