The 1978 NFL Draft was held May 2-3, 1978 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The draft consisted of 12 rounds and 334 selections.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held the first overall pick but traded it to the then-Houston Oilers in exchange for Jimmie Giles, and the Oilers' first, second, third and fifth round selections. The Oilers selected 1977 Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell from Texas with the first overall selection.

Campbell won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with the Oilers. Al Baker, a defensive end selected by the Lions in the second round, won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

As of 2009, Campbell is one of three players from this draft class inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The others are WR James Lofton (6th overall, Packers) and TE Ozzie Newsome (23rd overall, Browns).