Ever since the NFL was formed, we have seen many great quarterbacks grace the field, such as Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Tom Brady. All of these players have gone on to have legendary careers and there is no doubt that Favre, Manning and Brady will have busts in Canton very soon.
Unfortunately, for every Marino, Manning, Favre and Montana, there's a JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Joey Harrington. It's quite a shame that every quarterback can't become a Pro Bowler or a Hall of Fame-caliber player, but that's just the way it works in the NFL. If there's anything we've learned from the NFL, nothing is a "sure thing".
No matter what the position is, a player doesn't have to be a late-round draft choice or an undrafted free agent to be considered a "bad" player. Over the course of the league's run, we've seen undrafted free agents such as Wes Welker, James Harrison, Antonio Gates, Priest Holmes and Kurt Warner come in and completely dominate. Clearly, it doesn't matter where you're taken, if at all.
Unfortunately, when a player is selected in the first- or second-round, there is much more pressure to perform or succeed, rather than the pressure placed on a player that is chosen in the sixth- or seventh-round. Some players can't seem to get it right and falter under pressure and eventually have the word "bust" under the name forever.
Over the last decade or so, there have been numerous first-round quarterback "busts" such as the aforementioned Russell and Harrington, David Carr, Kyle Boller, J.P. Losman and Patrick Ramsey. None of these players were able to get the job done on the field, especially Russell. And in all honesty, Carr really wasn't given the opportunity to succeed with such a poor offensive line, but that's a different story for a different day.
There are many reasons as to why some quarterbacks don't succeed. Some include lack of focus or failure to learn the system, while some have a mediocre supporting cast. It could be as simple as that the player just wasn't good to begin with and the hype turned out to be people blowing smoke.
Most of the quarterbacks in this slideshow, if not all, have suffered from one or more of these problems. There is no doubt that they have failed when given the opportunity to "strut their stuff". As seen in the next fourteen slides, these are the quarterbacks that have fizzled when it comes to playing at the professional level.