NFL Draft Results: Top 25 Most Unforgivable FAILS of the 2011 NFL Draft

Mike Foster@michaelsfosterCorrespondent IMay 2, 2011

NFL Draft Results: Top 25 Most Unforgivable FAILS of the 2011 NFL Draft

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Ph
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Is it not amazing that after every year it always seems like the fans have more sense than most of the general managers when it comes to evaluating draft selections?

    We may sit around at our computers and endlessly blog our way towards having undeniably in depth knowledge that rivals Mel Kiper's and Todd McShay's, but on the other hand, it appears the people who are actually doing the drafting sometimes get caught up like deer in headlights.

    In hindsight, here's a look at the 25 biggest failures of this year's NFL draft.

25. Not Taking Mark Herzlich

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    CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Mark Herzlich #94 and Thomas Claiborne #78 of the Boston College Eagles lead the team out on the field before the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies on September 25, 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachuse
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Woah, wait a minute.

    How in the world did Mark Herzlich stay on the board for seven rounds? Let's get real, by Rounds 6 and 7, you might as well start picking out of a hat.

    The fact that none of the 32 general managers had a soft spot for this guy is quite baffling. Herzlich became a celebrity and role model during his battle with a rare bone cancer and came back in 2010 to play his final season with the Boston College Eagles.

    He has the perfect NFL personality and a track record of toughness and leadership that should have been rewarded with a draft pick.

    He couldn't even be Mr. Irrelevant? Peesh.

24. Goodell's Quiet the Crowd Mishap

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    WESTWEGO, LA - DECEMBER 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walks in during the funeral for Cincinati Bengals player Chris Henry at the Alario Center  on December 22, 2009 in Westwego, Louisiana.  Henry died last week after he fell out of the bed of picku
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    So we definitely knew, going into the first night of the NFL draft, that commissioner Roger Goodell was going to face some serious criticism and boos when he got to the podium.

    His first step onto the stage for the night was aired on ESPN's Draft Preview show, and things got a little awkward.

    With all due respect to the victims of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the entire Southeast from the storms that passed through last week, the moment of silence for those victims probably should not have been part of the first time Goddell took the stage.

    As he walked on to commemorate the tragedy in Alabama, fans began to chant "We want football! We want football" and would not stop, as the respective Alabama and Auburn players stood waiting for silence.

    It was kind of a diluted moment because of that. With no harsh criticism intended either way, you think they would have scheduled that moment for a time when fans weren't unleashing months of frustration on the commissioner.

23. Ryan Mallett

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks to hand the ball off against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Pho
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    I'm still not positive why the New England Patriots drafted Ryan Mallett.

    He just doesn't seem to fit the mold of New England's philosophy, though I understand he's a project for the future.

    But, the Patriots are a darn good football team and are a few players at key positions away from being Super Bowl bound yet again.

    So, the fact they spent a high value pick on a guy who won't take snaps for half a decade is a little head scratching.

    Though, he might have trade value; so, I could be wrong about this one in the coming years.

22: Falcons Taking Cliff Matthews in 7th Round

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Cliff Matthews #83 of the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Falcons definitely had the most baffling draft class.

    Heading into night one, just about every Falcons fan had projected a defensive end would come off the board with our first draft pick (if they didn't trade down to get A.J. Green or Julio Jones).

    Considering Atlanta got Jones, and gave up a lot for it, it was pretty much set in stone that they would take a defensive end with their very next pick.

    Instead, the Falcons waited until their last pick to take the raw and developing Cliff Matthews out of South Carolina.

    Atlanta desperately needs a pass-rusher to accommodate them when John Abraham is off the field, or retired. Matthews may not be the guy for that.

21. Daniel Thomas to Miami

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    BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 20:  Daniel Thomas #8 of the Kansas State Wildcats rushes with the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on November 20, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado. Colorado defeated Kansas State 44-36.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Many believe the Dolphins need a fresh new face at running back.

    Many also believe that taking Daniel Thomas was not the answer.

    Thomas is a former quarterback, who ran well at Kansas State but also doesn't have great speed or agility. As the NFL draft got closer and closer, more and more convinced themselves that Thomas might not be as good as a fourth or fifth round pick.

    The Dolphins took him with their second overall pick. 

20. Eagles Taking Alex Henery

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 13: Alex Henery #90 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers kicks an extra point against the Kansas Jayhawks during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Kansas 20-3. (Photo by Eric Francis/
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Anytime you draft a kicker in the fourth round, you are out of your mind, unless of course he has proven to be a deadly and rare weapon, especially from long range.

    Well, Henery was 3-for-8 on field goals from 50 or more yards in college. He's not a special, once-in-a-lifetime kicker.

    What were the Eagles thinking?

19. Kelvin Sheppard to Buffalo

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Kelvin Sheppard #11 of the LSU Tigers against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Buffalo's rushing defense has been horrendous, ranking 32nd last year in that category.

    Taking Marcell Dareus obviously was smart and addressed that area of concern with a big-time player.

    But, Shepard was the third straight defensive player to be selected by the Bills, and many don't believe he comes anywhere close to being an impact player at the next level.

    Shepard went in the third round, where most Bills fans think they should have looked towards drafting for offense.

18. Jonas Mouton Goes to San Diego

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Jonas Mouton #8 of the Michigan Wolverines runs after intercepting a pass against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    As the 61st overall pick, you would assume linebacker Jonass Mouton would be a pretty solid player with tons of success at his position.

    Well, he's not.

    In fact, the Michigan product comes from arguably the worst defense in the country in 2010. He's a tweener between linebacker and safety and was seen as a late-round pick who'd contribute on special teams.

    Nothing like picking a designated special teamer with your second-round pick.

17. Reggie Bush Can't Keep His Fingers off the Tweeter

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 19:  adidas and Reggie Bush pop into a football practice in Los Angeles to capture game faces as part of the adidas Facebook Game Face contest.  (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for adidas)
    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    So apparently New Orleans Saints star runningback/returner Reggie Bush tweeted, "It's been fun New Orleans," after seeing that the Saints selected Mark Ingram with their first-round pick.

    First, does Bush not have a concept of tailback by committee? I mean, he's been in that position his entire NFL career so far, mainly because he's definitely not an every down tailback. He's a utility player.

    Two, his lack of classiness just contrasted so drastically against the always classy Mark Ingram, making him look even more foolish.

    Also, there's nothing like tweeting your way into hot water with your organization. A lot of people likely lost respect for Bush.

16. Seattle Fails to Get Draft Needs

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks runs off the field after the Seahawks 35-24 defeat to the Chicago Bears in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo b
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Many thought the Seahawks would need to take a quarterback with their first overall pick, whoever that quarterback might be.

    Instead, they went after two offensive lineman who were not projected to be taken nearly as high as Seattle took them.

    James Carpenter was definitely a questionable first-round selection by the Seahawks.

    And, highly acclaimed "sleeper" pick Andy Dalton was still waiting in the wings when their first pick came around.

15. Bills Select Aaron Williams

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    AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Cornerback Aaron Williams #4 of the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out why the Buffalo Bills took Aaron Williams with their second overall pick in the draft.

    Williams was never that highly rated of a cornerback, and many think he's a tweener between safety and corner.

    Plus, the Bills didn't need a lick of help in their secondary, which finished ranked third in the entire league last year in pass defense.

    The Bills needed offensive help and help in the front seven and passed up on it to draft for a position they didn't need to, taking a player who doesn't even fit a position.

14. Justin Houston Drops to Third Round Because of Drug Use

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    AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 13:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers breaks a tackle by Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Georgia pass-rusher Justin Houston was projected to be a first-round selection in this year's draft, however, just days before the first pick, we found out that he failed an NFL mandated drug test, admitting later to marijauna use.

    If you're just days away from the day you've been working towards your entire life, why in the name of all things good would you go for a hit of marijauna? 

    Do I think Houston is a bad person? Or not worthy? Not really. Remember, Calvin Johnson did the same thing (but still was selected early because he's a freak of nature). Houston will still be great, and overall, he has good character and means well.

    He just hit himself with the dumb stick—and hard.

13. Auburn Receiver Darvin Adams Doesn't Get Picked

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Auburn Tigers wide receiver Darvin Adams answers questions during a media session at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images


    National champion receiver Darvin Adams took a risk and left for the NFL draft as a junior at Auburn.

    He might be regretting that decision now.

    Adams was one of the most productive receivers in the SEC for the past two years, but his lack of size and other raw areas led to him getting completely overlooked during the draft weekend.

    Many criticized Adams' choice to leave early, especially with the deep receiving group in this year's class, but he did anyways.

12. 49ers Trade Up for Kaepernick

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 09:  Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Wolf Pack looks to pass the ball against Boston College during the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park on January 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    I had convinced myself that Alex Smith was finally starting to build a future with the 49ers.

    Well, after we found out San Francisco was going to shoot for a quarterback in the draft, we all assumed they would draft one early.

    They passed up on taking Blaine Gabbert, who at one point was the highest-rated quarterback in the class.

    Instead, they ended up trading up to take Colin Kaepernick?

    Not sure how smart that move was.

11. Jon Baldwin Goes to Chiefs Early

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    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jon Baldwin #82 of the Pittsburgh Panthers is tackled by Brandon McGee #21 of the Miami Hurricanes on September 23, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    This is a pretty easy call here.

    Jon Baldwin is a raw and awkward receiving prospect, for one.

    And, two, Baldwin has some apparent character issues.

    He called his own college team out when declaring to enter the draft.

    If I was Kansas City, I wouldn't find a lot of things appealing about this guy, but I guess he was appealing enough to be taken with a high pick.

10. Patriots Take Shane Vereen over DeMarco Murray and Mikel LeShoure

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    BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Shane Vereen #34 of the California Golden Bears in action against the Stanford Cardinal at California Memorial Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    This pick definitely bothered me.

    The Patriots sure could use a tailback, but why not go after Mikel Leshoure or DeMarco Murray?

    Instead, they went for Shane Vereen, who wasn't even ranked in the top 10 on most pundit's running back rankings.

9. Aldon Smith to San Francisco

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Aldon Smith, #7 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Here's another 49ers head scratcher.

    Yes, the 49ers needed a pass-rusher, but why did they go after Aldon Smith?

    They should have gone with Blaine Gabbert, and they didn't even take the best defensive lineman available with the seventh overall selection.

    Big whif here by San Francisco.

8. Baltimore Ravens Let Clock Expire

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22:  Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh answers questions from the media during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 22, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since
    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    This was a fun little moment.

    For the first time since I can remember, I sat and watched as the clock literally expired on one of the Raven's draft picks.

    Turns out, there really isn't a consequence for that at all, because they sat and waited until the Ravens got the pick in. No harm was done.

7. Jake Locker Goes to Titans

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    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies scrambles against the Stanford Cardinal on October 30, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. Stanford won 41-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    This pack had everyone dropping their jaws.

    Yes, the Tennessee Titans definitely need a solid, new quarterback.

    But, what were they thinking by taking Jake Locker?

    He's not a proven winner. Sure, he's tough and can run, but he's nowhere near developed when it comes to throwing the rock.

6. Atlanta Trades a Ton of Picks for Julio Jones

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    A.J. Green and Julio Jones aren't on the same talent level or level of value.

    Don't tell that to the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta tried to trade up with Cincinnati to take A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick, but it fell through at the last minute.

    So, instead, they immediately dug into the sixth spot, trading a hand full of future picks to Cleveland, to take Julio Jones.

    With Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez already in place, it's unlikely Jones will be a Pro Bowl receiver anytime soon. 

    Many would have rather Atlanta taken a defensive player, even after trading up that much.

5: Cleveland Trading Away That Pick

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Phil Taylor, #21 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Tro
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    On the flip side, it's just as puzzling that a team with so many struggles as the Cleveland Browns would surrender a sixth overall pick, especially with the talent that was there for the plucking.

    They got some nice draft picks out of it, but unlike Atlanta, Cleveland could have really, really used Julio Jones.

4: Falcons Taking Akeem Dent

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    COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 11:  Linebacker Akeem Dent #31 of the Georgia Bulldogs takes a break during a timeout during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Mik
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    The Falcons second overall selection came in the third round.

    Considering they had just gone for a draft want in the first round, over a draft need, most Falcons fans were positive they would take a defensive end or tailback to complement Michael Turner with the next immediate pick.


    They took an undersized middle linebacker who will be playing either behind Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon, Mike Peterson or current linebacker backup Stephen Nicholas.

3: Jarvis Jenkins Goes to Washington

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Jarvis Jenkins #99 of the Clemson Tigers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This pick has been highly criticized.

    Why did the Washington Redskins take Jarvis Jenkins over Marvin Austin? Or, Stephen Paea?

    Washington does need help on the defensive line, but they definitely went for the weaker option considering who was on the board when the pick rolled around.

2: Stephen Ridley to New England

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Stevan Ridley #34 of the Louisiana State University Tigers runs in for a touchdown during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies during the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    So, the New England Patriots followed up drafting an overrated running back, by, well, drafting another overrated running back.

    Why would the Pats want to take two tailbacks in the mid rounds of the draft?

    Considering they were second and third-round picks, respectively, you would assume that Bill Belichick has a serious plan for the two guys.

    But, what about Danny Woodhead? Why would Belichick really need three tailbacks?

    Notice I don't have answers, but a lot of questions here. 

1: Christian Ponder to Vikings

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    TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles throws for a first down during a game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Is Christian Ponder a bad fit for the Vikings? No, in fact he had a solid Senior Bowl performance and has never really given anyone reason to think he's not capable of being a good NFL quarterback in the future.

    But, Ponder could have very likely been around just a round later.

    The fact Minnesota took him 12th overall is mind blowing. He's nowhere near 12th overall talent, and so many other hugely impactful players were on the board and ready to be plucked by the Vikings.

    Instead, the Vikings drafted a quarterback that they very well could have snagged in a later round or at least found an equivalent to.