Where Houston Ranks Among Cities With Most Top Draft Picks

Where Houston Ranks Among Cities With Most Top Draft Picks
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Few cities in the United States have seen as many top draft picks as Houston’s “Big Four” teams have this century.

Between the Houston Texans’ three No. 1 picks, the Houston Astros’ three top picks and the Rockets lone top selection, the Space City has had no shortage of top-line draft talent since 2000.

BetTexas.com 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 sports fans in the state, there is no legal Texas sports betting. Sports wagering failed in the most recent legislative session and won’t be discussed again until 2025.

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%

The Texans narrowly missed out on another No. 1 pick in the most recent NFL Draft, and national operators (there are no Texas betting apps) think it could be another tough season in 2023. Houston is +15000 to win the Super Bowl, among the three worst odds in the league.

Houston Among Leaders in No. 1 Picks

The city of Houston finished tied with Cleveland for the sheer number of No. 1 picks (seven) from the Astros, Rockets and Texans.

That cadre of top picks netted Houston’s sports teams their fair share of talent, with Pro Basketball Hall-of-Fame inductee Yao Ming and possible Cooperstown inductee Carlos Correa being the most successful from the group.

Of the Texans’ three top draft picks, defensive end Mario Williams was the highlight, in terms of on-field production, with Pro Football Reference giving him an approximate value of 95 in 158 NFL games.

The other Texans top pick that netted the team a defensive superstar was Jadeveon Clowney, who has an approximate value score of 61 during his 109-game NFL career, according to Pro Football Reference.

The team’s first No. 1 pick, quarterback David Carr, didn’t pan out, throwing more interceptions (71) than touchdowns (65), with a career completion percentage of 59.7% and an approximate value of 49 across 94 NFL games, per Pro Football Reference.

The Astros have seen similarly mixed results from the team’s three top picks, with Correa cruising his way to a 40.7 WAR career that includes 167 home runs, 595 RBIs and an OPS+ of 126.

The club didn’t fare as well with their other two No. 1 picks, in pitchers Mark Appel (0.3 WAR in six MLB games) and Brady Aiken (who never advanced past A-ball). 

Still, the Astros went on to win two World Series and are currently +800 to win this year’s World Series at BetMGM Sportsbook (there is no BetMGM Sportsbook Texas).



Christopher Boan is a writer with BetTexas.com, covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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