NFL: 8 Worst College Positions to Draft from Certain Schools
There are always those certain players in college that can be predicted to not be anywhere near their potential or previous production indicates. Many NFL organizations ignore the warning signs anyway.
Some surprises exist on the list, but they are real. The rankings aren't fully about how big the most notable names have flopped. At the same time, a few good players won't eliminate the following schools from being named.
Being on this list isn't necessarily bad. It means that the school has had a high enough talent level over the years to have draft duds to their credit.
For some reason, though, these eight schools at each position listed haven't had great contributions to NFL teams as a whole.
8. Washington Tight Ends
The archives helped find this one. Since 1995, Washington saw four of their tight ends be selected in the first two rounds.
It all started with Mark Bruener, the 27th selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bruener had a 14-year career that was filled with 18 touchdowns and 1,333 yards receiving. It appears by his career length that Bruener was a great worker, but his talent didn't warrant Pittsburgh taking him that high.
Jerramy Stevens is most famous for trash talking Joey Porter during Super Bowl week 2006. He was taken 28th in 2002 and had slightly better statistics than Bruener, but he was more failed potential while also being drug-bust material.
Cameron Cleeland and Ernie Conwell were the other two tight ends. Neither player had more than 15 touchdowns or 2,200 receiving yards after being taken in the second round.
7. Florida Defensive Linemen
This conversation has started recently, as Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey entered the NFL in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Both men have started less than a third of their games while getting quarterbacks down all of 14 times combined.
Reggie McGrew, taken by the 49ers in the first round of 1999, didn't start a game on his way to one total sack for his career. However, in that same draft, "The Freak" Jevon Kearse was taken, and he's had a great career.
Gerald Warren has experienced a lengthy playing career as he's still playing in 2011 after being taken third overall by Cleveland in 2001. With that said, he's not what the Browns had in mind production wise with that high pick.
Florida does deserve their due seeing how Warren Sapp and brutal Jack Youngblood called Gainesville home during their college careers.
6. USC Quarterbacks
This ranking is almost a package deal along with USC receivers, but the quarterbacks edge the other position out.
Matt Leinart couldn't hold Arizona's starting job after he was taken 10th overall, a position that many experts believed the Cardinals to be getting good value for their pick.
The former USC passer is now content earning a few million sitting behind Matt Schaub in Houston, and there's nothing wrong with that if Leinart realizes he doesn't have what it takes to compete for a starting job. His passer rating of 70.8 and 6.5 yards per completion would surely indicate that to be true.
The then-Los Angeles Raiders picked Todd Marinovich with a late first-round pick in 1991, so not as much harm was done, so to speak. Marinovich played two seasons and decided that his interests did not lie in football. He looked great in his one game during his rookie season, but it went downhill in seven starts in 1992.
Carson Palmer isn't playing as of now and he wasn't worth the first overall selection. His playoff injury against Pittsburgh marked the end of his short elite run.
USC makes the list because of such a great school it is at getting great players in the pros, as NFL Network ranked the school No. 1 as far as NFL professional players. The institute should have more success at the most important position, and Matt Barkley appears to be the real deal for possible suitors in the 2012 NFL Draft.
5. Ohio State Linebackers
I'm not calling Vernon Gholston, sixth pick by the Jets in 2008, a defensive end because he failed as an outside linebacker before he switched positions. He looks great with and without pads, but he still has failed to record a sack in his three seasons.
To New York's defense, 2008 wasn't a great draft of pass-rushers.
A.J. Hawk has been average since being taken by the Packers with the fifth pick in 2006 while Bobby Carpenter, who was taken 13 spots later, has made the most noise in his career by intercepting his former teammate Tony Romo.
Maybe James Laurinaitis can break the recent trend for the St. Louis Rams' sake.
There's no point of bashing Steve Tovar and Lorenzo Styles because they played six-plus seasons as third-round draft picks, a nice accomplishment.
However, the last producing linebacker for Ohio State at the professional ranks was Pepper Johnson, who was drafted in 1986.
Who knew ESPN's Chris Spielman played 11 seasons in the league?
4. BYU Defensive Linemen
This one also had to be looked deep in the archives for, but it's found nonetheless. Brett Keisel is a fine player for the Steelers, but he was picked in the seventh round while the guys about to be listed were picked much higher and had sub-par careers.
Shawn Knight, picked at 11 by the Saints in 1987, flamed out after three seasons with three different teams! Jason Buck, who was taken six spots behind Knight in the same draft by the Bengals, experienced more success, but not nearly enough to warrant being selected at that position with 19 sacks over seven seasons.
BYU also had second-round players like Byron Frisch, Ryan Denney and Mat Mendenhall that were just mediocre during the NFL tenures, with all three together accounting for 29.5 sacks.
At least BYU can claim Steve Young, and that surely makes up for this ranking.
3. Oregon Quarterbacks
Oregon's list of draft day flops doesn't run deep, but the gashes are badly infected nonetheless.
Akili Smith started the trend in 1999 when the Cincinnati Bengals took him third overall. 17 starts and four years later, the Bengals' return on their investment netted them five touchdowns, 13 interceptions, a 46.6 percent completion percentage, and a passer rating of 52.8.
Another quarterback out of Oregon taken third, Joey Harrington sums up the Matt Millen era in Detroit. Harrington's best season as a pro was Michael Vick-like without the scrambling, getting a passer rating of 77.5 with 19 touchdowns to 12 picks. His completion percentage was over 60 percent just once, as an Atlanta Falcon' in 2007.
Dennis Dixon and A.J. Feeley have proven to be capable backups, but they were only drafted in the fifth round.
For much invested, much is expected.
2. Florida State Defensive Linemen
For a university that has Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones and others to their name, Florida State has not churned good NFL defensive linemen.
Travis Johnson, taken by the Texans with one of the early first-round picks in the history of the team, added two sacks for the franchise which would be a half a sack for his four seasons in Houston.
Jamal Reynolds saw his sack totals decrease from two to one to zero in his three flame out years with the Green Bay Packers after his selection of 10th overall in 2001.
Corey Simon did have a decent career with 32 sacks as a defensive tackle, but his production doesn't warrant the Eagles taking his sixth in 2000. Also, his career only got worse from his rookie season with his sack total never reaching the amount of sacks he had in his rookie campaign.
FSU's biggest bust came in 1998 when the Arizona Cardinals took Andre Wadsworth third overall. The team probably didn't think that it would equate to three seasons by picking Wadsworth third, but that's exactly what happened as the defensive end had eight sacks.
Derrick Alexander deserves blame because of his 20 sacks in six seasons as the 11th pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.
The Seminoles do have Darnell Dockett playing at a high level with the Arizona Cardinals, but they've also had 2009 second-round pick Everette Brown be a bust.
The bottom line for NFL teams is this: Find other defensive positions to take when scouting FSU.
1. Penn State Running Backs
Happy Valley puts a lot of frowns on NFL executives.
Joe Paterno doesn't always put bad runners in the league, but his institution has over the past 20 years. Blair Thomas, selected second by the New York Jets, ran for seven total touchdowns and not even 2,500 yards in his dissapointing six-year career with five different teams.
Ki-Jana Carter's career was dismantled by injuries as he tore his ACL in his third preseason game after the Bengals took him first overall in 1995.
Curtis Enis only had three seasons to his credit after Chicago made the Nittany Lions running back the fifth-overall selection in 2005. His career consisted of four touchdowns and 1,497 rushing yards.
To Penn State's defense, the college program has put names like Larry Johnson and in the pro ranks. Oddly enough, the school only has one current running back in the NFL.