NFL Draft: Rating the largest bust for every staff with Ryan Leaf main the way in which

The NFL Draft has offered loads of misses over time, particularly within the common-draft period — which was instituted in 1967. Whereas many observers keep in mind the Professional Soccer Corridor of Famers that emerged from the highest of the draft, there have been loads of busts alongside the way in which — gamers which have saved their franchise within the doldrums of the NFL (simply ask the Cincinnati Bengals within the Nineties and Detroit Lions of the 2000s). 

Discovering out the good gamers and busts that emerge from the draft are what makes the occasion the final word actuality TV present. Who would have thought Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell would flame out of the league like they did after they had been drafted? Similar with Tony Mandarich, arguably the most-hyped offensive lineman prospect ever. 

We’re not including salt to the injuries, however each staff has drafted a bust of their franchise’s historical past. Listed below are the 32 greatest busts — one for every staff — in league historical past. We ranked them from No. 32 to No. 1, with every staff having a consultant on the listing. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Bo Jackson, No. 1 general (1986)

Jackson was removed from a bust as a participant, however the Buccaneers wasted this decide. Jackson warned the Buccaneers in the event that they drafted him he wasn’t going to play for them and play baseball. Tampa Bay did not hear and chosen Jackson anyway. As a result of the Buccaneers despatched a jet to choose Jackson up for a bodily and go to, Jackson was dominated ineligible by the SEC — which led to the warning he would not play for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers relinquished Jackson’s rights and the Raiders chosen him within the seventh spherical the next 12 months. Waste of a decide. 

31. Dallas Cowboys: TE David LaFleur, No. 22 general (1997)

Accidents to Jay Novacek compelled the Cowboys to hunt a decent finish within the 1997 draft, buying and selling up with the Eagles to pick out LaFleur. The second tight finish taken within the draft — after Tony Gonzalez — was a large disappointment, catching simply 85 passes for 729 yards and 12 touchdowns in 4 seasons. LaFleur did lead NFC tight ends with seven touchdowns in 1999, however he solely recorded 322 yards. Accidents to his knee, fibula, and again caught as much as LaFleur — who was launched previous to the 2001 season. He by no means performed within the NFL once more. 

30. New England Patriots: DL Kenneth Sims, No. 1 general (1982)

The Patriots had some poor picks within the late Nineties, however none match the minimal impression Sims made with the staff when he was chosen a long time earlier. Sims by no means turned the following nice defensive finish, recording simply 17 sacks in eight seasons (by no means having greater than 5.5 sacks in a season). Sims’ tenure ended with the Patriots in 1990 when he confirmed as much as camp off form, 16 days after he was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. Johnnie Cooks and Chip Banks had been picked proper after Sims, as they made an impression as linebackers within the league. That simply by no means occurred for Sims. 

29. Atlanta Falcons: LB Aundray Bruce, No. 1 general (1988)

Bruce wasn’t the go rusher that modified the NFL.  He wasn’t the following Lawrence Taylor both. Bruce by no means made a Professional Bowl or All-Professional staff, beginning simply 33 of 62 video games with the Falcons earlier than Atlanta moved on. Bruce recorded 16 sacks, eight compelled fumbles, and three interceptions in 4 seasons with the Falcons, as he was relegated to a decent finish in spot responsibility.

Bruce lasted seven extra seasons with the Raiders, ending with simply 32 sacks in his profession. Did not assist six-time Professional Bowl and Nineties All-Decade choice Neil Smith was picked proper after him. 

28. Houston Texans: QB David Carr, No. 1 general (2002)

It is robust to be a quarterback for an growth staff. Carr by no means labored out in Houston, main the league in being sacked 3 times in his first 4 seasons. He accomplished 60% of his passes for 13,391 yards with 59 touchdowns to 65 interceptions (75.5 ranking) in 5 years with the Texans. Houston moved on from Carr after the 2006 season as he spent the remainder of his NFL profession as a backup for a number of groups (retired in 2012). Too many hits and a poor offensive line doomed Carr from the beginning and the Texans spent a few years on the backside of the AFC South consequently. 

27. Chicago Bears: QB Mitchell Trubisky, No. 2 general (2017)

The Bears have made quite a lot of dangerous first-round picks over time. Buying and selling up one spot to draft Trubisky over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes is the winner. Trubisky is the lone top-five quarterback to have his fifth-year possibility declined because the rookie wage scale was launched in 2011. In 4 years with the Bears, Trubisky accomplished 64% of his passes for 10,609 yards with 64 touchdowns to 37 interceptions (87.2 ranking), whereas dashing for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns. Of the 47 quarterbacks with greater than 500 go makes an attempt during the last 4 years, Trubisky ranks forty first in passer ranking, twenty sixth in completion share, twenty ninth in landing share (4.1), and thirty seventh in yards per try (6.73). Not precisely franchise-quarterback materials. The Bears selected the improper quarterback and are nonetheless searching for the primary 4,000 yard passer and 30 landing thrower in franchise historical past. 

26. Buffalo Payments: OL Mike Williams, No. 4 general (2002)

Williams by no means turned the franchise sort out the Payments envisioned, failing to guard Drew Bledsoe for a number of seasons earlier than the Payments determined to maneuver on. Williams began 56 video games for the Payments in 4 seasons earlier than being benched in favor of undrafted free agent Jason Peters. The Payments tried transferring Williams to protect — and even had him at defensive sort out at one level — earlier than transferring on. The 2002 draft did not have many hits within the prime 10 — and Williams was one of many many misses. 

25. New York Giants: OL John Hicks, No. 3 general (1974)

Hicks was one of the crucial hyped offensive linemen to enter the draft, ending second to John Cappelletti for the Heisman Trophy. Whereas Hicks had a robust first season in New York, issues by no means labored with the Giants. Presupposed to be a stout run blocker, the Giants by no means completed increased than sixteenth within the league in dashing with Hicks anchoring the unit. The Giants gave up on Hicks after he and defensive finish Jack Gregory engaged in a barroom battle following a loss in 1977. Hicks was traded to the Steelers the next season, however by no means suited up within the NFL once more.

24. Baltimore Ravens: S Matt Elam, No. 32 general (2013)

This simply demonstrates how effectively the Ravens draft within the first spherical, however even they’ve a miss. Elam was chosen to interchange Ed Reed within the secondary, however struggled in protection and had simply 131 tackles and one interception in 4 seasons (missed 2015 with a torn bicep). The Ravens did not decide up Elam’s fifth-year participant possibility and he was out of the league after an arrest involving marijuana and oxycodone possession. He by no means performed one other NFL recreation. 

23. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: QB Todd Blackledge, No. 7 general (1983)

Blackledge is not the worst draft decide the Chiefs had within the first spherical, however his impression was the largest. Kansas Metropolis took Blackledge over Jim Kelly and Dan Marino within the well-known 1983 draft class and paid the worth. Blackledge by no means was capable of grasp the beginning job in Kansas Metropolis and accomplished simply 49.1% of his passes for 4,510 yards with 26 touchdowns and 32 interceptions in 5 seasons with the staff. Kelly and Marino made the Corridor of Fame. 

22. Arizona Cardinals: DL Andre Wadsworth, No. 3 general (1998)

The primary decide behind Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf, Wadsworth wasn’t the franchise-altering defensive lineman the Cardinals thought they had been getting. A extreme knee damage performed a serious function in Wadsworth lasting simply three years within the league, totaling simply 108 tackles and eight sacks in 36 video games. A 44-day holdout over a contract his rookie 12 months did not assist issues both (Wadsworth wished cash nearer to what Manning and Leaf acquired). Did not assist Charles Woodson was chosen with the decide proper after him. 

21. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Leroy Keyes, No. 3 general (1969)

There have been a number of offensive line candidates that might have been chosen right here, however Keyes was imagined to be the franchise altering operating again for Philadelphia. After profitable the final two video games the prior season and lacking out on the No. 1 decide (and O.J. Simpson), the Eagles selected Keyes one spot forward of Imply Joe Greene. Keyes wasn’t the “do-it-all” operating again he was at Purdue, dashing for simply 361 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season earlier than the Eagles moved him to defensive again. Keyes truly had six interceptions within the 1971 season, however was drafted to be a franchise-changing operating again. Keyes lasted simply 4 years with the Eagles and was out of the NFL after spending the 1973 season with the Chiefs. 

20. Washington Soccer Staff: QB Heath Shuler, No. 3 general (1994)

Washington had a number of busts that deserved to be on this listing, however Shuler was imagined to be the staff’s subsequent franchise quarterback. As an alternative, he was overwhelmed out by seventh-round decide Gus Frerotte throughout two horrible seasons. Shuler accomplished 47.7% of his passes for two,403 yards with 13 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 19 video games with Washington over three seasons. Washington was capable of get two draft picks for Shuler, who bottomed out with the Saints after throwing two touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 1997. A foot damage ended Shuler’s profession shortly after. 

19. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blaine Gabbert, No. 10 general (2011)

The Jaguars had quite a lot of first-round busts for a staff that has been round for less than 26 years. Gabbert’s fall had the largest impression on the franchise. Jacksonville moved up six spots within the first spherical to draft a quarterback that accomplished 53.3% of his passes for 4,347 yards with 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. The Jaguars traded Gabbert after three seasons with the staff, profitable simply 5 of his 27 begins. Jacksonville continues to be searching for its franchise quarterback. 

18. Cleveland Browns: QB Tim Sofa, No. 1 general (1999)

The Browns had a number of contenders right here, however Sofa was imagined to be the most effective quarterback in a heralded 1999 class (Cleveland did not even think about the most effective quarterback within the group, Donovan McNabb, with the decide). Inconsistency and accidents doomed Sofa, who went simply 22-37 as a starter in Cleveland. He threw simply 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions for a 75.1 passer ranking. Out of 30 quarterbacks with 1,000 go makes an attempt from 1999 to 2003, Sofa completed twentieth in landing passes, sixth in interceptions thrown, twenty fifth in passer ranking, and twenty fourth in yards per try (6.49). Cleveland could not discover a beginning quarterback till the franchise drafted Baker Mayfield in 2018. 

17. Carolina Panthers: WR Rae Carruth, No. 27 general (1997)

Carruth was an epic disappointment in Carolina, catching simply 62 passes for 804 yards and 4 touchdowns in three seasons. Carruth had simply 18 catches for 259 yards after his rookie 12 months, however that wasn’t the top of his tenure with the Panthers. Carruth’s NFL profession ended after he was charged with conspiracy to commit homicide of his pregnant girlfriend carrying his youngster. He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in jail and was launched in 2018. 

16. San Francisco 49ers: QB Jim Druckenmiller, No. 26 general (1997)

The 49ers had been looking for the successor to Steve Younger, and thought they’d it in Druckenmiller. Pressured to begin in September of his rookie season after Younger had a concussion, Druckenmiller accomplished simply 21 of 52 passes for 239 yards with one landing and 4 interceptions. He by no means threw one other NFL go because the 49ers traded him to the Dolphins after the 1998 season for a conditional draft decide. Druckenmiller was out of the league by 2000. One other participant by which the measurable did not match the tape. 

15. Tennessee Titans: OL Isaiah Wilson, No. 29 general (2020)

How dangerous does your NFL profession need to be to earn bust standing lower than a 12 months after being drafted? Simply ask Wilson, who’s already out of the league. Wilson appeared in only one recreation for the Titans, taking part in solely three offensive snaps. He was positioned on the COVID-19 reserve listing twice, suspended for the staff’s Week 13 recreation following a violation of staff guidelines. Wilson was arrested for DUI in September on 2020, and acquired a trespass warning whereas attending a celebration a month prior. Wilson was dealt to the Dolphins, however confirmed up late to a bodily and a staff assembly days later — together with two exercises he mentioned he would attend. He was reduce by Miami shortly after.  

14. Minnesota Vikings: WR Troy Williamson, No. 7 general (2005)

The Vikings tried to interchange Randy Moss with Williamson — who they drafted with the first-round decide they acquired from the Raiders. Moss turned a Corridor of Famer within the years to return whereas Williamson had simply 79 catches for 1,067 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons with the Vikings. Moss matched or eclipsed Williamson’s profession landing whole with the Vikings in each season since. After a two-year stint with the Jaguars, Williamson was out of the league after the 2009 season. He had simply eight catches for 64 yards in Jacksonville. 

13. Detroit Lions: QB Andre Ware, No. 7 general (1990)

The Lions have a historical past of draft busts, however Ware is clearly the largest one. A Heisman Trophy winner from Houston, Ware might by no means adapt from the “Run and Shoot” offense that produced online game numbers. Ware might by no means beat out Rodney Peete and Erik Kramer for the beginning job, taking part in simply 14 video games and finishing 51.6% of his passes for 1,112 yards with 5 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 4 seasons (six begins). Ware tried to search out footing with the Raiders and Jaguars, however was out of the NFL by 1995. 

12. Miami Dolphins: DL Dion Jordan, No. 3 general (2013)

The draft’s finest defensive participant was something however — a colossal failure within the league. Jordan began only one recreation in two seasons with the Dolphins, netting solely three sacks. He was suspended 3 times for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance coverage, leading to a year-long suspension in 2015 — and his eventual launch from the Dolphins. Jordan is at the moment a free agent after registering simply 13.5 sacks in eight seasons. Professional Bowl sort out Lane Johnson was picked proper after Jordan. 

11. Denver Broncos: DL Ted Gregory, No 26 general (1988)

Gregory is a motive why the NFL Scouting Mix exists, as he by no means performed a recreation for the Broncos. Denver by no means met Gregory in particular person and he was a lot shorter than his listed top of 6-1 and he had a knee damage up to the mark. The Broncos traded Gregory to the Saints previous to Week 1 of his rookie season. Gregory performed three video games with the Saints earlier than injuring the knee once more, and was out of soccer. Chris Spielman was chosen three picks later and Eric Allen adopted him. 

10. Inexperienced Bay Packers: QB Wealthy Campbell, No. 6 general (1981)

Tony Mandarich is related to Packers draft busts, however he is not the largest one within the historical past of his personal franchise. The Packers took a quarterback with the sixth general decide who by no means began a recreation for them! Campbell is the one quarterback chosen within the prime 30 from 1970 to 2019 to have by no means began a recreation, taking part in simply six video games and finishing 45.6% of his passes for 386 yards with three touchdowns to 9 interceptions. The Packers did not choose a quarterback within the first spherical till Aaron Rodgers in 2005 after the Campbell experiment. 

9. Los Angeles Los Angeles Rams: RB Lawrence Phillips, No. 6 general (1996)

The Rams, who hailed in St. Louis on the time, ignored the purple flag concerning Phillips and the character points that surrounded him. Phillips was seen as the most effective expertise within the draft, however groups did not need to take the danger. They traded future Corridor of Famer Jerome Bettis as a result of they thought so extremely of Phillips — whose issues continued within the NFL. Extreme consuming and jail time doomed Phillips after two seasons with the staff, as he was launched in the course of the 1997 season. Phillips rushed for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns with the Rams, averaging 3.4 yards per carry. He was out of the league by 1999 after quick stints with the Dolphins and 49ers

8. Indianapolis Colts: QB Artwork Schlichter, No. 4 overall1982)

The Colts had a number of contenders for this honor earlier than Peyton Manning reworked the franchise, however Schlichter was all-time dangerous. A playing suspension price him his whole 1983 season — after a rookie 12 months by which he performed simply three video games and threw for simply 197 yards and two interceptions (zero touchdowns). He misplaced the beginning job to rookie fourth-round decide Mike Pagel — and he was the No. 4 general decide. Playing dependancy finally obtained him launched from the Colts in 1985 (he admitted he gambled throughout his suspension). Schlichter went simply 0-6 as a starter, finishing 45% of his passes for 1,006 yards with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Colts gained simply 16 video games in his 4 seasons there. 

7. Seattle Seahawks: QB Rick Mirer, No. 2 general (1993)

Mirer had 4 forgetful years in Seattle, finishing 53.4% of his passes for 9,094 yards with 41 touchdowns to 56 interceptions (65.2 ranking). Though he set NFL rookie information in completions and yards, Mirer wasn’t the reply the Seahawks had been searching for and the stats proved it. Out of 195 quarterbacks with 1,500 go makes an attempt, Mirer ranks 181st in passer ranking and 193rd in yards per try. He performed within the NFL till 2003. 

6. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Huey Richardson, No. 16 general (1991)

Richardson performed simply 5 video games with the Steelers earlier than Invoice Cowher had seen sufficient. Cowher did not draft Richardson, however the linebacker confirmed nothing that was price conserving round. He had no tackles and no sacks in a NFL profession that lasted simply 16 video games over the span of two seasons. Pittsburgh dealt Richardson for a seventh-round decide after his rookie season and that was the top of his tenure. 

5. New York Jets: DL Vernon Gholston, No. 6 general (2008)

The Jets had their justifiable share of draft busts lately — none had been as massive as Gholston. New York was deceived by Gholston’s superb mix and thought he was going to be a dominant go rusher for the following decade. As an alternative, Gholston by no means recorded a sack nor compelled fumble in his NFL profession, ending with simply 42 tackles in three seasons. He was out of the league after three seasons. The 2008 draft did not have nice go rushers, and New York took the worst of the bunch with the best decide. 

4. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Akili Smith, No. 3 general (1999)

Smith is the winner of dangerous first-round picks the Bengals made within the Nineties, making a case as one of many worst quarterbacks in NFL historical past. Smith held out of coaching camp because of a contract dispute and the Bengals gave him simply 15 begins earlier than they’d sufficient. Smith accomplished simply 47% of his passes with 5 touchdowns to 10 interceptions (55.1 ranking) in these begins earlier than being benched for good. The Bengals went simply 3-12 in Smith’s 15 begins. He accomplished 46.6% of his passes for 5 touchdowns and 13 interceptions (52.8 passer ranking) in simply 22 video games and was launched in 2003, by no means taking part in within the league once more. 

3. New Orleans Saints: P Russell Erxleben, No. 11 general (1979)

The Saints took a punter — sure a punter — within the first spherical of the NFL Draft. No surprise New Orleans was the laughing inventory of the Seventies, inflicting their followers to finally put luggage over their heads by the beginning of the following decade. Erxleben competed for the place-kicking job in his rookie season, and misplaced, making an attempt simply six discipline objectives in his profession. Erxleben ended up punting for the Saints for 5 seasons earlier than being out of the league — sans a stint as a substitute participant throughout the 1987 strike. Corridor of Famer Kellen Winslow was chosen two picks after Erxleben. 

2. Las Vegas Raiders: QB JaMarcus Russell, No. 1 general (2007)

One of many greatest busts in league historical past, Russell was a colossal failure in Oakland. Not solely did Russell maintain out in his rookie season, he batted off-field issues and weight points. Russell accomplished simply 52.1% of his passes for 4,083 yards with 18 touchdowns to 23 interceptions in three seasons with the Raiders earlier than being run out of the league. — making $31.5 million assured from his rookie deal. In Russell’s final season (2009), he completed with the bottom quarterback ranking, lowest completion share, fewest passing touchdowns, and fewest passing yards amongst qualifying quarterbacks.

1. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Ryan Leaf, No. 2 general (1998)

This was in all probability the simplest choice to make on this listing. Poor angle and an incapability to manage his mood obtained the most effective of Leaf, who accomplished 45.3% of his passes with two touchdowns to simply 15 interceptions in his rookie season. He yelled at a reporter and gave a half-hearted apology, whereas alienating himself from his teammates all year long. His anger points developed into the following season as he missed the 12 months with shoulder surgical procedure. Leaf was launched by the Chargers after the 2000 season, and completed with a 4-17 document as a starter, finishing simply 48.4% of his passes with 14 touchdowns to 36 interceptions in 25 video games. He was out of the NFL after 2001. 


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