Phoenix Ranks High Among Cities With Most No. 1 Draft Picks

Phoenix Ranks High Among Cities With Most No. 1 Draft Picks
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Valley of the Sun is known for many things, ranging from the city’s climate to the full complement of “Big Four” sports teams — and now Arizona sportsbooks.

Another thing that the city of Phoenix should be known for is the sheer number of top picks the region’s teams have held, with the Valley ranking among the top U.S. cities in terms of number of top picks in the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL drafts. utilized each of the four major sports’ websites (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) to gather the city that acquired the No. 1 overall draft pick from the 2000 drafts until the most recent 2023 drafts. Out of the 96 No.1 overall draft picks in the four major sports, we found the cities that have had the most.

Unfortunately for NFL fans in the state, Arizona betting apps odds indicate the Cardinals could be picking first again in the 2024 Draft.

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Cities With Most No. 1 Draft Picks

RankCityNo. of 1st Overall Draft Picks% of 1st Overall Draft Picks
T-1Houston, TX77.3%
T-1Cleveland, OH77.3%
3Pittsburgh, PA66.3%
T-4Tampa, FL55.2%
T-4Washington D.C.55.2%
T-6Phoenix, AZ44.2%
T-6Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN44.2%
T-6Detroit, MI44.2%

Phoenix Has Had Its Share of Top Picks

The Valley ranks in a tie with Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit with four No. 1 draft picks since 2000, with the three cities tied for sixth overall.

Between 2005 MLB No. 1 selection Justin Upton (of the Diamondbacks), Dansby Swanson in 2015 (of the D-backs), 2018 NBA top pick Deandre Ayton (of the Phoenix Suns) and NFL top pick in 2019 Kyler Murray (of the Arizona Cardinals) — the city has had its share of top picks in the “Big Four” sports.

The quartet of Phoenix No. 1 overall picks has had varying success in their league of choice, with Upton wrapping up his 16-year MLB career with 325 home runs, 1,754 hits and 32.3 WAR, while Swanson’s posted a 17.6 career WAR with the Braves and Cubs through eight MLB seasons.

Ayton’s career totals have seen the seven-footer out of Arizona post 30.9 win shares to go with 16.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while Murray’s thrown for 13,848 yards and 84 touchdowns (to 41 interceptions), while gaining 2,204 yards with 23 scores on the ground for the Cardinals.

Murray is returning from a serious injury, but BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona has him listed as +10000 to win NFL most valuable player honors.

Each player has parlayed their top draft position into long-term contract extensions over the years, with Upton earning $201.4 million, while Ayton’s made $72.8 million with the Suns, Murray has cashed in for $60.2 million with the Cardinals, and Swanson has earned $34.8 million in his career.



Christopher Boan is the lead writer at after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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