The 10 Biggest NFL Draft Busts in New England Patriots' History

Nick LantzCorrespondent IIApril 1, 2013

The 10 Biggest NFL Draft Busts in New England Patriots' History

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    The Pats took a relatively unknown quarterback from the Michigan Wolverines in Round 6 of the 2000 draft. Remarkably, that player, none other than Tom Brady, would go on to win the Super Bowl three times and become one of the greatest to ever play the position in the NFL.

    Brady is just one example of one of the amazing moves the New England Patriots have made in the NFL draft over the years. But they also have made some memorable draft mistakes by taking players who became busts.

    Just like every other team, the Pats have drafted a fair share of busts. Even under Bill Belichick's control, the team has made some serious mistakes in the draft.

    Let's take a look at the 10 biggest draft busts in Patriots history.

Kenneth Sims

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    In 1982, Kenneth "Game Day" Sims was taken by the Patriots with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Coming out of the Texas Longhorn's program, he was considered to be the next great defensive end in the NFL.

    Sims ended up never becoming a consistently good player for the Pats, let alone a great one. He tallied just 17 sacks in his eight seasons in the league.

    He played in all 16 regular season games for the Patriots only once (1984) and only recorded 3.5 sacks that season.

    The team also had a number of problems with Sims during his time with NE on and off the field. In 1990, Sims was charged with possession of cocaine and was released by the Patriots after showing up to camp completely out of shape.

    Sims is arguably the biggest bust in Patriots history.

Tony Eason

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    Dan Marino had a tremendous NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and is now a Hall of Famer. He was also taken after Tony Eason in the 1983 NFL Draft.

    Eason, the No. 15 overall pick, would go on to rack up just over 11,000 passing yards in his career, compared to over 61,000 yards by Marino, who was taken 12 picks later.

    That may not even be the worst part. Eason actually played in Super Bowl XX and put forth an embarrassing effort in a 46-10 loss to the Chicago Bears.

    To this day he is the only Super Bowl starting quarterback to not complete a single pass. He missed on all six of his pass attempts before being replaced by Steve Grogan.

    Eason only played in nine games in his final three seasons with the Pats and will always be remembered for his painful performance in Super Bowl XX.

Laurence Maroney

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    When Laurence Maroney entered the league it seemed as though the Patriots had finally found their running back of the future.

    Maroney was taken by NE at No. 21 in the first round of the 2006 draft. He made waves in his first two seasons with the Pats, scoring 13 total touchdowns and averaging nearly 4.5 yards per carry.

    Things went downhill after his 2008 campaign ended after just three games due to a shoulder injury. He returned to the team the following season but was clearly not the same.

    Despite scoring nine rushing touchdowns in 2009, Maroney often fumbled the ball and averaged just 3.9 yards per carry. He was no longer a powerful threat in the backfield.

    Maroney only played four seasons with the Pats before his career quickly came to an end after playing in just four games with the Denver Broncos in 2010.

Chad Jackson

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    In the 2006 NFL Draft two wide receivers stood out among the class: Santonio Holmes and Chad Jackson. Those two obviously ended up having extremely different careers.

    Jackson looked amazing in the combine, especially after he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash. The Patriots traded up to snag Jackson early in the second round.

    He was supposed to fill the void of Deion Branch but instead became a bust. Jackson only played in New England for two of his three seasons in the league.

    The former Florida Gator grabbed just 14 catches in his short career. He was cut by the Pats after playing in just two games in the 2007 season.

Eugene Chung

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    Eugene Chung was the first Korean-American NFL player to be drafted in the first round. That was basically the biggest accomplishment of his short career in the league.

    He was taken by the Patriots in 1992 with the No. 13 overall pick. For the first two seasons of his career Chung was a regular starter for the Patriots at right guard.

    Chung did not quite turn out to be the player the Pats thought they were getting. He played in only three games in 1994 and lost his starting job.

    The 6'4" lineman only played five seasons in the NFL and never made another start after his first two seasons.

Bethel Johnson

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    Wide receiver is one of the more difficult positions to draft in the NFL. Qualities such as speed, quickness and a solid college career do not always guarantee success as an NFL receiver.

    Bethel Johnson had plenty of speed and the Patriots were very fond of him coming out of Texas A&M. The Pats took him at No. 13 in Round 2 of the 2003 draft.

    Johnson contributed right away for NE, just not as a receiver. He was rather impressive as a kick returner, taking two kicks back for touchdowns in his first two seasons.

    The problem was he only made 30 catches during three seasons with the Pats. Johnson played just one more season (with the Minnesota Vikings) before his career ended.

Hart Lee Dykes

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    Sometimes injuries come so soon in a player's career that they never even get a chance to prove their worth. Unfortunately for Hart Lee Dykes this was the case.

    Dykes encountered some serious issues with his knees, which forced his career to come to an end much sooner than anticipated.

    The Patriots took Dykes with the No. 16 overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He was great in his rookie season, bringing in 49 catches for 795 yards and five touchdowns.

    In his second season Dykes missed six games after strangely injuring his eye in a nightclub brawl. Sadly, he faced injuries to both of his knees, which brought his career to an end after just two seasons.

Chris Canty

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    In 1997 the Patriots thought that they were going to have two legitimate playmakers at the cornerback position.

    Ty Law would establish himself as one of the league's great defensive backs, but the other, Chris Canty, never fit into place.

    The Pats took Canty with the No. 29 overall pick in the 1997 draft. He came to the organization full of himself but his play on the field did not back that up.

    He played just two seasons with the team, making only 10 starts. Canty made just one interception during his time in New England.

Andy Katzenmoyer

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    Andy Katzenmoyer was a beast at linebacker during his time with the Ohio State Buckeyes. He won the Butkus Award and was a first-team All-American after his stellar sophomore season in 1997.

    In 1999 the Patriots took him with the No. 28 pick in the draft. He continued his success into the NFL with over 100 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a rookie.

    It was looking as if Katzenmoyer was going to be force at linebacker for the Pats for years to come when suddenly he faced a career-ending neck injury. He was put on IR and released before the start of the 2002 season. 

Daniel Graham

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    Taking a tight end in the first round is sometimes seen as a stretch, yet the Patriots did so anyway in 2002. They selected Daniel Graham with the No. 21 overall pick in the draft.

    Graham was solid in five seasons with the Pats but was better suited as a blocker than a receiver. Though he did catch an impressive seven touchdowns in 2004, the former Colorado Buffalo never posted a single season with at least 40 catches or 500 receiving yards.

    Ed Reed was chosen by the Baltimore Ravens just three picks after Graham and has consistently been one of the top safeties since entering the league.

    Graham was not a bad player by any mean, but he was very far from producing the way a first-round pick should have.