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2020 NFL Draft

Sizing up the 10 best No. 2 overall picks of the last 20 years

A couple of weeks ago, we broke down the history of the No. 2 pick in numerical fashion.

Now, we're diving a little deeper to see some specific examples of players who arrived in the NFL with the elevated expectations that come with being the No. 2 pick and lived up to them in a big way.

We're going reverse chronological with the 10 best since 1996.

2015: QB Marcus Mariota - Tennessee

Mariota flashed the talent and ability he used in college to win the Heisman Trophy during his injury-shortened rookie season with the Titans. He finished with 2,818 yards and 19 touchdowns to go along with an additional 252 rushing yards in 12 games.

Player taken ahead of him: QB Jameis Winston

2011: LB Von Miller - Denver

A one-man wrecking crew in Super Bowl 50, Miller recently received the franchise tag from Denver, making him one of the league's highest paid pass rushers. The two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler has 60 sacks in his first five NFL seasons.

Player taken ahead of him: QB Cam Newton

2010: DL Ndamukong Suh - Detroit

Now a Dolphin after signing the richest contract for a defensive player in NFL history, Suh is a four-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. Even after a down year in Miami, he's still considered one of the game's best interior defensive linemen.

Player taken ahead of him: QB Sam Bradford

2007: WR Calvin Johnson - Detroit

One of the game's most dominant offensive players over the past decade, Johnson recently announced his retirement after nine seasons with the Lions. He amassed 11,619 yards and caught 83 touchdowns in just 134 games.

Player taken ahead of him: QB JaMarcus Russell

2005: RB Ronnie Brown - Miami

The first of two Auburn running backs to be selected in the top five of the 2005 draft, Brown rushed for 5,391 yards and 38 touchdowns over 10 seasons, the first six of which were in Miami.

Player taken ahead of him: QB Alex Smith

Take a look at the Cleveland Browns roster as of September 1, 2017.

2002: DE Julius Peppers - Carolina

Still plugging away as he prepares for his 15th NFL season, Peppers has made nine Pro Bowls and collected 136 sacks while playing for three different teams.

Player taken ahead of him: QB David Carr

2001: OT Leonard Davis - Arizona

Logged 11 seasons and 155 starts in the NFL with his best coming in Dallas. Davis converted full-time to right guard and made the Pro Bowl three straight seasons with the Cowboys from 2007-09.

Player taken ahead of him: QB Michael Vick

2000: LB LaVar Arrington - Washington

Though his career was short, Arrington made a big impact with the Redskins from 2001-2003, when he made three straight Pro Bowls. In six seasons with Washington, he compiled 317 tackles and 23.5 sacks.

Player taken ahead of him: DE Courtney Brown

1999: QB Donovan McNabb - Philadelphia

Booed by Eagles fans on draft day, McNabb proved his doubters wrong in a big way over 13 productive seasons. The six-time Pro Bowler threw for 37,276 yards and 234 touchdowns.

Player taken ahead of him: QB Tim Couch

1996: LB Kevin Hardy - Jacksonville

A steady, core member of the early Jaguars, Hardy logged nine productive seasons and made the Pro Bowl in 1999 after compiling a career-best 10.5 sacks.

Player taken ahead of him: WR Keyshawn Johnson

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