The greatest (or really worst) NFL draft busts of all time. I had some help constructing this list. At times when we were making this list we felt disgust for some players and pity for others.
Our No. 1 draft bust was a unanimous pick and you probably know who he is. It's not Brian Bosworth if you looked at the picture, although Bosworth is in our top five.
Some of these players would have success elsewhere like Brian Bosworth, some are pathetic everywhere like our No. 1 draft bust.
10. Todd Marinovich
Marinovichdidn't have the top-ten draft status of the others on this list, but he was a first-round pick of the Raiders. He makes this list because he was strictly groomed from childhood to be an NFL QB by his father Marv.
After leading USC to the Rose Bowl as a freshman, drug problems ended his college career, so he entered the 1991 NFL draft. He became a starter in his rookie year and played in one postseason game, but continuing drug problems ended his career the following season.
9. Ki-Jana Carter
Let's be fair. Carter did have a 10-year-career and it wasn't his fault he was a draft bust. He tore an ACL in his first preseason game and never returned to form. He failed to live up to the No. 1 overall pick with 1,144 yards over 10 years and that's why he's on this list.
8. Jim Druckenmiller
The only quarterback selected in the 1st round of the 1997 NFL draft. Druckenmiller was selected by the 49ers with the 26th overall pick, and was expected to be the next Steve Young or Joe Montana. Scouts said he could launch the football 100 yards down the field
Jim was nothing like Joe Montana or Steve Young. He was inaccurate and wanted to launch it deep down the field every play. He only started six games and threw for only one touchdown pass.
7. Bruce Pickens
The Atlanta Falcons have had some of the worst draft picks of all time. This, however, was the worst draft bust the Atlanta falcons have ever had. Bruce Pickens was selected with the 3rd overall pick. In his five NFL season with the Falcons, he only registered a very mediocre two interceptions.
6. Heath Shuler
Shuler was a dominant QB at the University at Tennessee, impressing Washington Redskins scouts so much they selected him with their first pick (3rd overall) in the 1994 draft just like fellow draft bust Bruce Pickens.
Billed as the quarterback of the future, a contract holdout, poor play and a shoulder injury saw Shuler lose the starting job to fellow 1994 draftee (7th round) Gus Frerotte.
He lasted three years with the Redskins before being shown the door, moving on to New Orleans and Oakland, where his poor play continued and multiple injuries to his foot eventually ended his undistinguished career.
The story ends well for Shuler and Washington D.C., even though he was a draft bust he still contributed to the nation's capital as a pretty good congressman.
5. Brian Bosworth
A two-time Dick Butkus award winner, Brian came out of college with funky hair and a unique style. He was kicked off of the Oklahoma Squad due to steroid use. Brian came out of Oklahoma with such a huge amount of hype unless he turned out to be like Brian Urlacher he'd be a disappointment.
He actually played pretty well, but he only played for 3 years. Injuries and his inability to live up to his mouth landed him a No. 5 pick on this list. It also hurts him he got signed to a 10-year, $11 million contract, which is the most any rookie was ever paid up to that point.
4. Lawrence Phillips
The powerful running back out of Nebraska had so much potential Scouts were willing to overlook the problems he caused off the football field. He was chosen sixth overall in the 1996 NFL Draft by the Rams, based primarily on his outstanding performance in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.
Phillips would prove the scouts made the wrong choice over the course of his career, brushes with the law and insubordination combined with mediocre play, he never reached the potential he showed in college.
3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After so many disappointments from this football team, no list would be complete without mentioning them. No other team in the history of football destroyed more football talent then the Buccaneers.
Coming into the league they set a record that will probably never be broken. A 26-game losing streak.
Unlike many other Draft Busts, Tampa Bay Players had success elsewhere. Steve Young is in the Hall of fame and Vinny Testaverde has been to the Pro Bowl twice. Football experts will always wonder what all of those countless football players could have been if they didn't waste their time in Tampa.
When that great draft came and Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp were both selected in the first round and the hideous orange uniforms changed, the franchise turned itself around. The memories of the constant failures in the draft will always be there though.
2. Tony Mandarich
Sports Illustrated called him the Greatest Offensive Lineman Prospect ever. In his draft he was the No. 2 overall pick. He's also sandwiched between two future hall of famers, Troy Aikman and Barry Sanders in the 1989 draft.
How do you live up to the hype? By doing the opposite of what Tony did. Mandarich got benched and then released by the Green Bay Packers after just two seasons. Even though he was 6-foot-6 and 315 lbs, he just seemed to get pushed around by defensive lineman.
Look at the 1997 draft. It's full of future pro-bowler linemen like Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, and Tarik Glenn, all selected in the 1st round. Linemen in the first round are hardly ever draft busts. In fact they excel and live above expectations.
Yet Tony Mandarich is the HUGE exception to this rule. (pun intended)
1. Ryan Leaf
The unanimous worst draft bust ever. Next to the creation of the XFL, he is the worst professional sports disappointment ever! That's as bad as it gets. A winner of the Sammy Baugh award, many scouts actually preferred him over Peyton Manning!
They couldn't have been more wrong. Peyton is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. He has more 4,000 yard seasons than any other quarterback and until very recently has had the second greatest passer rating ever.
Motivational Coaches will always be compared to Vince Lombardi. Great draft busts will always be compared to Leaf. The San Diego Chargers gave up two players and multiple draft picks to move up one spot just to select this guy. He was given lots of money and love the second he got there.
How does he repay them? By destroying the franchise. He threw for so many picks and so few touchdowns. He had poor relationships with his team and the media. He tried to attack a reporter after he was asked some difficult questions and was physically restrained by former teammate Junior Seau.
Everywhere he has went he has been a failure. Whether it was the Cowboys or the Buccaneers. How can such a talented Quarterback be such a failure. Scouts to this day will tell you that Leaf was bigger and stronger and more physically talented than Peyton and Peyton is pretty big at 6-foot-5 and 235 lbs.
I think its because he's immature and impatient. He always took big risks. He had a bad attitude. He refused to fix his wrist when it got hurt. And that's why his life never took flight as a player.
When it seemed he made peace with his past recently his screwed up his future again when he asked a player to give him a certain pill and got fired again from a football organization.