History of the No. 29 pick in NFL Draft is a rather dismal mixed bag

The Detroit Lions have the 29th overall pick in next week's draft, and history of that pick isn't that great.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are set to make their first pick in the draft outside the top-20 for the first time since 2017 this year (Frank Ragnow was No. 20 overall in 2018). They've had the 29th overall pick twice in their history, and on one occasion it worked out quite well. Based on Brad Holmes' track record in the draft, the odds look good the Lions will find another very good player with pick No. 29 (if they stay there).

But what does the history tell us about the No. 29 overall pick in the draft?

Who has been taken in the 29th overall pick in the NFL Draft?

Since 1993, via Draft History, here are the players who have been the 29th pick in the NFL Draft.

1993: George Teague, S, Alabama (Green Bay Packers)
1994: Derrick Alexander, WR, Michigan (Cleveland Browns)
1995: Blake Brockermeyer, OT, Texas (Carolina Panthers)
1996: Jamain Stephens, OT, North Carolina A&T (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1997: Chris Canty, DB, Kansas State (New England Patriots)
1998: John Avery, RB, Ole Miss (Miami Dolphins)
1999: Dimitrius Underwood, DE, Michigan State (Minnesota Vikings)
2000: R. Jay Soward, WR, USC (Jacksonville Jaguars)
2001: Ryan Pickett, DE, Ohio State (St. Louis Rams)
2002: Marc Colombo, OT, Boston College (Chicago Bears)
2003: Nick Barnett, LB, Oregon State (Green Bay Packers)
2004: Michael Jenkins, WR, Ohio State (Atlanta Falcons)
2005: Marlin Jackson, DB, Michigan (Indianapolis Colts)
2006: Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State (New York Jets)
2007: Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn (Baltimore Ravens)
2008: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina (San Francisco 49ers)
2009: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina (New York Giants)
2010: Kyle Wilson, DB, Boise State (New York Jets)
2011: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin (Chicago Bears)
2012: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame (Minnesota Vikings)
2013: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (Minnesota Vikings)
2014: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida (New England Patriots
2015: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (FL) (Indianapolis Colts)
2016: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss (Arizona Cardinals)
2017: David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL) (Cleveland Browns
2018: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (Jacksonville Jaguars)
2019: L.J. Collier, DE, TCU (Seattle Seahawks)
2020: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia (Tennessee Titans)
2021: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia (Green Bay Packers)
2022: Cole Strange, OG, Tennessee-Chattanooga (New England Patriots)
2023: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson (New Orleans Saints)

Some of those taken with the 29th overall pick over the last 31 drafts had or have had solid NFL careers. But an optimistic estimate gives us 16? guys who have done or did something notable in the league, or possibly could (Strange, Bresee and maybe Stokes fall into the last category). The rest range from outright busts to just not quite turning into a star.

That said, history does not have to dictate the present. It feels like the Lions will find someone more along the lines of Harrison Smith and Nick Mangold, and not someone like Robert Nkemdiche, with pick No. 29 this year.


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