JaMarcus Russell, Alex Smith And The Top 25 Biggest Draft Busts In NFL History
In recent years, there has been an abundance of college players with great talent and high expectations that have never translated over to the NFL successfully.
This has been going on throughout the history of the NFL, and it is devastating for the organizations (and their fans) who select these players.
There is nothing worse than being a fan of the NFL team that has selected an over-hyped college player with a high draft pick, who turns out to be a terrible turnout.
The following is a list of the NFL's 25 most miserable busts of all time.
25. RB Archie Griffin
Archie Griffin was a two-time Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State. He was drafted 24th overall in the 1976 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Griffin only played in the National Football League for seven seasons, all with the Bengals. Throughout his entire short career he only rushed for 2808 yards and seven touchdowns, while catching 192 passes for 1607 yards and six touchdowns.
After his NFL career ended, he played for the United States Football League team, the Jacksonville Bulls.
24. DE Andre Wadsworth
Wadsworth was selected behind Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf, feeling like he deserved a contract similar to both quarterbacks. So, he held out until just the day before the season opener.
He played in all 16 games his rookie season, recording 57 tackles and five sacks. Then injuries began to haunt him for the next two seasons, making it his NFL career cut short.
In 2007, Wadsworth attempted a comeback but it was unsuccessful.
23. TE Ken MacAfee
Ken MacAfee was a three-time All-American who played for the University of Notre Dame. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the seventh pick overall in the 1978 NFL Draft.
As a starter in his rookie season, he caught 22 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown in 13 games. In his second and final season in the NFL, MacAfee made 24 receptions for 266 yards and four touchdowns.
MacAfee was asked by the 49ers to play guard, but he wasn't comfortable with the position so he left the NFL and began dental school.
In the offseason, his rights were traded to the Minnesota Vikings, but never played a down for the team in a regular season game.
22. QB Art Schlichter
Art Schlichter was selected fourth overall in the 1982 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. In his rookie season he was expected to be the starting quarterback, but lost the job to Mike Pagel. There were still expectations in Schlichter being the Colts' future quarterback.
He never lived up to those expectations, only playing in 13 games, completing 91 out of 202 passes for three touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while recording a pathetic quarterback rating of 42.6.
Schlichter was constantly in the headlines for his troubles with gambling and the law. In 1983 Art was suspended from the league indefinitely for gambling.
He was reinstated for the following season but was than released five games into the 1985 season because the Colts found out he was gambling again. Schlichter signed with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 1986, only playing in one preseason game before being cut.
He than was arrested in January 1987 in New York City for being involved in a multimillion-dollar sports betting operation. Commissioner Pete Rozelle refused to let Schlichter sign with another team. Schlichter applied for reinstatement in 1988 but was denied, ending his pitiful NFL career.
21. DT Dewayne Robertson
The New York Jets traded their two first-round draft picks in 2003, to trade-up for Dewayne Robertson.
What a mistake because as a rookie, Robertson played in every game of the season, only registering 1.5 sacks and 43 tackles.
The 6'1'' 308-pound DT out of Kentucky never lived up to the expectations of a fourth overall draft pick, and was out of the league after six years.
When Robertson wasn't developing into the defensive tackle the Jets had hoped, they dealt him to the Denver Broncos after only five years. Only a year later he was released and never picked up by another team.
20. OT Tony Mandarich
Out of Michigan State, Mandarich was drafted second overall in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, which was thought to be one of the safest picks that year.
Mandarich only lasted in the NFL for three years of his four-year contract, being cut by the Packers for lack of production.
Played again for a few years with the Indianapolis Colts, but was nothing great.
The worst thing about this pick was the amazing players selected after Mandarich, such as Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders and Andre Rison.
19. DT Steve Emtman
Selected first overall in the 1992 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Emtman only lasted in the NFL for six seasons.
Emtman was always plagued by injuries and never really had the chance to prove that he could make it as a professional. In just six short seasons, he recorded only eight sacks.
As a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, you would expect Emtman to have made a larger impact in the NFL, but the injuries he had suffered, would not allow him to do that.
He was just 27 when he retired from the National Football League.
18. QB Joey Harrington
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Joey Harrington was selected third overall in the 2002 draft by the Detroit Lions with high hopes of being the future of the franchise. Harrington never developed and is already out of the NFL.
He never exhibited his winning ways from Oregon, not once finishing a season with a winning record.
Harrington finished his career with a record of 26-50, throwing six more interceptions than touchdowns (79-85).
17. LB Brian Bosworth
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Entering the league, Bosworth signed a crazy contract of 10 years for $11 million as the first overall selection in the draft.
As a rookie, Bosworth didn't do half bad starting in 12 games, recording four sacks. But, he never came close to the hype and expectations, being out of football after only three seasons.
Bosworth had a more successful film career than football career. He has appeared in such movies as Stone Cold, The Longest Yard and Three Kings.
16. QB Jim Druckenmiller
Druckenmiller was a 26th overall draft pick who only saw action in six games of his short two-year career.
The 49ers may have selected one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
Druckenmiller's career stats were the following: 21-52, 40.4% of passes completed, 239 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.
15. LB Percy Snow
In his college days with Michigan State, Snow was one of the country's best linebackers. In 1991, Snow crashed a moped in training camp, and never came back with the same skill and intensity.
Snow was a 13th overall draft pick in 1990 but never was able to establish himself in the NFL. The only stats that he recorded were two sacks and one interception in 14 games started.
14. TE David LaFleur
Drafted 22nd overall in 1997 by the Dallas Cowboys, LaFleur only lasted four seasons.
Out of those four seasons, he only competed in all 16 games once. In his best year, 1999, LaFleur caught 35 passes for 322 yards and seven touchdowns.
In the other three seasons combined, he made a total of 50 catches for 407 yards and five touchdowns.
You can pretty much say he was a complete waste of a draft pick.
13. LB Aundray Bruce
Aundray Bruce played 11 seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, only starting in 42 games.
In his first two seasons, Bruce recorded six sacks in both seasons but than began to dramatically decline in productivity
Bruce only recorded 32 sacks and four interceptions in his entire career. Also, Bruce made more than 40 tackles in just two of his 11 seasons.
12. QB Tim Couch
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Tim Couch proved to be an excellent quarterback at the University of Kentucky, so he was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall draft pick of the 1999 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Couch led the Browns to a record of 2-12.
As the starting quarterback for the Browns, Couch never seemed to flourish, only winning 22 games throughout his five-year career, while losing 37.
Couch only had one winning season in his short NFL career while throwing a total of 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions.
11. RB Lawrence Phillips
Lawrence Phillips was selected sixth overall in the 1996 NFL Draft only lasting three seasons in the league with three different teams.
Phillips had numerous run-ins with the law which restricted him of ever being successful, and eventually incarcerating him for nearly the remainder of his life.
10. RB Curtis Enis
Curtis Enis was drafted fifth overall in the 1998 draft by the Chicago Bears and only lasted three seasons in the NFL.
Enis never proved to be a successful running back, so after his second season, the Bears moved him to fullback, where he failed to produce as well.
Over his three-year career in the NFL, playing in 36 games while starting in 18 of those, Enis only recorded 1497 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns while fumbling the ball five times.
9. RB Michael Haddix
Michael Haddix rushed for more than 300 yards in only one season and didn't score a single touchdown in six of his eight seasons in the NFL.
Haddix was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the eighth overall pick of the 1983 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State. At Mississippi State, Haddix was a two-time All SEC athlete and is currently ranked fourth in overall rushing yards in the school's history with 2,558.
According to bulldawgjunction.com, Since Haddix's last NFL season he got his master's degree in administration in human resources. He has worked in the mental health field and is also the assistant principal at Timber Creek High School in New Jersey.
8. RB Tim Biakabutuka
The Carolina Panthers selected Tim Biakabutuka eighth overall in the 1996 NFL Draft before legends and future Hall-of-Famers such as Ray Lewis, Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Eddie George.
Biakabutuka did not turn out to be as promising as as was when he played at Michigan, only lasting six seasons.
Throughout his career, Tim played in 50 games, starting in 35, rushing for 2530 yards and 14 touchdowns, along with making 77 receptions for 789 yards and three touchdowns.
If the Panthers would have selected a player like Eddie George, this may have been a more successful franchise.
7. QB Rick Mirer
Rick Mirer played in the NFL for eight years on five different teams. Mirer was selected 2nd overall in the 1993 draft by the Seattle Seahawks and will probably go down as one of the biggest quarterback busts in NFL's history.
Mirer finished his career with a starting quarterback record of 24-44 and he was selected in the 1993 draft before NFL-greats such as Jerome Bettis, Michael Strahan, and Mark Brunell.
In eight seasons, Rick Mirer only threw for more touchdowns than interceptions twice.
6. QB Akili Smith
Out of the University of Oregon, Akili Smith was the third overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft. Smith never through more touchdowns than interceptions in a season.
Playing in 22 games, starting in 17, Smith proved to be a major bust recording a pitiful 2212 yards, five touchdowns, 13 INT's, 46.6 Cmp%, and a QB rating of 52.8.
Akili Smith finished his career with a starting quarterback record of 3-14, which definitely makes him one of the most disappointing players to ever enter the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals could have selected any of the following players instead of Akili Smith: Ricky Williams, Edgerrin James, Torry Holt, Champ Bailey, Daunte Culpepper, Jevon Kearse, Joey Porter and Donald Driver.
5. DE Courtney Brown
Courtney Brown was the first overall selection in the 2000 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns and only remained in the league for six seasons.
Brown started in all 16 games his rookie season recording 4.5 sacks and 61 tackles. That was his best year, never making more than 30 tackles in a season ever again.
Brown turned out to be a major disappointment, exiting the NFL by 2005. The reason Brown was selected number one overall is because he was an absolute beast at Penn State, finished his college career with 33 sacks and 70 tackles for a loss.
But after an okay first season with Cleveland, Brown became injured and struggled to stay healthy for the remainder of his career.
4. QB Alex Smith
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Alex Smith was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 with the first overall pick. Since first entering the league, Smith has played in 50 games, starting in 40, leading the 49ers to a 16-24 as starting quarterback.
Smith has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions only once, with a career ratio of 46 TDs to 52 interceptions.
This season Alex Smith injured his shoulder, and Troy Smith took over as the replacement. After winning the last two games, when Alex has only put up a 1-6 record, Troy will now be the starting quarterback with number 11 returning to the lineup as the back-up.
Troy Smith was selected 174th overall, in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL draft.
3. WR Charles Rogers
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After being selected as the second overall pick in the 2003 draft out of Michigan State, Charles Rogers turned out to be one of the biggest busts in NFL History.
With a mixture of off the field issues and injuries, Rogers was never able to live up to the extremely high expectations.
Throughout his four-year career, he played in only 15 games, making 36 receptions for 440 yards and four touchdowns.
2. QB Ryan Leaf
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Arguably the biggest draft bust in the history of the NFL, Ryan Leaf was drafted second overall in the 1998 draft by the San Diego Chargers and only lasted in the league for three seasons.
Throughout his career, Leaf started in 21 games throwing for 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. Ryan Leaf is one of the biggest busts in sports history, posting a starting quarterback record of 4-17.
Besides missing out on fantastic players such as Greg Ellis, Fred Taylor, Randy Moss and Keith Brooking, the San Diego Chargers signed Leaf to a four-year, $31.25 million contract with a $11.25 million signing bonus.
1. QB JaMarcus Russell
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Unless for some reason JaMarcus Russell makes some kind of miraculous comeback, he will most likely go down as the biggest draft bust in NFL history.
After having a stellar collegiate career at LSU, Russell was selected with the 1st overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. It is now 2010 and JaMarcus Russell is already out of the National Football League.
He has recently worked out for the Washington Redskins, but it was most likely nothing more than to scare Donovan McNabb into playing better or to secure a back-up position.
JaMarcus Russell never even came close to meeting the expectations of the elite starting quarterback that he was suppose to become.
Throughout three seasons in the NFL, Russell had a starting quarterback record of 7-18 while throwing for 4083 yards, 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
He also had a completion percentage of 52.1 and a QB rating of 65.2. In 31 games, 25 of those being starts, Russell only averaged 131.7 yards per game.
Only four years after being drafted, JaMarcus Russell is already considered as one of the biggest busts the National Football League has ever seen.