Matt Leinart and the Biggest NFL Busts of the Last Five Years

RM Herold@@BR_RollinFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2010

Matt Leinart and the Biggest NFL Busts of the Last Five Years

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    GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 14:  Quarterback Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals drops back to pass during preseason NFL game against the Houston Texans at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Pete
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    With his benching, Matt Leinart may never see the field as a starting quarterback for Arizona again.

    And as much as it pains me to do this, he has to be included on the list of the biggest busts of the past five years.

    Can you call someone a bust after that short of a period? The answer is hell yes.

    Because the average NFL career spans less than five years.

    Running backs last barely half of that.

    That all being said, let's start the show...

10. Reggie Bush

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    NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 21:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints in action against the Houston Texans at the Louisiana Superdome on August 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    He was the second pick in the 2006 draft, and everyone blasted the Texans for taking Mario Williams ahead of him.

    The second pick is not supposed to be a third down, change of pace back.

    He was dominant in college and won the Heisman trophy (allegedly).

    In four years with New Orleans, he has never had more than 600 yards rushing or six rushing touchdowns.

    Known more for his social life and scandal than for running between the tackles.


9. Bobby Carpenter

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    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 27:  Bobby Carpenter #54 of the Dallas Cowboys prepares to run onto the field before the game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 27, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 17-0. (Photo
    Larry French/Getty Images

    While at Ohio State, Bobby Carpenter formed one of the best linebacker tandems in the country with A. J. Hawk.

    Dallas used their 18th pick in the first round of the 2006 draft on him.

    Ahead of guys like DeAngelo Williams,  Joseph Addai, and Nick Mangold.

    Earlier this year, Dallas traded him, quietly.

8. Adam Jones

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    BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Cornerback Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals stands on the field before playing the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 44-13. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty
    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    When you are a bust, you don't get cool nicknames like "Pacman".

    You are just Adam.

    Picked sixth in the 2005 draft by Tennessee, he was more headache than big plays.

    The only significant honor that I have heard he has won since turning pro is the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling tag team championship belt.

    That is unfortunately not a joke.

    Now he's with the Bengals.

    Good luck, Cincinnati.

7. Mike Nugent

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    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 4:  Mike Nugent #4 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches his missed field goal against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 4, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Buccaneers 16-13. (Photo by Larry French/
    Larry French/Getty Images

    It's not often that a kicker is a bust. But it's not often a kicker gets picked in the second round, either.

    After missing 12 field goals in his first three years with the Jets, Nugent got injured.

    Jay Feely pulled a "Wally Pipp" on him and now he is officially a journeyman.

    Have boot, will kick for job.

6. Vernon Gholston

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - 2009:  Vernon Gholston of the New York Jets poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    I know, I know. It's only his third year.

    He is having a great camp on Hard Knocks for the Jets.

    But come on, folks... twenty nine games played and seventeen total tackles.

    Numbers like that can not be ignored.

    That's almost impressive.

5. Mark Clayton

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    LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 21:  Mark Clayton #89 of the Baltimore Ravens is tackled during the preseason game by LaRon Landry #30 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 21, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    After being an All-American wide receiver for Oklahoma, the Ravens drafted Clayton in the first round with big hopes that he would be their lead go-to catcher.

    Five years later, they are still waiting, and he might end up anywhere from fifth to off the depth chart.

    As in, cut.

4. Laurence Maroney

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 27:  Laurence Maroney #39 of the New England Patriots gains yards against Derek Cox #21 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Bill Belichick has been called many things, but stupid isn't usually one of them. So looking back at the 2006 draft, he would probably want a do over.

    Since the end of year one with the team, Maroney has been considered a disappointment. Last year, he peaked only in fumbles lost.

    Not one 1,000 yard rushing season to his name. He makes it this high on the list because of his vow to run hard this year.

    Can you imagine going into your bosses office after four years and saying: "All kidding aside boss, I am gonna actually work this year. You watch. No more internet porn every time you leave for a trip."

3. Mike Williams

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 21:  Wide receiver Mike Williams #1 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during warmups prior to the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Qwest Field on August 21, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    I would love to take his name off of this list if his comeback in Seattle pans out.

    Until then, he is just another bad Detroit pick, who claimed to be a wide receiver while weighing in at over 270lbs.

    To this day. he is the best college wide receiver I have ever seen play.

    Unfortunately he'll go down also in history as trying unsuccessfully to enter the draft early with another infamous bust.

    You never want your name anywhere near Maurice Clarett in the NFL history books.

2. Matt Leinart

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    FLAGSTAFF, AZ - AUGUST 01:  Quarterback Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals practices at Northern Arizona University Walkup Stadium on August 1, 2010 in Flagstaff, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Heisman trophy winner.

    National Champion.

    One of the top three best college quarterbacks of all time.

    Now benched for a quarterback that was run out of Cleveland.


1. Jamarcus Russell

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders in action  against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    If you notice, most of the busts are from 2006 and 2005 drafts. It doesn't feel right to call someone a bust from a draft that happened three years ago.

    They still have time to turn things around and some people develop slower than other.

    But there are exceptions.

    Because of numbers like these:

    A) $61 million contract.

    B) 18 touchdown passes, 23 interceptions, 22 fumbles and

    C) 50 passer rating his final season in Oakland.

    I think we can all agree on his level of bustness. And yes, I made up a word.


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