The Most Useless Player on Every NFL Team
Every team in the NFL has a guy who is just a plain waste of a roster spot. A guy who is completely useless but will still somehow see playing time because of his reputation, team investment or something that the coaching staff sees that no one else has.
Here, we're going to go over the cut-worthy and under-producing players who belong closer to the free agency piles than on an NFL roster. Let's explore the utter suckitude that are the most useless players from each NFL team.
Arizona Cardinals OT D'Anthony Batiste
D'Anthony Batiste is someone who hadn't ever seen a lot of meaningful time in the NFL until this year. And even then, he was primarily playing as an offensive guard and had seen very few snaps at left tackle. Then the unthinkable happened and Levi Brown went down in Arizona.
Batiste took over and proved why he had never started at left tackle in his career. He allowed 12 sacks, five quarterback hits and 35 quarterback pressures on 387 pass blocking snaps. For those counting at home, that means he allowed his quarterback to be hit on 4.4 percent of his pass blocks and pressured overall on 13.4 percent of his pass blocks.
Atlanta Falcons DT Peria Jerry
Fortunately, the Falcons are able to pick out their useless players and cut them. Before he was cut, the most useless Falcon was easily defensive end Ray Edwards. Now, it has to be defensive tackle Peria Jerry—a former first-round pick.
While he's been average as a run-stuffer, his pass-rushing ability is non-existent. In 201 pass-rushing snaps, he has a total of zero sacks, zero hits and five pressures. Considering that's what got him drafted in the first place, it may be time to move on from Peria Jerry as a starting tackle.
Baltimore Ravens RB Anthony Allen
Anthony Allen was one of the better running backs in the country when he was at Georgia Tech with Jonathan Dwyer. However, in the pros, he hasn't been very good at all. On special teams, he gets blocked out of the plays easily and has even committed two special teams penalties.
Then as a running back he has only gotten onto the field for 14 snaps. Of those, he has five attempts for 13 yards. And when you take out his 7-yard run, he has four attempts for six yards. He isn't much better as a receiver either, as he dropped the only pass thrown his way this season.
Buffalo Bills DE Shawne Merriman
After losing his job in training camp to the completely ineffective duo of Chris Kelsay and Mark Anderson, Shawne Merriman has been back with the Bills for the past four games. And he has done nothing but disappoint.
He's played a total of 51 snaps over the four games and has had a total of two tackles and a sack. For someone who should be completely healthy and a top-notch pass-rusher, he's proven to be useless. He also doesn't play any special teams snaps, so his overall worth is close to nothing at this point.
Carolina Panthers S Haruki Nakamura
Haruki Nakamura is a complete joke as a coverage safety and doesn't deserve to be starting in the NFL. Unfortunately for Nakamura, his name sounds closer to his play. Haruki plays more like "The Rookie" in the backfield with his inability to judge deep routes and read the ball in the air.
He's allowed a passer rating of 89.6 on throws his way including a 49-yard touchdown and a 59-yard play that set up a crucial field goal against the Falcons. His tackling isn't even close to sure either. He has 44 tackles between special teams and defense. However, his 11 misses mean that he will only tackled the opposing players 80 percent of the time.
Chicago Bears OG Chris Spencer
Chris Spencer was the initial starter this season at left guard for the Bears. However, he was so terrible that he was benched. He was benched for a lovely gentleman named Chilo Rachal who might as well be the D'Anthony Batiste of left guards.
Spencer allowed one sack, one hit and four pressures in a total of 80 pass-blocking snaps. He's also only been active for four games since being benched and is looking like a cut candidate before the end of the year.
Chris Spencer returns to starting lineup according to a source.— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) November 21, 2012
ESPN's Michael C Wright is reporting that he has returned to the starting lineup. This can't be good for the Bears. They would be smart to cut him at the end of the year and bring in someone like former Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones to make sure Jay Cutler can stay healthy.
Cincinnati Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
How many starting running backs in the NFL have a 3.5 yards per carry average? Not many. Yet BenJarvus Green-Ellis somehow has this terrible average behind an offensive line that has multiple first-round picks and a top five left tackle on it.
The holes are there, and this is arguably one of the best offensive lines in all of football. Both guards and both tackles are in Pro Football Focus's top 15 for their positions. So why isn't Green-Ellis able to get any sort of yardage?
He just seems to meander into the hole at his own pace and doesn't hit it hard. He's also a mediocre pass-blocker and is average at best in the receiving game. He hasn't proven to be worth his contract at all. And his contract wasn't even that big of a payday.
Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden
Brandon Weeden is the worst quarterback in the AFC. He's been that bad this season. While most would ask, "How is a rookie quarterback useless?" I'd have to answer them with the example of Jimmy Clausen and now Brandon Weeden.
Weeden is useless as a 29-year-old rookie who is having trouble reading defenses. His 12 interceptions and 70.3 quarterback rating don't tell the whole story about his struggles. On passes from 1-20 yards past the line of scrimmage, he is a worthless 126-for-217 (58.1 percent) for 1,396 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
When you can't even make the short passes, how are you even going to be trusted with longer ones? And what kind of quarterback plays his worst in what is supposed to be the quarterback's comfort zone—short passing?
Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free
Dallas is a tough team to find a useless player. While my gut wanted to go with Dez Bryant for his off-the-field antics, his on-field play doesn't warrant it. Doug Free's terrible blocking does warrant being considered a useless player though.
Free's issue as a blocker isn't so much that he gets beat—even though he does all the time. It's more to do with his penalties. He has a whopping 11 penalties called against him with 10 of them sticking. His seven false starts and three holding calls are the worst on the Dallas line.
Then again, his four sacks and two hits allowed to go along with 34 pressures is enormous as well. He's allowed 28.7 percent of the total quarterback disruptions on Tony Romo for the Cowboys this year. For one man to be this bad is shocking and astounding especially considering how good he was last season.
Denver Broncos LB Keith Brooking
The Broncos are another team that it is tough to find a useless player on. However, Keith Brooking has proven to be just that. His poor angles against the run have netted him a negative grade through Pro Football Focus's grading systems.
Even worse is that his former strength of pass coverage has now waned. The 37-year-old has proven to get flushed and blocked out of runs. Against the pass has allowed an 84.6 percent completion percentage and a passer rating of 92.0 to show he hasn't fared much better.
Detroit Lions DE Kyle Vanden Bosch
Kyle Vanden Bosch is one of the longest tenured Lions. Unfortunately, he's also one of the worst Lions this year. His combined -16.9 grade from Pro Football Focus is one of the lowest in the league at defensive end.
When you factor in that it's only on 65.8 percent of the snaps because of the Lions rotation, it looks that much worse. While he does have 12 stops, 3.5 sacks and six quarterback hits this year, the end just hasn't been effective on the other 400 snaps he's played. He continually gets blocked out of running plays and against the pass, he's created a total of 20 combined pressures on his 257 snaps.
Green Bay Packers CB Jarrett Bush
As a special teams player, Jarrett Bush looks to hold some value. That's before you look and see he has two terrible penalties. Then on defense is where Bush truly takes the useless cake.
In coverage, he's allowed a passer rating against of 140.8. On 38 coverage snaps, he's been targeted 10 times, allowed seven catches for 98 yards and has allowed two touchdowns. That makes him one of the worst coverage corners in the league.
Then against the run, his poor tackling abilities and inability to take good angles has "earned" him a -1.4 grade. A lot of that has to do with making just four tackles, but missing two on top of that. Good players take guys to the ground more than two out of every three plays. It's no wonder why he has only gotten 76 snaps on defense through 10 games.
Houston Texans OT Derek Newton
Houston is another team that it's hard to find a useless player. But Derek Newton has been that. While he's been slightly above average as a pass blocker, his real trouble is as a run blocker.
He doesn't play with great leverage and tends to get pushed back at the line. His run-blocking score by Pro Football Focus of -10.9 is the second worst for any right tackle in the NFL.
After having arguably the best right tackle in the NFL leave this offseason, Houston needs to find a someone who is competent to take over the position next year.
Indianapolis Colts CB Jerraud Powers
Indianapolis needs a ton of work to fix their defense. Jarraud Powers is a joke of a football player. He happens to have one interception all year to attempt to show he has some sort of worth. However, the 482 yards and four touchdowns allowed have contributed to him allowing a passer rating of 105.0.
Factor all this with god awful tackling abilities and you have the most useless player on the entire Colts team. He's missed 11 tackles this season and only made 40. That's a 78.4 percent tackling percentage which is one of the worst in the NFL.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert
Blaine Gabbert has been a total bust. He is now on injured reserve for the season (h/t Bryan McIntyre of Yahoo Sports). He also has been terrible for the entirety of his two-year career.
Only six starting quarterbacks in the NFL have a worse passer rating than he does. And of those six, three of them are rookies. The other three are also known as the worst three quarterbacks in the NFL—John Skelton, Mark Sanchez and Matt Cassel.
When you are in the same company as three guys who should be getting replaced after this season, it's time for you to also be on the list of guys who should be getting replaced.
Kansas City Chiefs OG Jeff Allen
Jeff Allen is just a rookie. He also showed enough talent to be a second round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. However, in the NFL, he has looked more of the 7th round variety player especially in his pass protections.
On the bright side, he's allowed one quarterback sack this year. But the five quarterback hits and 11 pressures he's allowed as an interior lineman make him one of the worst in the league. Not to mention his terrible run blocking that has earned him a score of -10.2 on the Pro Football Focus metrics.
The only thing that can be said for Jeff Allen is that he's a rookie and can improve. Let's just hope for whoever the quarterback is in 2013 that he improves quickly.
Miami Dolphins CB Jimmy Wilson
Some players look great when they are pushed into action due to injuries. Jimmy Wilson is not one of them. He's been terrible as a coverage corner allowing 67.5 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed and is allowing 8.08 yards per attempt.
He's also allowed two touchdowns and a passer rating of 108.6 which by all metrics makes him one of the worst coverage slot corners in the NFL. Add in his 21 tackles compared to seven missed tackles and he is looking like one of the weakest members of the Dolphins roster.
Minnesota Vikings WR Michael Jenkins
When the best thing you can do is run blocking, it looks great on your resume. That is, unless you are a wide receiver who has trouble getting open like Michael Jenkins. His two drops aren't great for his resume, but as a starting wide receiver, for him to only have 300 yards is pathetic.
Also, whenever he goes up against a corner with any semblance of talent, he tends to get completely shut down as seen in his games against San Francisco and Detroit. If Minnesota wants Christian Ponder to develop, it needs to get a legitimate wide receiver to pair with Percy Harvin. And that guy isn't Michael Jenkins.
New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington
He's a solid tackler. But that's about it. Kyle Arrington has gone from a playmaking cornerback who would make game-changing interceptions and deflections into the worst coverage corner in the NFL.
He's allowed 11.73 yards per pass attempt against as well as four touchdowns. His passer rating allowed is the absolute worst of any corner in the NFL who has seen starting reps. Getting burned for not one, but three touchdowns over 20 yards this season doesn't help the case of Kyle "Burnt" Arrington.
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram
The New Orleans Saints have five extremely talented running backs. However, they don't need all five to be successful. A former first-round pick—Mark Ingram easily has the most investment placed into him. Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Travaris Cadet were all undrafted free agents, and Darren Sproles was an unrestricted free agent.
However, he isn't providing any value on special teams and his pass-blocking ability is horrid, allowing one sack, one hit and three pressures on just 21 pass-blocking snaps. Add in that he has the lowest yards per carry of any back on the Saints, and they would be better off cutting him for someone at another position who could help. Like a defensive player.
New York Giants OT David Diehl
For as good as he has been in his career with the Giants, it's about time for David Diehl to just hang them up. He has been getting routinely beaten this year in pass protection allowing four sacks, two hits and 10 hurries on the just 132 pass-blocking snaps.
That's 12.1 percent of the snaps that the quarterback will see some sort of pressure from Diehl's side. Add in that he can't gain any leverage on his run blocks anymore, and it's been time to throw him on the bench since Week 1 this season.
New York Jets QB/Gunner Tim Tebow
Personal punter protector. That is Tim Tebow's official title with the New York Jets. After showing that he can't provide any value as a quarterback unless it's in a Wildcat package, Tebow has been demoted to one of the most menial jobs on the football team.
The biggest problem is that you don't trade picks or pay a guy a first-round salary to be a punt protector. It wouldn't be shocking to see Tebow move from quarterback to another position—fullback or linebacker—once a new coach is in New York, or he gets cut—whichever comes first.
Oakland Raiders LB/ST Travis Goethel
Oakland has some useless guys, but Travis Goethel takes the cake. When he was called upon for his 20 snaps on defense, he didn't register a single statistic. He was an absolute ghost on the field for those snaps and was even worse on special teams.
He had to replace John Condo in the first game of the season as a long snapper and was an utter failure there. To compound on it, his -8.0 rating from Pro Football Focus as a special teams player is the worst in the NFL.
You can relive his magnificently epic failures as a punt snapper here.
Philadelphia Eagles OT Demetress Bell
Demetress Bell can't be this bad. No way.
That seems to be the mantra of Eagles fans this season after seeing the contract that Bell signed this offseason and then seeing his production on the field not live up to it.
On 293 pass-blocking attempts, Bell has been awful. He's allowed three sacks, nine hits and 21 pressures. It's been good for 19.7 percent of the pressure allowed on the Eagles quarterbacks this season. The issue is he was on the bench for at least three full games.
Pittsburgh Steelers DE Ziggy Hood
As a player who plays 82 percent of the snaps, Ziggy Hood should be much more effective than he is. He gets washed out in the running game and is completely ineffective as a pass-rusher as well.
His six total quarterback disruptions (1 sack, 2 hits, 3 pressures) on 288 pass-rushing snaps puts him right at the bottom of all 3-4 defensive ends in Pro Football Focus's pass rush productivity rating.
The overall ineffectiveness of Hood will make Cameron Heyward's bid to take his job that much easier. Don't be surprised if Ziggy Hood gets healthy but is still sitting on the bench as the backup defensive end.
San Diego Chargers OT Michael Harris
While D'Anthony Batiste is by far the worst left tackle in the NFL, Michael Harris is easily the second form the bottom at left tackle in the NFL. His 40 total quarterback disruptions allowed (28.5 percent of San Diego's total disruptions allowed) has been part of why Philip Rivers has looked so terrible.
Harris is the worst pass-blocking tackle in the NFL that's not on the Arizona Cardinals. That dubious honor will not endear him into the hearts of Chargers fans and makes him completely expendable at this point.
San Francisco 49ers WR/KR Ted Ginn
Teddy Ginn was a great player in college and was valuable in the NFL as late as last year. This year, though, he's played a total of 35 snaps on offense. And on 27 of those, he was run blocking. It's tough to find value in a run-blocking wide receiver.
In order to find some sort of value in Ginn, I tried looking at his special teams production. He gets blocked out of the plays when he is a gunner. As a return man, he's been splitting snaps with Kyle Williams all season and hasn't been nearly as effective as Williams has been.
Seattle Seahawks OG J.R. Sweezy
A converted defensive tackle, J.R. Sweezy playing guard was one of Pete Carroll's hair-brained ideas. In just 124 snaps as a tackle, he's earned one of the lowest grades by Pro Football Focus at right guard. The bigger issue is that he should have never been playing offensive line in the first place.
Sweezy was a college defensive tackle, and there has to be a feeling by some of the other teams in the NFL that he could help their defensive tackle rotation more than he can help Carroll's poor offensive line.
St. Louis Rams OG Quinn Ojinnaka
Quinn Ojinnaka is one of the few players on this list that isn't the absolute worst player at his position. He's still close though. His play at guard has been weak, and he was benched after the Green Bay-St. Louis game this season.
He's allowed 18 quarterback disruptions over 192 pass-blocking snaps. His poor blocking has also hurt Wayne Hunter's bid to be a solid left tackle. Hunter would have been the most useless player here, but Ojinnaka beat him out pretty handily.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount
After carrying the load the past two seasons, LeGarrette Blount was replaced this season by Doug "Muscle Hamster" Martin. However, he was rightfully replaced as his pass blocking and catching make him pretty much useless in Greg Schiano's offense.
He's only earned his way on the field for a total of 74 snaps. And in what is supposed to be his strength—running the ball, he's been less than impressive with just a 3.1 yard per carry average. What's even scarier is that he hasn't been able to create any missed tackles this year after creating 34 on 186 carries last season.
Tennessee Titans S Michael Griffin
Michael Griffin was supposed to be the best safety on the free-agent market this offseason until he was franchised and re-signed by the Titans. He's shown that he isn't even close to the safety that earned the big money contract he signed.
He's been missing a ton of tackles—16 misses out of 64 attempts—and has been even worse in coverage. His 130.8 passer rating allowed is exacerbated by the 72.0 percent completion percentage, five touchdowns and 10.80 yards per attempt allowed.
Washington Redskins OT Tyler Polumbus
Say hello to the worst right tackle in the NFL not named Bobby Massie—Tyler Polumbus. His play has been highlighted by the five sacks, four hits and 28 pressures he has allowed this season. The worst part of Polumbus is that he's allowed one-third of all the pressure on Robert Griffin III this season.
If the Redskins want to improve long term, they would be smart to bring in a right tackle this offseason. When Tyler Polumbus is the best you have at the position, you start to just scheme around him and pray for the offseason to come soon.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.