Now that the combine is over and we have a little over a month until the draft. Now it is the time for teams to start sorting through the players and deciding who they want to target as their draft selection.
Every year, prospects that are highly touted out of college turn out to be scrubs while others perform far above their draft status.
The following listing is not about the players who performed above their draft status. In fact, this list is about the AFC West draft selections that were supposed to revive their respective franchises, but instead did nothing but set their team back for a few years.
So without further ado:
No. 10: John Clay– John Clay was an Offensive Tackle out of Missouri. Clay was the 15th pick of the first round in 1988. Clay started nine games as a rookie, and the Raiders shipped him to San Diego along with two high draft choices for Jim Lachey. Once in San Diego he started only two more games.
What is absolutely amazing is that in two seasons, and ten career starts, Clay recorded no tackles at all. To his credit he did have a fumble recovery. Clay played two seasons and was out of the league.
No. 9: Sylvester Morris– Going into the 2000 NFL draft, Morris was one of the top wide receiver prospects. At the time, the Chiefs only had Tony Gonzalez as an offensive threat and he was in much need of help. The Chiefs had high hopes for the receiver out of Jackson State College.
As a rookie Morris produced a respectable 48 receptions for 678 yards and three touchdowns. The problem was that Morris had such bad knees that his rookie season ended up being his only season in the NFL.
No. 8: Ryan Sims– As the sixth overall pick in the 2002 draft Sims was supposed to anchor the defensive line for the next decade in Kansas City. In the 59 games Sims played as a Chief, 36 starts, he recorded a meager 65 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.
The Kansas City Chiefs passed on Albert Haynesworth and John Henderson in order to draft Sims. The Chiefs eventually traded Sims to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a late round draft pick. Over his career Sims has averaged one whole sack a season.
No. 7: Jarvis Moss- Coming out of college it was highly documented the trouble Moss had gotten himself into at Florida. However, Moss had just come off a huge National Championship game where he forced a Troy Smith fumble in the second quarter to help start the rout. That performance caught the eye of the Denver Broncos who traded up in the draft to get Moss with the 17th overall pick.
After three and a half horrible season that amounted to 21 total tackles and only 3.5 sacks, the Broncos decided it was time to release Moss after he could not make the starting lineup in 2010.
No. 6: Bob Buczkowksi- The Oakland Raiders took Buczkowksi, out of Pittsburgh, with the 24th overall draft pick in the 1986 draft. Buczkowksi barely saw any playing time and only had 1.5 career sacks in five years with three different teams.
Buczkowksi only played in two total games for the Raiders before the team parted ways with him.
No. 5: Todd Blackledge- In 1983, the Kansas City Chiefs had the seventh overall pick and chose Blackledge. The Chiefs regretted this decision for the next two decades as they had to watch the other quarterbacks in that draft, notably Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and AFC West rival John Elway flourish.
Blackledge never started more than eight games in a season and never passed for more than 2,000 yards or more than 10 touchdowns in any season. His best season came in 1986 when he played in 10 games (eight starts), completed 45.5 percent of his passes and threw for 1,200 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
No. 4: Ted Gregory- After lying about his height, Gregory was selected 26th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 1988 draft. The Broncos apparently took Gregory at his word when he told them he was 6’1”. Apparently the combine was not a big deal back them.
After he was drafted, Dan Reeves, who is 6’1”, noted that Gregory was exceptionally shorter. Gregory was traded before the end of training camp, appeared in three games for the New Orleans Saints and was never heard from again.
No. 3: JeMarcus Russell- While arguments may follow in the comments below about who should or should not be on this list, there is no denying that Russell belongs on the list. In fact the argument could be that he should be higher on this list.
After playing great at LSU, Russell was taken with the number one overall draft pick in 2007. His 2009 quarterback rating was an unbelievable 50.0 with two touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
No. 2: Todd Marinovich- Better known as Todd Marijuana-vich. Marinovich was taken 24th overall in the 1993 draft and spent two years in Silver and Black which were filled with numerous drug and alcohol issues.
Marinovich only started eight games for the Raiders over the course of his two seasons, completing half of his passes for 1,345 yards, eight TDs and nine interceptions.
Marinovich has had a string of run-ins with the law, mostly related to his drug use, ranging from marijuana to amphetamines to heroin. All is not lost for Marinovich though as he was able to have successful, yet short, stint in the Arena Football League.
No. 1: Ryan Leaf- Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf, who should be the number one pick? That was actually the question before the draft, and San Diego chose the wrong answer.
Manning has gone on to have one of the most storied quarterback careers in NFL history while Leaf managed to coach quarterbacks at West Texas A&M for a few years, before a drug problem got him fired.
Leaf threw for just two touchdowns and was intercepted 15 times in his rookie season. Due to injuries, Leaf was never able to play in his second season and was out of San Diego shortly after.