JaMarcus Russell, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf, Tony Mandarich and Brian Bosworth have what in common?
They're all players selected relatively high in the NFL Draft who had their careers go absolutely nowhere. A lot of these busts are quarterbacks, but other positions can also be busts.
A bust being taken in a draft can set a team back a few years and a bust will always be remembered for being terrible in the NFL.
Most of these players that I list I think will actually have good careers in the NFL, but a lot of these guys still have potential to be some of the bigger busts in the draft.
Here are my top five most likely busts in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Tyron Smith is a very good athlete at the offensive tackle position. He had a very good combine where he ran a 4.88 40 and measured in at an excellent size of 6'5" 310 pounds. His footwork is very good when pass blocking and run blocking.
But his awareness as to when blitzes are coming is very slow and he has a very hard time moving onto the second level after blocking his first guy. Even though Smith has all the athletic talent in the world, he needs to work on his awareness or he could become a bust in the NFL.
Another factor contributing to him becoming a bust is his knee. He has had a meniscus injury for a while and had to get fluid drained from it at the combine, and he was advised not to work out.
Robert Quinn is an extremely athletic defensive end. After running a 4.62 40 at the combine, his stock rose quickly and now many analysts have him going in the top 10. He has a lot of potential to become a good defensive end, but there are some flaws in his game.
He missed the entire 2010 season due to a suspension and has not been in a competitive football environment for quite a while now. Quinn also has an injury past. If injuries catch up with him, his career could end very quickly, making him into a bust.
After Andrew Luck did not declare for the draft, Blaine Gabbert became a top two quarterback in the draft after declaring. Gabbert has a great arm and has show flashes of potential, but his stats just were not that spectacular.
He threw for only 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, which for me doesn't pass the eye test when you play in the Big 12, and you are in an offensive battle every other week. Gabbert has very solid size and has pretty good mobility, but if he can't get it done in college, why would he get it done in the NFL?
I'm not saying it's a 100-percent chance he won't be any good, but if plays like he did while in college, then he'll get the bust label soon enough.
Nick Fairley was a monster on the football field this past year. If you watched any of the national championship, he was making plays all over the field against a very fast Oregon offense.
He has decent size for a defensive tackle. He was listed taller and heavier than he weighed in at the combine. He is shorter and lighter than originally thought, making some teams question his draft status. Fairley has also been questioned about his work ethic.
In the NFL you need to have a strong work ethic to succeed. You have to be able to sit down and watch film for hours and hours. You have to be in the weight room every day getting bigger and staying in shape. But most of all you have to have the will to do well in the NFL, which a lot of teams are questioning Fairley about.
If he doesn't shed the maturity issues, the bust label could be on him in the next couple of years or so.
I'll come out right now and say that I am a huge Cam Newton fan and I think he will have a great career in the NFL.
But I do have a thought in the back of my head that maybe, just maybe, he could become one of the biggest busts in draft history. Newton is humongous for a quarterback at 6'6" 250 pounds and has a rocket arm.
The thing about his rocket arm, though, is his accuracy. If you watched the combine, Newton was off almost every throw and accuracy is a tough thing to fix when in the NFL. If he doesn't shed his accuracy issues, the bust label could be put on him right away.
Another factory leading to his possible bust label is his mobility. He is a great running quarterback, but in the NFL, quarterbacks who tend to run a lot get hurt and, even though Newton is a monster running the ball, he will have defensive ends and linebackers who are faster than him laying the lumber on him which can lead to injuries.
If Newton can't fix his accuracy and can't avoid injuries in his NFL career, watch out, he could become one of the bigger draft busts in NFL history.