This Year's Biggest NFL Draft Busts
Each year in the NFL, there are a few players who don't live up to their high draft billing. Although 2011 has really not seen any major draft busts, there were a few who did not perform as well as their teams had planned upon picking them.
A few of these may not be fair, as some players were thrown into the fire and didn't have much chance to succeed. One example from 2010 would be former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
Nevertheless, he didn't live up to the hype, and these six players didn't either.
Here are 2011's biggest draft busts.
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Blaine Gabbert was an addition to the 2011 draft class who gained hype as the process went on because of his size and NFL arm. However, many analysts expressed concern with his accuracy as well as the system he played in at Missouri.
Gabbert ended up taking over as Jacksonville's starting quarterback, but with highly disappointing results.
It's not like Gabbert had good targets to throw to, but he completed just 50.5 percent of his passes for 2,122 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 14 games.
His average yards per attempt was just 5.39, and his quarterback rating was a meager 64.3. He led what the worst passing offense in the NFL.
Gabbert very well could develop into a quality starting quarterback, but his progress was much slower than the Jaguars had hoped this year.
Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams
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It may be unfair to label Robert Quinn as a bust, because the Rams drafted him as a pass rushing specialist, and he did collect five sacks on the season.
But as the 14th overall pick in the 2011 Draft, more was expected of him. It would have been reasonable to expect a lack of production if the Rams had other players who were making big impacts on defense, but Chris Long and James Hall were the only other two players with five or more sacks.
Quinn may have been better suited in a 3-4 defense, but that hasn't stopped Von Miller from becoming a defensive star. If Quinn was expected to be a difference maker who could at least give a guy like Miller or Aldon Smith a run for his money, he has been a bust up to this point.
Still, if Quinn has been one of the year's biggest busts, that gives you an idea of how few busts there really were this year.
Corey Liuget, DE, San Diego Chargers
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Drafted by the San Diego Chargers to be a 3-4 defensive end, Corey Liuget has not been near the player they had hoped.
With just 18 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble, his impact and production pales in comparison to players like JJ Watt, Phil Taylor and Muhammad Wilkerson, all of whom were similarly rated players.
Liuget is another player who could develop into a solid starter, but this year was not a good year for the rookie from Illinois.
Cameron Jordan, DE, New Orleans Saints
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The New Orleans Saints have had a tremendous year, but Cameron Jordan has not had much to do with that.
Jordan was a highly rated player out of California who the Saints drafted to bolster their pass rush. What the Saints likely didn't foresee was Jordan failing to record a single sack. He also recorded just 28 tackles.
The Saints' top pass rusher is safety Roman Harper, which likely wasn't the plan when Jordan was drafted.
On an ironically humorous note, seeing as how the last three players I listed (all defensive ends) all have No. 94, I would advise teams to shy away from that number for their rookie pass rushers.
Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams
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I don't like to hate on the St. Louis Rams, but their top two picks both had lesser impacts than what was hoped for—and what was needed.
Tight end Lance Kendricks was taken with the Rams' second pick as an extra weapon for Sam Bradford, but with just 25 catches for 298 yards and zero touchdowns in 14 games, Kendricks was only the sixth-leading receiver for one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL.
The Rams were terrible this year and didn't give their rookies much chance at success, and I'm convinced Kendricks will eventually be a stud, but he wasn't able to live up to his expectations all the same.
Bruce Carter, LB, Dallas Cowboys
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Carter may not have been expected to grab a starting spot with Bradie James and Sean Lee holding down the inside linebacker positions, but the Cowboys likely hoped he would have more of an impact as a back-up.
Instead, he has recorded just six tackles in nine games of action.