Despite the months of preparation that go into determining who the best prospects in each year’s NFL draft are, many draft selections—including some of those who were graded as early-round picks throughout the league—will fail to live up to their potential at the next level.
Figuring out which players will be busts is as much of a crapshoot as the draft itself. Nonetheless, there are some players who slipped down the board that stand out as having the potential to make teams regret not drafting them when they had the chance.
There’s been some obvious examples of players a multitude of teams shouldn’t have passed up in recent drafts, such as 2010 fourth-round pick Geno Atkins and 2012 No. 75 overall pick Russell Wilson.
A player doesn’t need to emerge as a superstar, however, for a team to end up regretting passing him up. A prospect the team let fall just might end up being better, or could have addressed a greater need left unfilled, than the player the team drafted instead.