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The most anticipated football event of this off-season is approaching – the 2017 NFL Draft. On the 27th of April the 32 NFL franchises will be taking turns in selecting young prospects. Experts and fans try hard to predict the selections and discuss the career possibilities of the best young NFL-wannabees. Being the best in college though, doesn’t mean you will be doing great in the League. Ideally the most discussed and contested prodigies would continue their top performance, but the threat for them to be labeled NFL Draft Busts is real.
Football is a sport where you can’t rely completely on individuals but it is individuals that can make the difference between victories and defeats. On and off the field there are many factors that may ruin a perfect career – injuries, lack of discipline, drugs, gambling, alcohol, aggressive behavior and so on. Teams are well-aware of that and they always do very deep and sophisticated research on the NFL prospects. So much data is analysed to make the perfect picks, and still, many of them disappoint and become NFL draft busts. In this article we will show you our list of the top 10 NFL Draft Busts of all time.
At number 10 in our list of NFL letdowns is the 59th overall pick of 2016, who happens to be a kicker. The Buccaneers traded their second-round pick for Aguayo and now probably regret this move. This kid was second to last in NFL 2016 field goal attempts with 7 missed field goals, and also missed 2 PATs.
Roberto is young though, aged 22, and still has time to redeem himself to the Buccaneers’ fans. Even though he has been playing in the league for just a year, Aguayo is the first player on our NFL draft busts list.
Blair Thomas came to New York from Penn State as the 2nd pick of 1990’s Draft and is now considered one of the worst NFL Draft busts of all time. He was an outstanding college player, becoming the first Penn State running back to record 1,400 yards in two seasons.
The Jets were putting a lot of hope in this guy but once he got selected, he never recreated his college years’ greatness. Thomas rushed for only 502 yards overall during his four seasons in New York. Blair Thomas is clearly of the biggest NFL draft busts ever.
Even though many do not consider Johnny Manziel a Draft Bust because he was drafted by the Browns at the 22nd overall pick in 2014, the college sensation is worthy of a place in our list. Manziel’s college career was a blast! While playing for Texas A&M in 2012, he won six awards and was nominated for Player of the Year by the Associated Press and other media as well. But after he signed for the Browns, his true self began to emerge.
Everybody knew Johnny was a party guy but only a few experts predicted what was coming. The QB took part in many off-the-field incidents, most of them involving drugs and alcohol. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Later Johnny got himself into a domestic violence scandal as he was accused of physical harassment of his ex-girlfriend.
Todd was drafted from USC with the 24th overall pick of the 1991 Round 1 NFL Draft. He impressed with great performance while playing in Southern Carolina and thus seeing his name among the first round draftees was no surprise. But it seems he couldn’t take the stress and responsibilities that came with the NFL contract. Marinovich failed three drug tests in his first three seasons.
Alcohol and drugs became his ways to escape responsibilities and the ambitions of his parents who had pushed him to train hard and become a good football player since he was six years old. His career ended before it had begun. Later he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.
Being the first overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, the promising new QB for Houston Texans disappointed his managers and the fans with his poor performance. In 2004 David started all 16 games and was sacked for a league-leading 49 times. He also threw 14 interceptions.
The next year he was one of the reasons for the Texans’ record of 2-14, being sacked 68 times (league-leading again). He was released from Houston to become a free agent with a record of 249 sacks. Now you see him in the NFL Gameday Studio as one of the hosts.
Couch was drafted from Kentucky Wildcats where he threw for over 8,000 yards and 75 touchdowns in two seasons. He was the “Andrew Luck” of the early 2000’s. When the Browns selected him in 1999, right after the franchise was rebuilt, the fans called him a “savior”.
Little did they know, Couch was out of football after 2003. During his short NFL career Tim played poorly, had issues with his shoulder, and was rumored to have used human growth hormone steroids.
Fans called him “The Boz”. His top performance in Oklahoma earned him the first overall pick of the 1987 NFL Draft for the Seahawks. He was a beast on the field but got caught using steroids and was suspended. Next year the Seahawks managed to bring him back from the Supplemental Draft – one of the last chances for players who lost their eligibility to get back in the League.
In order to win The Boz back, the Seahawks had to ignore players like Michael Irvin. Worth it? No. For 24 games as a starter, Bosworth recorded just four sacks. That earned him a well-deserved spot on our NFL draft busts list!
Here we have one of the competitors for the ultimate NFL Draft Bust of all time. Ryan Leaf was compared to Peyton Manning in the 1998 Draft and the Chargers were happy to put their hands on him with the second pick. Surprise! He had one of the worst rookie seasons the NFL has ever seen.
He threw more incompletions than successful passes (45% completion rate), passed for only two touchdowns, and threw 15 interceptions. What is more, Leaf was a disappointment off the field as well. He had an awful relationship with the media, his teammates, and the organization. In less than three years the once very promising QB was not only out of the team, but also out of football.
A legendary draft bust! JaMarcus was labeled to possess the strongest arm in the NFL. After the Raiders drafted him in 2007 with the first overall pick, he signed a contract for almost $40 million guaranteed. This didn’t motivate the young quarterback though. Having all that money had the opposite effect on the young QB that loved to party but not to play football. In 25 starts Russel let 48 turnovers.
The culmination of his disastrous career was in 2009 when he went to the training camp looking like a lineman, weighing more than 130 kg. JaMarcus Russel will be remembered as arguably the most shocking NFL Draft Bust of all time. He was released after just three seasons and even the Raiders publicly criticized him and expressed regret about drafting him.
Meet the “father of the NFL draft busts”! Jay Berwanger tops our list for being the first ever drafted college prodigy in the history of NFL and never played a single snap. In 1936 the Heisman Trophy award winner (then known as Downtown Athletic Club Trophy) was selected by the Eagles. What went wrong? He demanded more money than the NFL standards for the time. The running back demanded $1,000 per game, which now seems ridiculously low but during the Great Depression in the US the franchises were not capable of paying such sums.
So after Jay couldn’t reach an agreement with the Eagles, he was traded to the Bears. But in Chicago, Mr. Berwanger asked for $15,000 – less than his demand from the Eagles, but still too much for the Bears’ owner who could afford no more than $13,500. What happened next is not even funny. Jay Berwanger gave up on the NFL and started working for a Chicago rubber company.
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