Which Super Bowl featured two former No. 1 picks at QB?

Which Super Bowl featured two former No. 1 picks at QB?


Peyton Manning and Cam Newton met in 2015.
Image: Getty Images

Q1: What is the only previous matchup of two No. 1 overall draft picks as Super Bowl starting quarterbacks?

Matthew Stafford was picked by the Lions at the top of the 2009 draft, and traded to the Rams before this season. Joe Burrow won the national title at LSU two years ago, got picked first by the Bengals, and already has validated Cincinnati’s decision.

A1: Peyton Manning vs. Cam Newton

Super Bowl 50 was the first time that a pair of No. 1 pick quarterbacks met in the Super Bowl, which is somewhat surprising until you remember that signal callers didn’t used to go at the top of the draft so regularly, and that Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick and appeared in 10 Super Bowls.

Between Terry Baker in 1963 and John Elway in 1983, only three other quarterbacks went at the top of the draft: Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, and Steve Bartkowski. Between them, they won six Super Bowls, but all with AFC teams. In fact, no NFC team drafted a quarterback No. 1 overall until the Buccaneers made Vinny Testaverde the top pick in 1987.

Selected in 1998 out of Tennessee, Manning was the third quarterback picked by the Colts with the top choice in the draft, following George Shaw in 1955 and Elway, who refused to go to Baltimore in 1983. Manning eventually followed in Elway’s footsteps by winning Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos, but not before also winning it all with the Colts.

Newton, of course, went to Carolina in 2011 after winning the Heisman Trophy and national championship at Auburn. The Super Bowl went significantly less well for Newton, who was the 2015 NFL MVP but had a miserable time in the Big Game.



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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.