Five best Nos. 1-2 draft pick combos

» Five worst 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 best 1-2 overall pick punches in the NFL draft's modern era.

1. 1983 - John Elway and Eric Dickerson


No. 1: Elway to Colts | No. 2: Dickerson to Rams
Total combined games played: 380
Total combined Pro Bowls: 15
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 5
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 2

Elway famously was selected by the Baltimore Colts at the top spot, but refused to sign with the team. Instead, he was dealt to the Denver Broncos, for whom he emerged as arguably the greatest quarterback to ever be taken No. 1 overall in the draft. Dickerson, meanwhile, was an immediate force out of the backfield for the Los Angeles Rams, breaking a rookie rushing yardage record (1,808 yards) in 1983 and then setting the NFL single-season rushing yardage record (2,105 yards) in 1984. Dickerson retired as the second-leading rusher in NFL history, behind the incomparable Jim Brown. Both Elway and Dickerson are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the only 1-2 draft combo enshrined in Canton.

2. 1969 - O.J. Simpson and George Kunz


No. 1: Simpson to Bills | No. 2: Kunz to Falcons
Total combined games played: 264
Total combined Pro Bowls: 14
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

Simpson -- a 1985 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- has a decorated NFL resume. In 1973, Simpson became the first NFL running back to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. Kunz is decidedly less familiar with football fans, but he was one of the top offensive linemen of his era. Kunz was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection during a nine-year span. Three of those Pro Bowl nods came while Kunz played for the Baltimore Colts, with whom he played in the famous "Ghost to the Post" playoff game against the Oakland Raiders.

3. 1985 - Bruce Smith and Bill Fralic


No. 1: Smith to Bills | No. 2: Fralic to Falcons
Total combined games played: 411
Total combined Pro Bowls: 15
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 4
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

Smith is the all-time NFL sack leader (200), was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 11-time Pro Bowl selection and member of a Bills team that went to a record four consecutive Super Bowls. He also was a 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, and a strong case could be made that he's the greatest No. 1 overall pick (non-QB division) of all time. Fralic played nine seasons in the NFL as an offensive tackle and guard, eight of those seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. From 1986-89, Fralic was a Pro Bowl selection for four consecutive seasons.

4. 1981 - George Rogers and Lawrence Taylor


No. 1: Rogers to Saints | No. 2: Taylor to Giants
Total combined games played: 276
Total combined Pro Bowls: 12
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 3
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 3

Taylor's career as one of the most destructive defensive players in league history overshadows what was a productive career for Rogers. Coming off his Heisman-winning season in 1980 at South Carolina, Rogers led the NFL in rushing yards (1,674) in his rookie season. Rogers was a member of the Redskins' Super Bowl XXII-winning team, but injuries kept him from starting. He was replaced by Timmy Smith, who famously went on to become one of the NFL's all-time one-hit wonders. Taylor -- a 1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- was one of the game's most feared tacklers and earned the No. 3 spot in "The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players" countdown. Taylor was the last defensive player to earn league MVP honors, doing so in 1986.

5. 1978 - Earl Campbell and Art Still


No. 1: Campbell to Oilers | No. 2: Still to Chiefs
Total combined games played: 282
Total combined Pro Bowls: 9
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 0
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

The powerful Campbell was the frontman for the "Luv Ya Blue" Houston Oilers of the late 1970s. Campbell led the NFL in rushing in his first three seasons (including a career-high 1,934 yards in 1980), was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and 1991 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Still played 12 seasons in the NFL, and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, including in 1984 when he posted a career-high 14.5 sacks.

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1968 - Ron Yary and Bob Johnson


No. 1: Yary to Vikings | No. 2: Johnson to Bengals
Total combined games played: 361
Total combined Pro Bowls: 8
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 4
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 0

Yary -- a 2001 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- earned seven Pro Bowl selections and was a member of all four Minnesota Vikings teams to reach the Super Bowl. Johnson played in 154 games over 12 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, and earned a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie season of 1968.

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1970 - Terry Bradshaw and Mike McCoy


No. 1: Bradshaw to Steelers | No. 2: McCoy to Packers
Total combined games played: 300
Total combined Pro Bowls: 3
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 4
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 4

As the field general for the four-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, Bradshaw's NFL resume is well-known. McCoy played 11 seasons in the league, including seven for the Green Bay Packers.

1975 - Steve Bartkowski and Randy White


No. 1: Bartkowski to Falcons | No. 2: White to Cowboys
Total combined games played: 338
Total combined Pro Bowls: 11
Total combined Super Bowl appearances: 3
Total combined Super Bowl wins: 1

Bartkowski helped the Falcons go from 3-11 in 1974 to a playoff appearance in 1978 (the franchise's first, and the first of three playoff berths in five seasons). White -- a 1994 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee -- was a dominant presence for Dallas' famous "Doomsday Defense" of the 1970s.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.