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The 2021 NFL Draft made history, with quarterbacks selected with each of the first three picks -- Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 to the Jaguars, Zach Wilson at No. 2 to the Jets, and Trey Lance at No. 3 to the 49ers. This year's draft wasn't the first to see the top three picks all be quarterbacks -- it happened twice before in the common draft era. 

The top three teams took quarterbacks in the 1971 and 1999 drafts. Many of those players are notable names around the NFL with varying degrees of success, but none made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Two quarterbacks on this list are amongst the biggest draft busts in league history. 

Based on history, there's no guarantee Lawrence, Wilson and Lance will be superstars, let alone Pro Bowlers. There's a greater chance at least one of them will be a draft bust. With that in mind, let's take a look at the two previous occurrences quarterbacks went 1-2-3 in the draft.  

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1971 NFL Draft

No. 1 overall pick: Jim Plunkett (New England Patriots)

Plunkett had a tale of two careers in the NFL. In his five years with the Patriots, he appeared on his way to becoming one of history's biggest busts -- throwing 22 interceptions in 1972 and a league-leading 25 interceptions in 1974. He completed just 48.5% of his passes with the Patriots, throwing for 62 touchdowns to 87 interceptions. The Patriots drafted Steve Grogan in 1975 and moved on from Plunkett the following season, trading him to the 49ers for quarterback Tom Owen, two first-round picks in 1976, and a first and second round pick in 1977. The 49ers released Plunkett after two seasons. 

After two years on the bench in Oakland, Plunkett revitalized his career when starter Dan Pastorini broke his leg and he was called into action. The Raiders went 9-2 in Plunkett's 11 starts, as he threw for 2,299 yards with 18 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. The Raiders became the first wild-card team to win the Super Bowl, as Plunkett completed 53.3% of his passes for 839 yards with seven touchdowns to three interceptions in four postseason starts. He was named the MVP of Super Bowl XV, becoming just the second player to win the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP award. 

Plunkett was benched for Marc Wilson in 1981, but emerged as the starting quarterback again in 1982 and led the Los Angeles Raiders to another Super Bowl in 1983. He lasted with the Raiders until 1988, retiring as the only quarterback to win two Super Bowls with the same franchise in different cities. 

Plunkett was just 72-72 as a starting quarterback, completing 52.5% of his passes for 25,882 yards for 164 touchdowns to 198 interceptions. He finished with an 8-2 record in the postseason with two Super Bowl titles, but actually threw more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (11) in the playoffs. 

Debates have risen over the years whether Plunkett's postseason success should get him in the Hall of Fame, but he was never voted to a Pro Bowl nor selected to an All-Pro team. Plunkett salvaged his career with the Raiders, or he'd be one of the biggest draft busts. 

No. 2 overall pick: Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints)

  • Teams: New Orleans Saints (1971-1982), Houston Oilers (1982-1983), Minnesota Vikings (1983-1984)

Manning has the worst record for a starting quarterback in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 100 starts (35-101-3), but the Saints teams he played on throughout the 1970s were amongst the worst in the league. Manning never played on a team that boasted a winning record nor made the playoffs, running for his life the majority of his NFL career as he was sacked 40+ times in four separate years. 

Manning led the league in completions in 1972 (230) and made the Pro Bowl in 1978 and 1979, part of a three-year stretch where he completed over 60% of his passes and threw for over 3,000 yards each season. Manning finished in the top 10 in passing touchdowns three times and in completion percentage and passer rating five times. The Saints have not issued Manning's No. 8 since they traded him in 1982. He finished with seven different head coaches in New Orleans. 

In his 14-year career, Manning completed 55.2% of his passes for 23,911 yards with 125 touchdowns to 173 interceptions. He never won a game as a starting quarterback outside of New Orleans. Manning was the Saints only Pro Bowler from when he was drafted in 1971 until 1979.

No. 3 overall pick: Dan Pastorini (Houston Oilers)

Pastorini had a solid career as a drag racer after a 12-year NFL career, the majority of it leading the Oilers. Pastorini appeared to be a bust after his first three years, winning just five of his first 25 starts and throwing 19 touchdowns to 50 interceptions. The Oilers didn't give up on him when Bum Phillips became the head coach in 1975, as Pastorini earned his lone Pro Bowl selection after leading Houston to a 10-4 record.

The Oilers made the playoffs in 1978 and 1979, falling in the conference championship game to the Steelers in consecutive years. Earl Campbell carried the offense in those years, but Pastorini threw for 4,563 yards and 30 touchdowns in that stretch. 

Pastorini was another quarterback who failed to get quality offensive line play early in his career, which led to numerous injuries to his ribs (he was the first quarterback to wear a flak jacket). The Oilers traded Pastorini to the Raiders in 1980 for Ken Stabler, but a broken leg paved the way for Jim Plunkett to lead the team the rest of the season -- and a Super Bowl championship. Pastorini threw two touchdowns and 14 interceptions over the rest of his career. 

In his 12 seasons, Pastorini completed 50.9% of his passes for 18,515 yards with 103 touchdowns to 161 interceptions -- only finishing in the top 10 in passing touchdowns twice. His career passer rating was 59.1. 

1999 NFL Draft

No. 1 overall pick: Tim Couch (Cleveland Browns)

  • Teams: Cleveland Browns (1999-2003)

The expansion Browns were set on taking a quarterback in the quarterback-heavy 1999 draft (five were taken in the first round), and ended up selecting one of the biggest busts in NFL draft history. Tasked with leading one of the worst rosters in the NFL, Couch never got off on the right foot in Cleveland -- being sacked a league-high 56 times in his rookie year. 

Injuries to his shoulder and thumb limited the intangibles that made Couch the No. 1 overall pick, as he started all 16 games just once in his career (2001). Couch did lead the Browns to the playoffs in 2002, but a broken leg in Week 17 forced him to sit in the AFC wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- a Browns loss. 

Inconsistency and injuries doomed Couch, who went just 22-37 as a starter in Cleveland. He threw just 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions for a 75.1 passer rating. Out of 30 quarterbacks with 1,000 pass attempts from 1999 to 2003, Couch finished 20th in touchdown passes, sixth in interceptions thrown, 25th in passer rating, and 24th in yards per attempt (6.49). The Browns released Couch prior to the 2004 season and never played another game due to arm injuries --- despite a four-year attempt trying to get back into the NFL. Couch was out of the league by 26. 

No. 2 overall pick: Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles)

  • Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2009), Washington Football Team (2010), Minnesota Vikings (2011)

The only good quarterback to come out of the 1999 class, McNabb was one of the best players in the most dominant stretch for the Eagles in the Super Bowl era. McNabb led all quarterbacks in wins from 2000 to 2004 (54) and trailed only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in wins from 1999 to 2011 (98). McNabb took the Eagles to the playoffs seven times, winning nine playoff games in his career -- tied with Jim Kelly for the most playoff wins without winning the Super Bowl. He played in five conference championship games. 

Earning six Pro Bowl appearances, McNabb was the first player to throw for 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season. He was the first quarterback to run for 100 yards in a playoff game and the first quarterback to throw for 200 and run for 100 yards in a playoff game. McNabb finished in the top five in passer rating and yards per attempt twice (2004 and 2006) and ranked in the top five in interception percentage six times. 

McNabb ended his NFL career with a 98-62-1 record (92-49-1 record with the Eagles), completing 59% of his passes and throwing for 37,276 yards with 234 touchdowns to 117 interceptions. He also rushed for 3,459 yards and 29 touchdowns. McNabb is the Eagles' all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns and is considered the greatest quarterback in franchise history, having his No. 5 retired by the organization. 

McNabb won't make the Hall of Fame, but was a home run pick for Andy Reid in his first draft as a head coach. 

No. 3 overall pick: Akili Smith (Cincinnati Bengals

  • Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (1999-2002)

Smith may go down as one of the worst quarterbacks in NFL history, and was the other quarterback the Browns considered with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft. The Bengals were desperate for a franchise quarterback, turning down nine draft picks from the Saints (who wanted to select Ricky Williams) and selected Smith instead. 

Smith held out of training camp due to a contract dispute (there was no rookie wage scale in 1999) and his career never got off the ground. The Bengals gave Smith just 15 starts to prove his worth, and he completed just 47% of his passes with five touchdowns to 10 interceptions (55.1 rating). The Bengals went just 3-12 in Smith's 15 starts and he was finished as the franchise quarterback. 

Smith was benched in favor of Jon Kitna at the start of the 2001 season and played just three more games in his career. He completed 46.6% of his passes for five touchdowns and 13 interceptions (52.8 passer rating) in just 22 games. The Bengals cut Smith in 2003 and he never played in the league again, cementing his status as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.