Months pass, and teams try to find out what they need to do in order to prepare to become a better football team for the following season. Scouts and coaches spend endless amounts of time trying to figure out who is the best player to draft in the upcoming NFL Draft. Hours and hours are spent reviewing film and checking out the mechanics of many players to see how they will make the transition from college to the NFL. While some players do succeed, many do not.
These NFL teams look into depth all the players that are available, and see what fits their top needs. Not every draft pick is going to shine, as many of the lower-round draft picks a lot of times tend to not perform compared to the higher-draft picks. But sometimes, those high draft picks that teams valued, don’t always work out. We have seen in many years draft busts, which lead to angry fans and sometimes a losing ball club. Other times we see players drafted in the later rounds, become stars in the NFL. The work put in to bringing these new players to their team is unreal, and many times the work put in doesn’t always work out.
Throughout the past years, we have seen many college players become the face of the NFL, while other college players find themselves jobless after spending a lifetime preparing for the big stage.
32 Arizona Cardinals - D.J. Humphries (OT)
This draft pick may have shocked many reporters, in 2015 when the Arizona Cardinals selected D.J. Humphries 24th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Humphries has improved in his second year, but was considered one of the top NFL bust after his rookie campaign. In 2015, he struggled with pass protection, with a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 96.7 With a team that loves to throw the ball around, Humphries is going to need to do better than that to help protect the aging Carson Palmer.
Humphries did improve in 2016 switching from right tackle to left, but after a poor season in 2015, the future is unknown for Humphries. The 2017 season could be great, or very poor for the former-Gator. As it stands, the Arizona Cardinals may have liked to find a better option in that draft class.
31 Atlanta Falcons - Ra'Shede Hageman (DT)
For a team that has drafted pretty well in the past few years, Ra’Shede Hageman, defensive tackle from Minnesota, may have not been one of their best most recent draft picks. Throughout his three-year career, Hageman has only made 40 tackles and two sacks, in the 44 games that he has played. With many great options in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Falcons had many other options they could have went in the second round. A replacement option for Hageman could have been Kony Ealy or went offensively, which had many loaded draft picks including Marquise Lee and Davante Adams.
Compared to those drafted in the same round as Hageman, we haven’t seen the same production from Hageman compared to these other NFL stars. Trying to put together a dominant defensive line, the Falcons could have gone in a different direction in the draft.
30 Baltimore Ravens - Breshad Perriman (WR)
First round draft picks are crucial picks, and if they can’t succeed at a high enough level, they usually go down as a bust. Breshad Perriman has seen his time of failure in the NFL. His career began with a season ending knee injury, forcing him to miss his whole rookie campaign with the Baltimore Ravens. His second season finished with 499 receiving yards and three touchdown catches. The Ravens inability to have a star wide receiver on the roster, contributed to the Ravens signing Jeremy Maclin this past offseason.
The wide receiver position in the 2015 NFL Draft wasn’t deep, but a draft pick more suited to another gap in the roster would have been more appropriate in the first round. The Ravens had success in 2014 and 2016 NFL Drafts, but 2015 was not promising for the Ravens when selected Perriman.
29 Buffalo Bills - Cyrus Kouandjio (OT)
You know that you a player was a mistake to draft when they release their draft pick before their rookie contract is up. Cyrus Kouandjio was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, but was released during the 2017 offseason. Kouandjio had hip surgery in January, followed by an incident where he was found wandering on a farm in his underwear. The problems behind Kouandjio contributed towards his release from the Bills organization.
Kouandjio received a second chance, as he was signed by the Detriot Lions followed by his release. But for the Bills, they are most likely looking back at the 2014 NFL Draft regretting the signing of Kouandjio. With the Bills in need of wide receivers, there were plenty of opportunities for the Bills to draft a stud wide receiver in this round of the draft.
28 Carolina Panthers - Vernon Butler (DT)
We still have more to see of Vernon Butler, but as of now we haven’t seen enough of him to prove that he was a good draft pick in the first round. Butler finished his 2016 season with 13 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks. With numbers like that, the Panthers could have signed or drafted another defensive tackle that could have showed more impressive numbers. Better options A’Shawn Robinson and Chris Jones have both shown more production in the NFL, selected in the second round of the draft. Butler may need time to show his true worth, but he’s going to need to make a bigger impact on a team that is trying to make its way make to the playoffs. The NFC South is only becoming more loaded as time passes, so Butler will need to work hard to try and make stops on defense.
27 Chicago Bears - Kevin White (WR)
To become a top-10 draft pick, you need to have crazy talent that shows NFL teams that you are an immediate starter. For Kevin White, it has been a struggle for him to stay healthy throughout his career. He was held out of his rookie season due to a fracture in his shin, and the following season he fractured his fibula in his leg, causing him to miss the rest of the 2016 season. Two years have gone by, and White has only played four games. In those games, he has caught 19 passes for 187 yards and no touchdowns.
White has dealt with many injuries, and no one will ever know if he will ever fully recover from this injury. Already two years have passed, and White has not done anything to prove he even deserves to be in the NFL. Many may still have hope for him, but the Bears may have been better drafting DaVante Parker. The Bears need a top receiver especially after losing Alshon Jeffrey, and Kevin White doesn’t seem to be that guy.
26 Cincinnati Bengals - Tyler Kroft (TE)
Third round draft picks don’t have the biggest expectations, but the Bengals have drafted fairly well to believe that anyone else was a bigger bust than Tyler Kroft. This third-round draft pick hasn’t showed any help for the Bengals. This pick was questionable, as the Bengals have Tyler Eifert who has become one of the more dominant wide receivers in the NFL. Throughout Kroft’s career, he has only had 221 receiving yards and one touchdown catch. In the third round, the Bengals could have easily drafted a player who could have worked up to become a starter on a team that is on the verge of becoming a playoff team once again.
Andy Dalton needs another target, and Kroft hasn’t showed fans that he will become a target for Dalton to become a disruptive part of the passing game. The Bengals failed on this lower draft pick.
25 Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel (QB)
We all know what happened here, and that is why this is clearly the worst draft pick for any team could have made. Johnny Manziel had the talent to become a premier quarterback in the NFL, but he was a straight head case during his time in the NFL. Manziel could not see himself get out of trouble, which led to suspensions which lead to the end of his NFL career. Manziel’s presence contributed a bad look to the Cleveland Browns.
Manziel had all the potential to be a star, but was unable to stay on the right path. After a great career at Texas A&M, he only was able to throw for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Manziel’s stay with the Browns will be known as one of the most embarrassing draft picks in NFL history.
24 Dallas Cowboys - Randy Gregory (DE)
Another football player with suspensions, Randy Gregory has been unable to stay on the field due to suspensions and injuries. The Cowboys have had a past of making some interesting moves in the second round, and sure made one with drafting Gregory who already had problems before being drafted. The Cowboys have never seen Gregory perform to his full potential, and has only recorded one sack in his past two years.
This upcoming 2017 season the Cowboys will lose their pass rusher, due to failing drug tests. Gregory showed signs of becoming one of the top defensive ends on the roster, but due to his inability to stay on the field, the Cowboys haven’t been able to see Gregory’s potential. Jerry Jones and the Cowboys still continue to show support for Gregory, but it doesn’t seem that we will see Randy Gregory on the field anytime soon.
23 Denver Broncos - Paxton Lynch (QB)
The Denver Broncos are looking for their replacement to Peyton Manning after he retired with the confetti coming down during the Super Bowl. In the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Paxton Lynch. The Broncos may have expected to receive their franchise quarterback of their organization, but may have only drafted their franchise backup quarterback. Instead, the Broncos have been rolling with seventh round draft pick from the 2015 NFL Draft, Trevor Siemian.
No one can tell who is the better fit, but Siemian has clearly been favored by the Broncos organization. Drafting Paxton Lynch may seem like it’s for the future, but with Siemian and Lynch both coming into the league a year apart, it doesn’t seem that Lynch will ever be a starter for the Broncos unless of a decline in Siemian or an injury. With quarterback Dak Prescott on the board, the Broncos could have helped build around Siemian or drafted a better quarterback to lead their team back to their 2015 season.
22 Detroit Lions - Ameer Abdullah (RB)
The Detroit Lions may be a bigger threat to NFC teams if they had a good running game. In the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Lions selected Ameer Abdullah from Nebraska. Abdullah hasn’t been able to carry that workload, even after his phenomenal career in college. Throughout his NFL career, he has rushed for 698 yards and two touchdowns. With running backs like David Johnson and Jay Ajayi, the Lions could have selected the future to help build this Lions team into a strong offensive team. Matthew Stafford showed in 2016 that he can hold his ground by tossing the ball around, but the Lions need help with their run game.
The Lions have shuffled through many running backs to find out who will be their future running back, but it seems that this team will still continue to search as Abdullah and other backs haven’t contributed to what the Lions need.
21 Green Bay Packers - Kenny Clark (DT)
The Green Bay Packers defense has been a mess, and may be the only reason the Packers haven’t seen their way back into the Super Bowl of late. Aaron Rodgers has been playing in his prime, but the defense for Green Bay hasn’t been able to stop offenses from rolling through them. In the 2016 NFL draft, the Packers used their first-round draft pick on Kenny Clark. Clark dealt with back injuries through the 2016 season, and struggled to perform at a high level in the 2016 season. Throughout this past season, he recorded 21 combined tackles with no sacks.
Clark was not a factor during the 2016 season, which was a waste of a draft pick for the Packers. The Packers need someone to help stop the run, and Clark was unable to be much of a factor in doing that in 2016.
20 Houston Texans - Xavier Su'a-Filo (OT)
Xavier Su’a-Filo has been known as one of the biggest busts ever. Su’a-Filo has had problems getting onto the field, and when on the field even performing at a high level. The guard from UCLA has not helped make it easier for quarterbacks on the Texans, which may lead the Texans to eventually finding a new guard. Su’a-Filo has had injury problems, and struggled to perform above average as a starter for this offensive line.
With Deshaun Watson coming in as a rookie and projected to become the starter, the Texans need to have a complete offensive line to help this rookie grow, as well as help make a playoff run. Su’a-Filo came right after the first round ended, and failed to become a dominant part of this team.
19 Indianapolis Colts - Philip Dorsett (WR)
The Indianapolis Colts are still trying to build a team around Andrew Luck to help take them back to the Peyton Manning days. In 2015, the Colts drafted Phillip Dorsett from the University of Miami. Looking for a complement to T.Y. Hilton, the Colts went for a former player from the U. Unlike most Hurricane football players, Dorsett has not helped out Luck enough to make it back to the playoffs.
In Dorsett’s two seasons, he has combined for 753 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Dorsett has contributed numbers that a second-string receiver may contribute, but with an arm like Andrew Luck, Dorsett’s production needs to increase. The first-round pick has helped the team, but not enough to give him credit as a first-round draft pick. This may be a big year for Dorsett to prove his value, but from what we have seen, Dorsett is not what the Colts need.
18 Jacksonville Jaguars - Blake Bortles (QB)
The Jacksonville Jaguars trusted the idea of drafting Blake Bortles as the third overall draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but Bortles hasn’t given the Jaguars a reason to trust him. Bortles has been a below average quarterback in the league, but drafted that high, the Jaguars expect much more from Bortles than what he has given.
His best season came in 2015 where he threw 35 touchdowns and 4,428 yards, but he also threw for 18 interceptions. In that good season Bortles’ had, the Jaguars only finished at 5-11 in 3rd place of the AFC South. Bortles isn’t the whole team, but he has made enough mistakes to cause some losses. The Jaguars may have the most talented roster in the AFC South, but have struggled to put it together to become a playoff team. With many star players in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jaguars could have added a lot of talent on their team by passing on Bortles. If the Jaguars want to make it back to the playoffs, they will need to end their time with Blake Bortles.
17 Kansas City Chiefs - Chris Conley (WR)
The Kansas City Chiefs may be the most boring team in the NFL right now to watch, yet have been one of the most successful teams. Alex Smith has made the plays necessary to win, but hasn’t been flashy enough to take his team far. With Tyreek Hill exploding as a star wide receiver in 2016, expectations for every player on the Chiefs have been high. As a third-round player, expectations should have been higher for Chris Conley to help make this offense more dynamic.
Throughout his two-year career, he has 729 receiving yards and one touchdown catch. For a team that has struggled to have wide receivers to perform at a high level, Conley certainly hasn’t helped the situation. Chris Conley improved this season, but struggled to make it to the end zone. Conley may benefit whenever Patrick Mahomes II starts, but for now, he hasn’t provided what the Chiefs need.
16 Los Angeles Chargers - Craig Mager (CB)
An AFC West loaded with Derek Carr and Alex Smith, the Los Angeles Chargers were in need of a cornerback to help play against these star quarterbacks to help give Philip Rivers a chance at ever making it to a Super Bowl. In the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, what was the San Diego Chargers, drafted Craig Mager. Mager hasn’t made a major impact, but has provided some help to the secondary. But with loading up on draft picks like Joey Bosa and Melvin Gordon, Mager seems to be a weak link of the recent draft picks.
In his career, Mager has six pass deflections and one interception. Last season he was put on the injury reserve to finish his 2016 season. Mager has more to show, but has not showed enough to help the Chargers settle with him for the long term.
15 Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff (QB)
As we saw the share of NFL stars that developed from the 2016 NFL Draft, some of the higher drafted players did not live up to the hype. Quarterback from the University of California, Jared Goff, was the biggest disappointment of the 2016 draft. Coming from a draft loaded with talent, the Rams may have failed this time.
It may not be Goff that is the problem, the Rams did contribute by not building a team around Goff as well as not letting him play until the middle of the season. But with many other awesome players in that draft, the Rams have to realize that there were much better players in this draft. Trading up to get their guy, but the Rams were unable to make use of Goff the correct way. In his rookie season, he threw for five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Not having one a game during his first year with the Rams, may not give anything for L.A. fans to brag about. Using the highest draft pick possible, just to settle with the same situations that have been going on in recent times in the Rams organization.
14 Miami Dolphins - Xavien Howard (CB)
If Tom Brady is the quarterback in your division, you need to load up in the secondary the best you can. The Miami Dolphins have tried, but haven’t been able to retain their secondary as they have lost Brent Grimes to a local neighbor, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Dolphins looking for help in the secondary, decided to draft Xavien Howard, with the 38th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.
When playing, he has been a factor with six passes defended and one forced fumble. We haven’t seen Howard pick any quarterbacks off, especially their man competition in the division. With some experience Howard can become a huge problem for opposing quarterbacks, but for now, we haven’t seen enough of Howard to give him that credit with other draft picks performing at high enough levels to be starting NFL players.
13 Minnesota Vikings - Teddy Bridgewater (QB)
Just two years ago, Teddy Bridgewater shined in the NFL, helping the Vikings win the division. Just a year later, Bridgewater suffered a serious injury that may cause him to never play a NFL game again. Vikings fans excited by Bridgewater’s performance, may never see who they thought their franchise quarterback would be again.
What makes the situation worse for Bridgewater, is that Sam Bradford had a terrific season, which would make the Vikings lean towards having him back out under center come 2017. The Vikings aren’t necessarily in a bad position, but the draft pick could have gone to better use to help build around Bradford. But unfortunately, injuries are a big part of the game. The future for Bridgewater is uncertain, but with his injury and Bradford’s high level of play, it seems unlikely that we will see Bridgewater play for the Minnesota Vikings again.
12 New England Patriots - Cyrus Jones (CB)
When you look at the statistics of Cyrus Jones, you almost want to believe that it’s a joke that the New England Patriots signed him. Jones may have showed enough to prove he is worth the practice squad, but that’s about it. Throughout his rookie season, he had seven tackles with no interceptions and no pass deflections. On punt returns, he fumbled five times. Those numbers may have him looking jobless very soon. The worst part about all of this, is that in the biggest game of the Patriots season, the Super Bowl, Cyrus Jones was inactive.
A second-round draft pick who fumbled five teams and was inactive for the biggest moment in NFL history, was a waste of a draft pick. This draft pick almost was useless, based off of his poor 2016 performance.
11 New Orleans Saints - Brandin Cooks (WR)
This may be the most confusing situation for the New Orleans Saints, and doesn’t seem to benefit them in many ways. In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Saints traded their first and third round draft pick, to draft Brandin Cooks at 20th overall. Cooks was a great weapon for Drew Brees, but during the 2017 offseason, the Saints traded him to the New England Patriots. The Saints got another first-round draft pick out of the deal, with which they signed Ryan Ramcyzk from Wisconsin.
Brees was developing a relationship with a future star wide receiver, on a passing team, and the Saints let that go. Offensive tackle was not the biggest need with a weak offensive line class in 2017, so it seems that the Saints lost with this trade. The Saints could have either kept Cooks, or used their draft pick wisely in 2014 by drafting for the future rather than someone they would use as trade bait.
10 New York Giants - Ereck Flowers (OT)
The New York Giants made an awful decision with drafting Ereck Flowers. The offensive tackle has struggled heavily keeping up with defensive ends and outside linebackers, which have added to the amount of pressures that Eli Manning has received. The New York Giants are trying to build a Super Bowl team, but with Manning only having a few years left and this Giants offensive line still looking like a disaster, it’s hard to say that this team has a chance to go up and beat other great teams in the NFC.
Flowers has done an awful job at protecting his quarterback, being one of the worst in the league. In a division that just upgraded the defensive line positions in the first round, it’s only going to get tougher. Flowers will have to deal with Derek Barnett, Jonathan Allen and Taco Charlton. It only seems fitting that Flowers will continue to struggle with the new defensive lineman going up against Flowers.
9 New York Jets - Calvin Pryor (S)
Before even talking about Calvin Pryor, the New York Jets, who may be the worst team in the NFL at the moment, drafted consecutively two safeties with a lot of need all around the ball. This may show how bad Calvin Pryor is, and why they need help. In 2017, the Jets drafted Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, which may have given a sign that Calvin Pryor will take a seat come this upcoming season.
The Jets aren’t messing around with the former first-round draft pick, as they had no problem grabbing two incredible safeties during this past draft. In Pryor’s two seasons, he has had two interceptions and 14 passes defended. Unfortunately, that has not been enough for the Jets. Sometimes if star players are in the draft, teams may feel obligated to grab them, but this past draft send a clear message to Calvin Pryor. After the draft was completed, the Jets traded Pryor to the Cleveland Browns, even though the Browns just drafted Jabrill Peppers.
8 Oakland Raiders - Jihad Ward (DE)
With Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack both attacking quarterbacks. Jihad Ward has kind of take a step back not having one sack in his rookie campaign. The second-round draft pick from Illinois has been unable to help a team that is trying to make their long-awaited return to the Super Bowl. After one season, Ward has showed opposing quarterbacks that they have time to be in the pocket while Ward struggles to come after them.
Ward did have a combined 30 tackles, but that won’t be enough to impress with star pass rushers on each corner of the Raiders defense. Time and help from Mack may help Ward become more dominant, but from we have seen from Ward in his rookie season, it was quite disappointing.
7 Philadelphia Eagles - Marcus Smith (DE)
You know you struggled when you’re a first-round draft pick, and not even four years later you see yourself on another team. The Philadelphia Eagles did not have time to play around with Marcus Smith, who recorded four sacks and 23 tackles in three seasons. The Eagles are in need of a heavy pass rusher to help slow down the other dynamic offenses in the NFC East. Unfortunately, Smith was not their guy, as he now sits in Seattle with the Seahawks.
Another team and another chance may help Smith, but he was unable to be anywhere near to his explosive self in college. And with the competition rising in the NFC East, teams can’t afford to play around with defensive ends that can’t bring the quarterback down.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers - Martavis Bryant (WR)
Martavis Bryant is the perfect fit to make this Pittsburgh Steelers offense one of the scariest in the NFL, but suspensions have kept him away from the game. In 2016, Bryant served a season long suspension due to violating the league’s drug substance policy. Many players seem to be disobeying this drug substance policy, and Bryant is another victim. The Steelers are looking for another wide receiver to help take pressure off of Antonio Brown, and Bryant would be the perfect fit.
In his two years of playing, Bryant has 1,314 receiving yards and 14 touchdown catches. Bryant is a dominant force all around the ball, and could help give Ben Roethlisberger another weapon to throw to. If Bryant could stay on the field, he’s a great pick up for the Steelers, but Bryant seems to be unable to stay out of trouble. Troubling players are the trend of the NFL, and Martavis Bryant is the perfect example.
5 San Francisco 49ers - Arik Armstead (DE)
The first-round draft pick in 2015 for the San Francisco 49ers has been a complete disappointment. Such a disappointment, that the 49ers actually drafted another defensive end in 2016 and 2017. Armstead was the beginning of nightmare for the 49ers, as DeForest Buckner wasn’t awful for the 49ers, Armstead was a complete disappointment. In two seasons only recording 4.5 sacks and 34 combined tackles, the 49ers hit next on the former star defensive end.
Armstead saw a full 16 games in 2015, which then was cut to eight in 2016. The slow decline of Armstead’s time in San Francisco seems to be getting closer and closer. If Solomon Thomas and Buckner to work out, Armstead may seem himself on a new team or jobless before his rookie contract expires.
4 Seattle Seahawks - Paul Richardson (WR)
All Paul Richardson may be known for was his incredible catch against the Detroit Lions during the NFC Wild Card Game in 2017, but besides that, Richardson’s career has been a failure. If Richardson’s wild catch may resemble what fans will see in the future, Richardson may shock many in the future, but for now it doesn’t seem like Richardson will be helping Russell Wilson out much.
The second-round draft pick has two career touchdown catches and 599 receiving yards. He has helped become a plug and play receiver occasionally, but hasn’t been able to make a constant impact on the field. With an offense that is so diverse, it’s hard to see him succeeding anywhere else if he cannot succeed in this offense. Richardson may have more to bring come the 2017 season, which may decide his fate in the NFL.
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Roberto Aguayo (K)
The highest kicker drafted in NFL history, may also be known as the biggest draft bust in NFL history, or at least one of them. Roberto Aguayo was drafted high in the 2016 NFL Draft due to his outstanding performance at Florida State, but performed at a very low level with the Bucs, forcing them to sign Nick Folk and cut Aguayo after just one full season.
Aguayo had a kicking percentage of 71 percent, with his longest kick being 43 yards. In the NFL, many times there are long 40-yard field goals as well as 50-yard field goal attempts. Aguayo struggled to perform at an average level, which may lead to his career ending shortly. Nick Folk has had success as a kicker in this league, which helped him win the starting position over Aguayo. And with an awful performance in 2016, it’s hard to believe any team would be silly enough to let Aguayo kick for them now.
2 Tennessee Titans - Bishop Sankey (RB)
Before the Titans signed DeMarco Murray or drafted Derrick Henry, they drafted Bishop Sankey in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Sankey’s poor performance may have helped lead to the new signing and draftee, causing Sankey to drop down the list of running backs on the Titans roster.
Sankey eventually had his time finished with the Titans, and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. There, he will also drop down the list of running backs due to them signing Latavius Murray and drafting Dalvin Cook. It doesn’t seem that Sankey has much luck when it comes to fighting for a starting position, or second-string position, and he may never will with the lack of playing time he will continue to receive. As time goes on, Sankey has moved further away from the game, proving he was a waste of an early draft pick.
1 Washington Redskins - Josh Doctson (WR)
Many NFC East fans make fun of the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo due to his injuries, but Josh Doctson, wide receiver of the Washington Redskins, seems to be following in the footsteps of the rival. Doctson missed most of his rookie season due to an Achilles injury, and recently suffered a hamstring injury during practice. As trainers may say it may not be as people may think, Doctson’s health should still be a huge concern to the Redskins.
The former first-round draft pick, has not even been able to receive for more than 100 yards in a season, yet show any sort of signs of the future. Now with constant injuries, the chances of Doctson getting hurt again seem more likely than him succeeding. Docton showed signs of becoming a dominant wide receiver at TCU, but it seems unlikely that his skill set will show in the NFL.
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