(Notable players drafted after Druckenmiller: Tiki Barber, Corey Dillon, Sam Madison, Darren Sharper) *other rounds included because he was the 26th pick*
(Notable players drafted after Mitchell: Reggie Wayne, Chad Ochocinco, SteveSmith – OUCH) *other rounds included because he was the 25th pick*
14) Chicago Bears (replacing the Seahawks since the Bears didn’t havea first round draft choice) – Curtis Enis, RB Penn State
Drafted as the 5th overall pick in the 1998 draft, Curtis Enis now joins Ryan Leaf as another bust from the 1998 draft class. Enis only played in 36 games in a three year span, accumulating just 1,497 rushing yards and4 touchdowns. He retired at the premature age of 24 in 2001 due to a degenerative condition in his left knee. Before Enis even stepped onto a football field, his career was already in a downward spiral as he admitted that he was a womanizer and abuser of alcohol. He married his three-months pregnant girlfriend who was a former stripper, fired his agent, and ran up $500,000 in debt. Who would ve thought that a Penn State alum, after playing for JoePa, would be capable of this? But unfortunately for Da Bears, Enis will go down as the biggest bust in Bears history.
(Notable first round players drafted after Enis: Charles Woodson, Randy Moss, Alan Faneca, Fred Taylor, Keith Brooking)
15) New York Giants – Ron Dayne, RB Wisconsin
After winning the 1999 Heisman Trophy, the 2000 Big-Ten Conference Player of the Year award, and leaving college as the all-time rushing leader for total yards in a career, Ron Dayne was selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2000 draft by the New York Giants. During Dayne’s first season, he was teamed with Tiki Barber in the backfield creating the tandem known as “Thunder and Lightning,” a combination of Dayne’s power and Barber’s speed, but the Giants only saw Barber’s speed, and very little of Dayne’s power. Dayne’s inability and lack of commitment to lose weight, found him a seat on the sidelines. When head coach Tom Coughlin was hired, Dayne received a second chance after losing 40 lbs, but Dayne once again, found himself not playing. In 2006, Dayne signed with the Houston Texans, and saw some playing time when starter Ahman Green got injured. Dayne was never able to live up to the billing of being the 11th overall pick, and Dayne is currently out of football.
(Notable first round players drafted after Dayne: Julian Peterson, Shawn Alexander, Keith Bulluck, John Abraham)
16) Tennessee Titans – Kevin Dyson, WR Utah
Drafted with the 16th overall pick in the 1998 draft, Kevin Dyson’s career is symbolized by two plays, as Dyson certainly made his mark on the franchise in his seven-year career. Dyson was the recipient of Frank Wycheck’s lateral during the the “Music City Miracle” and was famously stopped one-yard short of scoring a game-tying touchdown in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXXIV. Dyson only managed to compile 825 yards and 7 touchdowns during his career. If Dyson got that one more yard to win the Super Bowl for the Titans, how different would his career have been, but he fell short of scoring that touchdown, and becoming a wide receiver worthy of a top-20 draft choice.
(Notable first round players drafted after Dyson: Randy Moss, Alan Faneca)
17) Baltimore Ravens – (replacing the 49ers since the Ravens didn’t have a first round draft choice) – Travis Taylor, WR Florida
While playing his college football at Florida, Travis Taylor earned MVP honors in the 1998 Orange Bowl with 7 catches for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns, and again in the 1999 Citrus Bowl with11 catches for 156 yards and3 touchdowns. After three impressive years as a Gator, Taylor was drafted as the 10th overall pick in the 2000 draft by the Ravens. Although Taylor would win a Super Bowl ring in his rookie season, he was a disappointment only playing in 9 games and caught only 28 catches for 278 yards. Even though his best season with the Ravens came in 2002, just two years later, Taylor was released. Since he was released by the Ravens, Taylor has played on five NFL teams, and his last season was in 2008 with the Detroit Lions. Taylor was a star in college, but he was never able to translate his talent to the pro-level.
(Notable players drafted after Taylor: Julian Peterson, Shawn Alexander, Keith Bulluck, John Abraham)
18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Huey Richardson, LB Florida
With a franchise as storied as the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s difficult to find a draft choice that has been a bust, but Huey Richardson takes the honor. Drafted as the 15th overall pick in the 1991 NFL draft, I needed to do some research to find out a little about Huey, but since he only played three seasons in the NFL, it was difficult. Richardson was an all-American, record-setting pass-rusher from the University of Florida. As a rookie, he only played in five games under the legendary coach Chuck Noll and then was dealt for a seventh-rounder after Bill Cowher was hired in 1992. He then played for the Redskins and Jets, never registering a single statistic.
(Notable players drafted after Richardson: Brett Favre, Ricky Williams, Aeneas Williams, Mo Lewis, Chris Gardocki
19) Atlanta Falcons – Brett Favre, QB Southern Mississippi
No draft day selection could be worse that the decision the Atlanta Falcons made during the 1992 NFL draft, and that is why the legendary Brett Favre is in this slot. After selecting Favre with the 33rd overall pick in the 1991 draft, Favre agreed to a three-year, $1.4 million contract. Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville did not approve of the drafting of Favre, and the following year during the draft, Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf traded a first–roundpick (19, RB Tony Smith Southern Miss) to the Falcons in exchange for Favre. Smith played one season in the NFL. Not only was he Favre’s roomate at Southern Miss, he will forever be known as the “guy” who allowed Favre to come to Green Bay.
(Doesn’t matter who the Falcons passed on. They drafted Favre and then traded him)
20) Houston Texans – David Carr, QB Fresno State
David Carr was selected as the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft. Forced into a difficult situation with a dreadful offensive line, Carr struggled to stay on his feet on his way to setting the single-season record for sacks taken, being sacked 76 times. In fairness to Carr, he didn’t have the offensive talent or offensive line to protect him when he came into the league. But even when his protection improved and the Texans added Andre Johnson to the offense, Carr still looked uncomfortable behind center. Carr was eventually released in 2006, after the Texans brought in Matt Schaub from Atlanta. Carr is currently a member of the San Francisco 49ers, where he is fighting for the starting QB job.
(Notable first round players drafted after Carr: Julius Peppers, Dwight Freeney, Ed Reed,
21) Cincinatti Bengals – Peter Warrick, WR Florida State
This was a difficult decision. Do I go with Akili Smith, who was selected as the quarterback to bring the Bengals out of the their decade-long slump, or Peter Warrick who was selected with the 4th overall pick in the 2000 draft. Warrick gets the nod, because coming out of Florida State, Warrick was deemed the “next great receiver”. During his time at FSU, he had 32 touchdown receptions (most in school history), he was a two-time consensus all-American, and was named the MVP of the 2000 Sugar Bowl with over 160 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns, including a 59-yard punt return. But Warrick was an NFL failure, as he was released before the start of the 2005 season when the Bengals drafted T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Warrick is currently playing for an Indoor Football league team, but if there was a player who had all the talent in the world and allowed it to go to waste, Peter Warrick is that guy.
(Notable first round players drafted after Warrick: Brian Urlacher, Jamal Lewis, Julian Peterson, Shawn Alexander, Keith Bulluck, John Abraham)
Jay Cutler was selected with the 11th pick in the draft, after the Broncos acquired the pick from the St. Louis Rams by trading their 15th and 68th overall picks, but three years since the Broncos traded up to obtain Cutler, he is no longer playing football in the “Mile High” city, but rather in the “Windy City” of Chicago. Cutler made the pro bowl during the 2008 season, but during Cutler’s time as quarterback and his six-year $48 million contract, which included $11 million in bonuses, the Broncos have failed to make the playoffs each of those years. When Cutler was drafted, his arm was compared to Brett Favre’s for his gunsligger attitude, and many people in the Broncos organization believed Cutler was the next John Elway as he was the best quarterback available in the draft. However, Cutler never lived up to being the 11th overall pick in the draft, and he even struggled during his first season as the starter in Chicago. Cutler is not officially a bust yet, but if he continues to lose, that label is not far behind.
(Notable first round players drafted after Cutler: Antonio Cromartie, Joseph Addai, DeAngelo Williams)
23) Green Bay Packers – Tony Mandarich, OT Michigan State
Whatever show I’ve seen, or whatever piece of news I’ve read, Tony Mandarich is unanimously the Green Bay Packers biggest draft bust of all-time. Mandarich was selected second overall by the Packers, and was believed by many to be the safest pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. However, he never came close to living up to expectations, and was cut just three years after he was drafted. Many believed Mandarich was on steroids, and that was a possible factor for his failure. Mandarich is often referred to as one of the top 5 bust NFL draft picks of all time, (and for Mandarich only there will be no notable players, but rather) having been drafted ahead of former NFL stars as Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders, and Andre Rison, only compounds the hurt of selecting Mandarich.
24) Dallas Cowboys – Shante Carver, DE Arizona State
Carver was drafted in the 1st round with the 23rd overall pick in the 1994 draft. If you never heard of this guy, you know why he made the list. He went on to play four years for the Cowboys recording 11.5 sacks, and was a member of the Dallas Cowboys team that won Super Bowl XXX. Carver only played three seasons with the Cowboys, and for a team that only had eleven first round selections in the past 17 years, its a shame they had to waste one on Carver. Carver tried to continue his football career by playing in the Arena Football League, but that was a failure also.
(Notable players drafted after Carver: Isaac Bruce, Tre’ Johnson, Rodney Harrison, Kevin Mawae, Larry Allen)*other rounds included because he was the 23rd pick*
25) Minnesota Vikings – (replacing the Broncos since the Vikings didn’t have a first round draft choice) – Troy Williamson, WR South Carolina
Anytime you select a wide receiver to replace Randy Moss’ shoes as Minnesota’s deep-threat, and you’re selecting him as the 7th overall pick in in the 2005 draft, the draftee better be a stud. But for Troy Williamson, who after running a 4.32 40-yard dash at the Combine on his way to boosting his draft stock, was fairly unpolished and was not ready to assume a starting role in the NFL. Williamson did not deserve going seventh overall, and the Vikings who were desperate while making a desperate pick, certainly paid the price. Williamson is currently with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but is still a disappointment. Especially for someone who was a top-ten pick in the draft.
(Notable first round players drafted after Williamson: Antrel Rolle, DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman, Aaron Rodgers, Roddy White)
26) Arizona Cardinals – Matt Leinart, QB USC
Many people will go with Andre Wadsworth, who was selected with the third overall pick in the 1998 draft, but anytime an organization selects a quarterback with the 10th overall pick in the 2006, the bust label must be awarded. Whether its because in 2007 Leinart suffered a fractured left collarbone which placed him on injured reserve, one too many keg stands, or because he’s not that good, Leinart has been the backup to Kurt Warner since his time in the NFL. After Warner retired during this offseason, Leinart was named the starter, however it is unknown if he will start for the Cardinals for the upcoming 2010 season. If Leinart is unable to start this year, he might have some playing years left, but he’ll never get the chance to become a starter in the NFL, because Leinart is not that good.
(Notable first round players drafted after Leinart: Antonio Cromartie, Joseph Addai, DeAngelo Williams, Nick Mangold)
27) New England Patriots – Andy Katzenmoyer, LB Ohio State
During his time at Ohio State, Andy Katzenmoyer was the first Buckeye to win the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the top linebackers at the college level, and won the Jack Lambert Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate linebacker. Katzenmoyer was selected in the first round of the 1999 NFL draft with the 28th overall pick. During his first season, he suffered a neck injury that forced him to have surgery and miss half of the 2000 season. During training camp in 2001, Katzenmoyer was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season due to concerns of re-injuring his neck. The Patriots released Katzenmoyer before the beginning of the 2002 season, and has not returned to professional football. Katzenmoyer had the oppurtunity to become one of the greatest linebackers of all-time, but injuries got the better of him, and was never able to display his talent in the NFL.
(Notable players drafted after Katzenmoyer: Dre’ Bly, Joey Porter, Donald Driver) *other rounds included because he was the 25th pick*
28) Miami Dolphins – Ted Ginn, Jr., WR Ohio State
Even before Ted Ginn put on a Miami Dolphins uniform, he was booed after he was selected as the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2007 draft. The Dolphins were in need of a quarterback, but they passed on Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. Although Ginn was considered the fastest, and one of the most athletic picks going into the draft, Miami’s selection of Ginn was criticized by teammates, and was a shocking selection. Ginn has been a major dissapointmet to the Dolphins, and this past offseason, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the a 5th round draft pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
(Notable first round players drafted after Ginn: Patrick Willis, Darelle Revis, Jon Beason, Brandon Meriweather)
29) New York Jets – Who Do You Even Select??
Simple: RB Blair Thomas (who is that?) was selected by the Jets as the second overall pick in the 1990 draft, 15 picks ahead of hall-of-famer Emmitt Smith, who was selected with the No. 17th pick in the draft. And quarterback Ken O’Brien was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 1983 draft, three picks ahead of hall-of-famerDan Marino. Imagine if Smith and Marino played together? How great the Jets could’ve been.
(Notable superstars selected instead of Thomas and O’Brien: The List Is Too Long To Write)
30) Carolina Panthers – (replacing the Lions since the Panthers didn’t have a first round draft choice) – Rae Carruth, WR Colorado
Rae Carruth was the 27th overall pick in the 1997 draft. In 2001, he was found guilty of conspiring to murder his girlfriend and is currently serving a prison sentence. Not much more there is to say about Carruth.
(Drafting anybody else would’ve been better than drafting Carruth, even Joey Kent. Exactly my point)
31) Indianapolis Colts – Not Selecting Ryan Leaf. Nuff’ Said
32) New Orleans Saints – Jonothan Sullivan, DT Georgia
New Orleans selected Jonathan Sullivan with the sixth overall pick in the 2003 draft. The Saints would soon come to regret their decision, as Sullivan goes down as the worse draft choice in team history. The Saints traded up to get Sullivan, as they gave up two first round picks (17 and 18) to acquire one of the most underachieving players to put on a Saints’ uniform, who was traded to the New England Patriots following the 2005 season. During 2006, Sullivan was charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, among other charges, never to be heard from again.
(Notable first round players drafted after Sullivan: Kevin Williams, Terrell Suggs, Troy Polamalu, Dallas Clark, Nnamdi Asomugha)
Now that you’re done reading about the worse draft picks in NFL history, I’m sure I got you thinking what if. What if we didn’t draft that guy? How many more Super Bowls could my favorite team have won? Would we be as bad as we are, or have we learned from our mistakes?
Questions that are unable to be answered, and no matter how badly these draft picks have made you squeal, there is no changing the past. The NFL Draft isn’t an exact science, with some teams wishing they could go back time and draft a different player. But for your sake, let’s hope your team does not end up on this list again, and if they do, it could be a long time until they recover from that crucial draft day blunder.