Every NFL Team's Worst Draft Pick of the Past Decade
Whether it's because of injuries, actions outside the lines or just a poor fit with the team that selects them, some players taken in the early rounds of the NFL draft fail to pan out every year.
Some busts are more notable than others, however. A few never saw the field, while others set their team back when they got on it. The most painful busts were often taken ahead of eventual stars who would have altered a franchise's future.
The focus here is on the prospects who cost their team more than any other over the last decade. Many of them were first-round selections, but some later picks are the mix and will still sting when fans look back on them.
Here are the biggest busts for each team from 2011 to 2020.
Buffalo Bills: QB EJ Manuel, No. 16, 2013
The Bills went into the 2013 draft desperate to find a franchise quarterback. They settled on EJ Manuel, a winner during his time with the Florida State Seminoles but a prospect who needed to polish his raw mechanics.
Manuel couldn't clean up his game enough, going just 6-11 from 2013 to 2016. He completed a meager 58.3 percent of his passes and threw just 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Buffalo turned to Kyle Orton for most of 2014 and Tyrod Taylor for the majority of the 2015 and '16 seasons, letting Manuel walk in free agency following the 2016 campaign.
He had unproductive stints with the Raiders—where he became the first quarterback to lose a game in four countries—and Chiefs before he retired in 2019.
Miami Dolphins: DL Dion Jordan, No. 3, 2013
Dion Jordan is widely regarded as one of the biggest busts of not only the past decade, but also of all time. Instead of the transcendent pass-rusher one might expect from a top-three pick, the club got a player who never seemed to put in the effort required to play in the pros, let alone at an All-Pro level.
Jordan lasted just four seasons in South Beach, finishing his stint with the 'Phins with as many suspensions for violating the league's drug policy as sacks. Jordan recorded just 46 tackles and three sacks, all coming from 2013 to 2014.
The Oregon product was suspended twice during the 2014 campaign—for six games total—and was barred from playing the 2015 season. Despite being eligible to return, Jordan wouldn't see the field once in 2016 and was released in the 2017 offseason after failing a physical.
The Seahawks, Raiders and 49ers have all kicked the tires on Jordan since. San Francisco got 17 tackles and a trio of sacks from the 31-year-old while he played a career-high 373 defensive snaps in 2020.
Jordan seems to have settled into a niche as a situational pass-rusher, a far cry from what he was projected to contribute as a No. 3 pick.
New England Patriots: DT Dominique Easley, No. 29, 2014
The Patriots haven't shied from taking gambles in both the draft and free agency during Bill Belichick's two-plus decades with the club, but the team's first-round pick in 2014 left many scratching their heads.
Dominique Easley was one of the most puzzling prospects on the board, as the defensive lineman had first-round talent but suffered two debilitating knee injuries before the 2014 draft. The 6'2", 263-pounder tore each of his ACLs during his stint at Florida, having his 2011 campaign cut short with a left knee injury and finishing his collegiate career in 2013 following a right knee injury.
The Pats were likely hoping Easley's setbacks were behind him. That wouldn't be the case, however, as he landed on injured reserve several times during his two seasons in Foxborough.
The organization had seen enough by 2016, cutting Easley in April after he participated in just 22 of 32 possible games. The defensive tackle returned to play a 16-game season with the Rams that year but went down with a fourth torn ACL during training camp in 2017.
Easley attempted a comeback in 2018 but dealt with another knee injury after just three games, an ailment that ended his career. He finished having played in 41 games and recorded 64 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
New York Jets: CB Dee Milliner, No. 9, 2013
The Jets were in dire need of a replacement for Darrelle Revis after they traded the superstar cornerback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers less than a week before the 2013 draft. The team spent a top-10 pick on Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner, who was expected to give the club another shutdown corner.
That never panned out, however. He was penciled in as the team's starter across from Antonio Cromartie but was benched multiple times for poor performances as a rookie. He showed a flash of promise late in the year—recording his only three interceptions in the final two games—but couldn't build on that during an injury-plagued 2014 season (torn Achilles) that saw him play three contests.
Injuries continued to be the story for Milliner in 2015—a year in which he played just five games—and 2016, when he was waived before the start of the campaign. The cornerback would never play another down in the NFL, finishing his career with 63 tackles, 19 passes defensed and three interceptions.
Baltimore Ravens: S Matt Elam, No. 32, 2013
The Ravens thought they found a successor to Ed Reed when they used the last pick in 2013's first round on Florida safety Matt Elam. They were coming off a Super Bowl victory but lost Reed to the Texans.
Elam didn't reach anywhere near Reed's stratosphere, as he struggled to stay on the field because of poor production and a torn bicep that caused him to miss the 2015 season.
He recorded a mere 131 tackles, seven passes defensed, one interception and a half-sack in 41 games from 2013 to 2016. The Ravens didn't pick up his fifth-year option, and he was arrested on drug-related charges in May 2017. He was then arrested and charged with grand theft and domestic battery in July of that year. All charges in both cases were later dropped.
Still, the safety never played another NFL down.
Cincinnati Bengals: WR John Ross III, No. 9, 2017
Despite the Bengals' struggles over the last decade, they have made good use of their first-round picks. One obvious draft whiff, though, is receiver John Ross III, whom Cincinnati selected at No. 9 four years ago.
Ross was hyped as a playmaker with game-breaking speed that could offset his small stature. The 5'11", 194-pound wideout dominated during his college days in Washington but failed to replicate that production in the NFL.
Ross' career started terribly in 2017, with head coach Marvin Lewis listing him as the No. 6 wide receiver on the depth chart. He fumbled on his first touch during his debut and finished the season with just two targets and zero receptions.
Things hardly got better for Ross, although he did score 10 touchdowns on just 49 catches from 2018 to 2019. Ross' days in Cincy ended this offseason after he saw action in just three contests, missing time as both a healthy scratch and because of injuries.
The receiver will get a chance to rehabilitate his career with the Giants, who signed Ross to a one-year, $1.25 million "prove-it" deal that could be his last shot.
Cleveland Browns: QB Johnny Manziel, No. 22, 2014
Johnny Manziel was one of the biggest names in sports during his electrifying collegiate career with Texas A&M. That immense hype goaded the Browns into using a first-round pick on the undersized (6'0", 207 lbs) signal-caller in 2014.
Johnny Football's pro career started horribly. The quarterback saw action in five games during his rookie year, starting two and connecting on an ugly 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. His skills as a runner separated him from his peers in the SEC but didn't translate to the pros, as he generated just 29 yards and a score on nine attempts.
The Browns gave him another shot to win the job in 2015, but Manziel went just 2-4 as a starter and had another unsightly stat line, going just 129-of-223 for 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns. He struggled with turnovers as well, throwing five interceptions and fumbling six times in his last year in the NFL.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner struggled with substance use during his time in the NFL. He also faced domestic assault allegations before the Browns released him in the 2016 offseason. He's since done stints in the CFL, AAF and Fan Controlled Football, but has performed poorly at each stop and likely will never play in an NFL game again.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Jarvis Jones, No. 17, 2013
Steelers edge-rusher Jarvis Jones started his career with a decent campaign in Pittsburgh in 2013—amassing 41 tackles and a sack in 14 games—but things took a turn for the worse during his second season.
The Georgia product missed more than half the 2014 campaign because of injuries and never rekindled the athleticism that helped make him a mid-first round selection. He earned an increased role during 2015's training camp but managed just 29 tackles and two sacks despite starting 15 games that year.
He ran out of chances with the Steelers following a second consecutive disheartening campaign in 2016 that saw him lose his starting job to James Harrison. He tried to catch on with the Cardinals in 2017 but was released before Week 1 and hasn't played a snap since.
Houston Texans: DL Sam Montgomery, No. 95, 2013
The Texans have drafted well during the first round over the last decade, getting players like J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney and Will Fuller V. You have to look at some of their second-day picks to find a real bust, and edge-rusher Sam Montgomery stands out.
Montgomery was a third-round pick in 2013, but he didn't even make it through the second month of his rookie season. Houston released him in late October for violating team rules on a road trip, along with two other players. Sources told ESPN it was because of marijuana use, which Montgomery's agent later denied.
Regardless of the circumstances, Montgomery was a wasted pick because he contributed nothing on the field for the Texans. The Raiders signed him that December, but he lasted three days with the organization before his release. His last pro contract came from the Bengals in 2014, but he only spent a year on their practice squad.
Montgomery played in the CFL, NAL, AAF and was most recently in the XFL before the league folded. Given how poorly he performed at nearly every stop, it's highly unlikely the 30-year-old will get a chance to make his on-field NFL debut.
Indianapolis Colts: Edge Bjoern Werner, No. 24, 2013
Bjoern Werner was one of many highly regarded pass-rushers selected early in the 2013 draft who failed to live up to the hype—along with Barkevious Mingo, Jarvis Jones and Dion Jordan.
The Germany native lasted three seasons with the Colts, compiling just 81 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 38 games. The Jaguars kicked the tires on Werner after he was cut in 2016, but he failed to catch on and retired in 2017.
Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blaine Gabbert, No. 10, 2011
Few franchises have struggled to unearth first-round gems as much as Jacksonville. The team has had several disappointing picks over the last decade, missing on Justin Blackmon, Luke Joeckel and Blake Bortles.
None of those should sting as much as the Jags' selection of Blaine Gabbert in 2011, as they spent the No. 10 pick on a player who went 5-22 as the club's starter. Gabbert threw more interceptions (24) than touchdowns (22) from 2011 to 2013 and completed just 53.3 percent of his passes in an offense that sputtered with him on the field.
To make matters worse, a future Hall of Famer came off the board just one pick later when the Texans selected J.J. Watt. The Jags ended up as just one of just two organizations with a top-11 pick that year not to get a Pro Bowler from their selection.
Tennessee Titans: QB Jake Locker, No. 8, 2011
Like the Jaguars, the Titans went into the 2011 draft with a pressing need at quarterback. They rolled the dice on Washington's Jake Locker with the No. 8 pick and never received much of a return on the lofty investment.
Locker played just four seasons, starting 23 games and going 9-14 as he dealt with a slew of injuries. Tennessee was ready to give him another chance in 2015, but Locker retired that offseason after saying he didn't have the "burning desire necessary" to compete at a high level.
The Titans were one of just four teams picking in the top 15 of the 2011 draft that didn't get at least one Pro Bowl season from their selection.
Denver Broncos: QB Paxton Lynch, No. 26, 2016
The Broncos looked for their next franchise quarterback just one year after winning a Super Bowl in Peyton Manning's final season. The organization took Memphis' Paxton Lynch during the 2016 draft, trading up at the end of the first round to acquire the 6'7" signal-caller.
Former Broncos general manager John Elway has been widely criticized for the move in the years since, and for good reason. Lynch saw action in just five games during his two-plus-year stint in Denver, going 1-3 as a starter from 2016 to 2017 while completing 79 of 128 passes for four touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Broncos gave up a third-round selection to move up five spots that year but never received anything worth remotely close to the value given up in those two selections. The team moved on from the disappointing prospect in 2018 after it acquired Kevin Hogan off waivers, who never even saw the field in Denver before being released.
Lynch tried to catch on as a backup to Russell Wilson in Seattle in 2019 but was released before Week 1 and suffered a similar fate last offseason when he failed to make the Steelers' final roster cut. He's gone unsigned since September and will struggle to ink a contract after flaming out for three teams in five years.
Kansas City Chiefs: WR Jonathan Baldwin, No. 26, 2011
Pairing first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin with Dwayne Bowe was supposed to elevate the 2011 Kansas City offense, but the receiver only hurt the team during his short tenure.
Not only did Baldwin fail to produce much when he was on the field—accumulating just 579 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 41 receptions—but he also missed time his rookie year because of an injured wrist he suffered while fighting a teammate.
The Chiefs moved on from Baldwin in 2013, trading him to the 49ers for A.J. Jenkins, another failed draft pick. Baldwin caught three passes for 28 yards in seven appearances with San Francisco in 2013 and was released in 2014, a move that effectively ended his NFL career.
Las Vegas Raiders: CB Gareon Conley, No. 24, 2017
Gareon Conley is one of the many early-round cornerback prospects who didn't have much of a chance to become a playmaker because of injuries and poor scheme fit.
The 2017 first-rounder lost most of his rookie year to a lingering shin injury. The Raiders then hired Jon Gruden the following season and implemented a defense that tasked the cornerback who excelled in man coverage at Ohio State with playing in a defense utilizing heavy amounts of zone.
It was a poor fit for both sides, which resulted in Conley getting shipped to the Texans in 2019. The defensive back dealt with more injuries during his tenure in Houston and landed on the open market this offseason. While he has yet to sign, a team might still see what Conley has left before the 2021 campaign begins.
Los Angeles Chargers: CB Jason Verrett, No. 25, 2014
Jason Verrett was one of the most exciting cornerback prospects of the 2014 class, but the former TCU star has only seen the field sparingly. He's played in just 39 of a possible 96 games over the last six years, including making a mere 22 starts during his five seasons with the Chargers.
The defensive back couldn't catch a break with the Bolts, suffering myriad injuries during his rookie year that limited him to four starts. He bounced back with a Pro Bowl nod in 2015 after a solid showing in 13 starts, but that turnaround was short-lived. Verrett once again started four games in 2016 and played one game in 2017 because of more injuries.
The Bolts moved on after he missed the 2018 campaign with a torn Achilles. He landed in San Francisco but once again saw action in a single game in 2019. He had a strong comeback in 2020, though, providing the club with 13 quality starts and earning another one-year deal this offseason.
Although hope still exists that Verrett can stay healthy and finish his career strong, he was one of the Chargers' biggest busts of the last decade.
Dallas Cowboys: Edge Taco Charlton, No. 28, 2017
Taco Charlton was once regarded as one of the better edge-rushers in the 2017 draft class, but his career has left a lot to be desired since the Cowboys took him at the end of the first round.
The Michigan product flamed out after just two seasons with the club. He appeared in 27 games but made just seven starts from 2017 to 2018, recording a paltry 46 tackles and four sacks.
It appeared he might carve out a bigger role in 2019 because of injuries to defensive linemen ahead of him on the depth chart, but Charlton was a healthy scratch for the first two games before getting released.
Charlton's career is not finished, however, as the Dolphins snagged him off waivers and got five sacks in 10 games in 2020—his most productive pro season—but didn't keep him around. Charlton spent last year with the Chiefs, recording two sacks in seven games, and he re-signed last month.
New York Giants: OT Ereck Flowers, No. 9, 2015
The G-Men took left tackle Ereck Flowers in the top 10 of the 2015 draft, but the Miami product was an immense disappointment for the club.
Flowers was the Week 1 starter as a rookie but developed poor habits. Former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz joked Flowers appeared "drunk" on a play during which he missed three blocks, and Schwartz believes Flowers eventually quit on his team in 2018.
Things didn't improve despite a shift to right tackle in 2018, and eventually Flowers was benched. The team tried to trade him but couldn't find any takers, opting to release him in October of that year.
Although Flowers was a massive bust for the Giants, he's since found a calling as a guard for both Washington and Miami. The Dolphins inked him to a three-year, $30 million deal in 2020 to serve as a starting guard, which will likely be the position Flowers sticks at.
Philadelphia Eagles: Edge Marcus Smith, No. 26, 2014
No one was sure what the Eagles were doing when they made a huge reach in the first round of the 2014 draft for Marcus Smith at No. 26—a projected a third- or fourth-round pick.
It wasn't too shocking that this gamble didn't pay off, as Smith—a former college quarterback recruit who converted to defensive end at Louisville—failed to make a successful transition to linebacker in Philadelphia's 3-4 base defense.
Despite seeing action in 37 games during his three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, Smith only garnered four sacks and 23 tackles. He was a lightly used rotational player, as he played a high of just 21 percent of Philly's defensive snaps in 2016.
This pick would not have been nearly as painful for the Eagles had they selected Smith a few rounds later.
Washington Football Team: QB Robert Griffin III, No. 2, 2012
The 2012 draft was headlined by a pair of quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Both looked phenomenal and well worth being the top two selections that year, but RG3's career arc quickly changed.
Despite winning Rookie of the Year and getting Washington to the playoffs, Griffin never recovered from the battering he took in 2012. The dynamic signal-caller suffered ACL and LCL injuries at the end of the year and was controversially rushed back into the lineup for the start of the 2013 campaign despite not playing a snap during the preseason.
RG3's stats dipped significantly from his rookie to his sophomore season, going from throwing for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns with a 65.6 percent completion rate and just five interceptions to 3,203 yards and 16 touchdowns with a 60.1 percent completion rate and 12 touchdowns.
His skills as a runner also diminished after he accumulated 815 yards and seven scores in 2012, dropping to just 489 yards with zero touchdowns in 2013.
The team suffered as much as RG3 did, going from 9-6 with him as the starter in his rookie year to 3-10 the following season. He would only start seven more times for the franchise—going 2-5 in 2014—before Kirk Cousins took over and RG3 was released in 2016.
While RG3 is still floating around the league—he's since had stops with the Browns and Ravens—he is the textbook case of why a player shouldn't be rushed back from injury and why a player should protect himself outside the pocket. Had he avoided taking brutal shots and had adequate time to recover, Griffin may have still been starting in Washington as a dangerous dual-threat signal-caller.
Chicago Bears: WR Kevin White, No. 7, 2015
Saying Kevin White failed to pan out for the Bears would be an understatement.
White was thought to be the best receiver in the 2015 class after a dominant run at West Virginia, but he couldn't stay healthy and failed to produce when he was on the field during his short stint in the pros. His rookie year was lost to a stress fracture in his leg, and his sophomore campaign was cut short after only four games because of both a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula.
In 2017, it appeared White would get his chance to show why he deserved his lofty draft status, earning a starting gig going into Week 1. He lasted just one game, catching two passes for six yards before suffering yet another season-ending injury.
White's most productive year came in 2018, when he saw action in nine games but clearly was negatively impacted by his litany of ailments. He caught four passes for 92 yards and never scored a touchdown for the Bears.
Detroit Lions: CB Teez Tabor, No. 53 Overall, 2017
Teez Tabor was once thought to be an early first-round talent but fell flat during workouts at the NFL combine and saw his stock plummet leading up to the 2017 draft. The Lions stopped Tabor’s fall at No. 53 but now surely regret it.
Detroit GM Bob Quinn admitted at the time it was a risky selection, but he believed Tabor played faster than his 4.62 40-yard dash time indicated. That wasn’t the case, however, as Tabor went into the 2017 campaign as the No. 4 cornerback and never developed into a useful player.
He was simply too slow to play at the professional level, and the Lions ended up cutting ties with him after just 22 games. He recorded 42 tackles with no interceptions or passes defended despite playing 465 snaps.
He's currently on the Bears' practice squad.
Green Bay Packers: OT Derek Sherrod, No. 32, 2011
The Packers have been one of the most consistent franchises in football for quite some time, largely because of their ability to maximize their in-house talent. The team still has its fair share of draft busts, however, with Derek Sherrod the biggest miss Green Bay has had in the last decade.
The Mississippi State product couldn't stay healthy long enough to make much of an impact. The offensive lineman broke his leg late in his rookie season, a devastating injury that caused him to miss the entire 2012 campaign.
Sherrod was never the same following the injury and saw action in just 15 games before he was released midway through the 2014 season. He tried to catch on with the Chiefs the following year but was cut before the regular season began and never signed another NFL contract.
Minnesota Vikings: QB Christian Ponder, No. 12, 2011
Christian Ponder was one of the more polarizing quarterback prospects in the ill-fated 2011 class, with experts projecting him to go everywhere from the early first round to the late third round. The Vikings felt he was worth an early selection, using the No. 12 pick on the Florida State signal-caller.
The move cost the franchise dearly, as Ponder never developed into anything more than a mediocre game manager in four years with the club. His rookie year was rough, as it resulted in two wins over 10 starts while he completed 54.3 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Despite the ugly beginning, Minnesota installed Ponder as a full-time starter in 2012. He guided the club to a 10-6 record and improved his completion rate to 62.1 percent while tossing 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. It was promising, but nothing would come from it after Ponder had his season derailed by injuries the following year.
Ponder would only start 10 games for Minnesota from 2013 to 2014, resulting in a 2-7-1 record. He tossed four more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (7) in that span and fumbled a whopping seven times in nine starts in 2013.
The Vikings relegated him to backup duties and eventually let him walk in free agency. Ponder had subsequent stops with the Raiders, Broncos and 49ers but never saw the field again.
Atlanta Falcons: OG Peter Konz, No. 55, 2012
Peter Konz was a mauler at Wisconsin and was expected to bring an edge to the Atlanta Falcons trenches in 2012, but the second-rounder never carved out a consistent role during his three years with the franchise.
Konz started his career at right guard, eventually taking over the starting job six games into his rookie year. He moved to center because of attrition ahead of the 2013 campaign, starting 15 of 16 games there. Despite the versatility, Konz was never a great run-blocker or pass protector.
Injury cut short his 2014 season, and Atlanta released Konz ahead of the 2015 season. He never played another snap in the NFL.
Carolina Panthers: WR Kelvin Benjamin, No. 28, 2014
Benjamin once seemed to be well on his way to becoming one of the NFL's most intriguing playmakers. The Panthers felt comfortable using a first-round pick on him in 2014 to provide quarterback Cam Newton with a big-bodied, athletic wideout who could win contested balls, and the 6'5", 245-pound wideout did exactly that during his rookie year.
The Carolina offense relied heavily on Benjamin that season, with the wideout soaking up an eye-popping 145 targets. He caught 73 of them for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. While he wasn't the most efficient player, his volume allowed him to produce respectable stats.
Things took a turn for the worse in 2015, when Benjamin missed the season because of a torn ACL suffered in camp. While he returned with another good year in 2016—reeling in 63 receptions for 941 yards and seven touchdowns on 118 targets—Benjamin fell off hard.
He caught 32 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns over the first eight games of 2017 before he was traded to Buffalo for a pair of draft picks. He never rekindled the form that made him one of the better rookie receivers, and Benjamin hasn't been in the league since a stop with the Chiefs in 2018.
New Orleans Saints: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, No. 58, 2014
It is not often that a second-round pick plays fewer than 10 regular-season snaps for the team that drafts him, barring injuries, but that is exactly what happened with Stanley Jean-Baptiste and the Saints in 2014.
New Orleans brought in the Nebraska cornerback with the No. 58 pick, but he only made four appearances—taking eight defensive snaps and 30 special teams snaps—before being released.
Jean-Baptiste was toasted on the few plays he was in coverage for in the team's preseason finale in 2015 and drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton for the defensive lapses. The club elected not to give him any more chances, cutting him just two days later.
A few other teams tried to see if Jean-Baptiste could rejuvenate his career, but he hasn't played another regular-season snap because of injuries and poor performances during stops with the Lions, Seahawks, Chiefs, Jaguars and Ravens from 2015 to 2019.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K Roberto Aguayo, No. 59, 2016
It's not often a kicker is picked early in any draft, which is why it was such a shock to see the Buccaneers use a second-round selection on Roberto Aguayo five years ago. Not only did Tampa burn the No. 59 selection on the Florida State kicker, but it also sent third- and fourth-round selections to the Chiefs to take him.
The decision was widely panned at the time and turned out to be one of the most wasteful draft day decisions ever. Aguayo connected on just 22 of his 31 field-goal attempts in his rookie year, missing his only attempt from 50-plus yards and going 4-of-10 on attempts from 40 to 49 yards. Aguayo also missed a pair of extra points and proved he hardly deserved to be on an NFL roster, let alone a second-rounder.
The Buccaneers brought in veteran Nick Folk to compete for the job following that miserable 2016 campaign. Folk earned the starting job after Aguayo missed both a 47-yard kick and extra-point attempt in the team's first preseason game of 2017. The FSU product had tryouts with the Bears, Panthers, Chargers and Patriots in the years since but hasn't shown enough to get a roster spot.
Arizona Cardinals: OG Jonathan Cooper, No. 7, 2013
Many expected Jonathan Cooper to be a generational guard when the Cardinals took him in the top 10 in 2013, but the North Carolina product never lived up to the immense hype.
Arizona watched as he suffered a broken fibula less than a month after he signed. That injury changed the guard's career arc, as he missed his rookie season and started just 11 games over the next two years.
The Cardinals moved Cooper and a second-round pick to the Patriots to bring in star pass-rusher Chandler Jones in 2016.
Cooper didn't pan out in New England but did start a handful of games for the Browns that year and became a 13-game starter for Dallas in 2017. Cooper's last meaningful stop in the league was a four-game stint with Washington in 2018. His release marked the end of a once promising career that was ruined by injuries.
Los Angeles Rams: OT Greg Robinson, No. 2, 2014
It's hard to believe that the Rams selected Greg Robinson 11 picks ahead of Aaron Donald—their generational defensive lineman—in 2014. Robinson was once thought to be the surefire superstar, though, a hulking left tackle who could protect a quarterback's blind side for a decade-plus.
It didn't take long for those high expectations to turn into extreme disappointment, however, as the 6'5", 330-pound Auburn product lasted just three years with the franchise that drafted him No. 2 overall. The Rams tried him at guard, too, but he failed to do even a serviceable job on the interior.
They shipped the draft bust to Detroit for a sixth-round pick. He barely played for the Lions before being released prior to the end of the campaign. He landed with the Browns but hasn't played a regular-season game since 2019.
Brown was arrested and charged with intent to distribute marijuana in Feb. 2020 and faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
San Francisco 49ers: DL Solomon Thomas, No. 3, 2017
Few draft picks have to sting as much as San Francisco's selection of Solomon Thomas in 2017. Not only has the defensive lineman failed to come close to meeting projections that come with being a No. 3 pick, but he also was selected ahead of a pair of franchise quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
Thomas was supposed to be a game-changing defender, capable of disrupting plays and wreaking havoc on opposing signal-callers. Instead, he recorded just six sacks across 48 games with the 49ers. He saw plenty of playing time during his four seasons in San Francisco—Thomas played 1,764 defensive snaps from 2017 to 2019—in the organization's futile attempts to get more production out of a player who cost it so much.
Thomas' tenure with San Francisco ended after he suffered a torn ACL just two games into the 2020 campaign. He recently inked a one-year deal with Las Vegas to try to turn his career around.
Seattle Seahawks: DT Malik McDowell, No. 35, 2017
The Seahawks never got a chance to see Malik McDowell play in a single regular-season game.
Right before training camp during his rookie year, the former Michigan State star was hurt in an ATV crash. The injuries kept him off the field for the season. Then, McDowell was arrested in September 2017 and charged with DUI. He was arrested in December 2017 and charged with disorderly conduct.
The defensive lineman was waived during the 2018 offseason. The next year, he was arrested in February on multiple charges stemming from an altercation with police and in April for having a stolen car in his possession. He eventually served an 11-month prison stint.