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Quarterbacks drafted first overall: No. 1

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely draft Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the No. 1 overall pick. So how does this type of thing usually work out? We continue our countdown of the 18 quarterbacks who were drafted with the top selection over the past 40 years.

John Elway, 1983, Baltimore Colts (traded to the Denver Broncos)

It is ancient history, forgotten by many, but Elway once seemed destined to play baseball for the New York Yankees.

Elway was the prize in the best quarterback draft ever (six quarterbacks were taken in the first round). But Elway and his father, Jack, made it quite clear that he would not play for the Baltimore Colts, who held the first overall pick.

Instead of changing gears and going with one of the other quarterbacks (Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Tony Eason, Todd Blackledge and Ken O'Brien), the Colts stood firm and drafted Elway anyway. That’s when the threats about playing baseball got really loud.

The posturing went back and forth until the Colts finally decided to trade Elway to Denver for offensive lineman Chris Hinton, whom the Broncos had selected with the fourth overall pick, quarterback Mark Herrmann and a first-round pick in 1984.

That wound up being one of the best trades in NFL history -- for Denver. After enduring some struggles early in his career and being benched in favor of Steve DeBerg, Elway went on to have one of the best quarterback careers ever. Maybe the best.

Elway forever cemented a place in history in the 1986 AFC Championship Game by leading a 98-yard touchdown drive (known as "The Drive") for a victory against Cleveland. That put Elway into the first of his five Super Bowls.

Elway got to three Super Bowls early in his career and lost them all. But Elway finished his career in spectacular fashion. He won the Super Bowl in each of his last two seasons and retired while he was very much on top.

At the time of his retirement, Elway’s 148 career victories were the most ever by a starting quarterback. He finished his career with 51,475 passing yards and 300 touchdowns. Another facet of Elway’s game that is often overlooked was his running ability. He had 774 carries for 3,407 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Elway was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection and his legacy continues. The Broncos have had plenty of success since Elway became their executive vice president of football operations. Elway has made plenty of good moves in that role, including the addition of Peyton Manning.

But that acquisition is only second-best in Denver's history. Landing Elway unquestionably was the best move in franchise history.

Final analysis: Hall of Fame pick -- but not for the team that made the pick.