With every job comes a certain level of pressure and responsibilities. If you work at Starbucks, you need to make sure you are on top of people's drink orders. If you work retail in a sports store, you need to be aware of what's going on in the different leagues. And if you're an NFL player who was drafted in the 1st round, you need to be aware of the fact that millions of people are praying for you to succeed. But to be fair, millions of people are also hoping their rival has picks that land them a spot on this list.
You'll take a trip back as far of the 2012 draft to see 20 1st rounders that the teams surely would have preferred to have back. Cleveland Browns fans are also more aware than anyone else about how some of their picks flamed out, but fair warning to their fans that they make 3 appearances below!
2012 may also have not been that long ago but that's long enough for several of these once potential stars to show the league that they don't have what it takes to compete. Which means they may soon be facing the pressures of a Starbucks job if they weren't able to manage their finances. And speaking of the Browns, if any of their fans want to watch Johnny Football again they can always hope he makes a splash on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
If your team has been struggling as of late, making the mistake by selecting the player that you're about to read about may be a very big reason as to why.
20 Kevin White - Chicago Bears (2015, #7)
The Chicago Bears fanbase is probably pretty pleased with how Mitch Trubisky has looked for the team so far. Which is great considering he was picked 2nd overall in the draft.
But the team would be looking a lot better if Kevin White had been able to live up to the expectations that were placed upon him.
Injuries are the main knock on the career of White up till this point. And his 193 receiving yards that he has amassed over the course of his career is probably what the team would have hoped he had put up in his best single game!
19 Justin Gilbert - Cleveland Browns (2014, #8)
When people think back to the 2014 draft for the Cleveland Browns it's easy to pick apart their decision to draft Johnny Manziel. But the mistake that may have cost the franchise, even more, was going with Justin Gilbert with their 8th pick.
Gilbert was frequently reported to have issues with his work ethic.
Gilbert was such a let down that despite him being drafted in May 2014, he was shipped off to Pittsburgh in September 2016. He was released from the team in February 2017 and went on to get suspended for a year due to a violation of the substance abuse policy.
18 A.J. Jenkins - San Francisco 49ers (2012, #30)
It's clear that despite being drafted in the first round that A.J. Jenkins never got along well with the San Francisco 49ers. He was chosen to play in 3 of the 16 games his rookie year and was literally targeted for one pass which he failed to catch. Which, as a wide receiver, is a pretty key part.
Jenkins was later traded to the Chiefs where he caught one pass for 6 yards before later getting the boot from the team.
The Cowboys thought about giving him a shot by signing him in May 2015 but made the decision by that September that the team was, perhaps rightfully, better off without him.
17 Dee Milliner - New York Jets (2013, #9)
There are some NFL players that got their entire career without getting benched for poor performance. For Milliner, it happened 3 times in his rookie year. But he settled down and put together a relatively strong debut campaign which showed that at the very least he had some mental toughness to him.
But Milliner's subsequent years were full of frustrating moments including tearing his Achilles tendon in 2014 and requiring wrist surgery in 2015. Milliner was released from the team back in 2016 and while he received a work out from the Panthers that year, his career seems to be all but over.
16 Tavon Austin - St. Louis Rams (2013, #8)
Tavon Austin is talented in many different areas when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. But the St. Louis Rams never seemed to quite figure out how to make him live up to the expectations that got placed upon him when he was drafted 8th overall. Though I'm sure the disappointment that came with the career of Austin is easier to forget about when their fans can focus their attention on how amazing Todd Gurley is.
If Austin has a strong back-half of his career it may be with the Cowboys, as he was traded for a 6th rounder back in April.
15 Ereck Flowers - New York Giants (2015, #9)
The New York Giants fanbase is always going to be thankful for the franchises decision to draft Odell Beckham Jr. Not to mention putting in the work to grab Manning. Ereck Flowers? Not so much.
Along with struggling when he's on the field, Flowers has also had people question his work ethic in the past.
This includes analyst Geoff Schwartz who was a lineman for several years who back in April highlighted a play where Flowers missed 3 players, which as I'm sure you know is less than ideal. Flowers will be a free agent after the next season so leave it to him to now turn it up.
14 Phillip Dorsett - Indianapolis Colts (2015, #29)
When the Indianapolis Colts decided to draft Phillip Dorsett in the first round it was a decision that made many people confused. But hey, we're not analysts so maybe we should just wait to see how it plays out. But sadly for the Colts front office (and fanbase), Dorsett was a major flop.
His first year saw him amass only 225 yards and he didn't start in a single game. His sophomore year showed a bit more promise as he recorded 528 yards in 7 games started (and 15 appeared), but it wasn't enough to save his job. Dorsett was traded to the Patriots back in September 2017 and proceeded to only catch 12 balls.
13 Matt Elam - Baltimore Ravens (2013, #32)
If Matt Elam could play his entire career like he did his rookie year, things probably would have turned out pretty okay for him. But Elam struggled heavily the next two years, which made his release a very easy decision when he decided to be arrested on two separate occasions in 2017. As if his issues on the field weren't enough to have people looking the other way.
Essentially what this boils down to is that also makes him a pretty easy name for a lot of teams to cross off their list when considering potential players to come and join their team.
12 Corey Davis - Tennessee Titans (2017, #5)
Corey Davis's hamstring issues caused him to not live up to the potential in his rookie year. Only appearing in 11 games (9 started), Davis pulled in 34 balls for 375 yards. The Titans are looking poised to have one of the best offenses in the year in 2018 but part of that is definitely going to need to come from Davis and Mariota, a connection that would quickly let fans forget about Davis' injury issues from the previous year. But if he finds himself grabbing for that hamstring again this year, everyone that's a Titans fan is going to be holding their breath.
11 Dominique Easley - New England Patriots (2014, #29)
There are some players who you may be able to blame the team for why they failed to produce. But when you get drafted by the New England Patriots, you are definitely expected to perform. But when you consider Dominique Easley is no longer on the team, you can agree that it was not an easy task for him. Both of his seasons with the Patriots included injury issues.
He stayed healthy for a season with the Rams before tearing his ACL the following year. This is the bounce back year for Easley. Do you think he has what it takes?
10 Johnny Manziel - Cleveland Browns (2014, #22)
I'm going to open by saying I have complete confidence in the Johnny Manziel of 2018. He's now married, he's gotten treatment for his bipolar disorder and he's even playing football again. But the fact that the team he plays for is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats may make it abundantly clear that his NFL career didn't go the way he wanted it to. It's possible Johnny works his way back into the league and finds himself in the role of at the very least a respectable backup. But if he does, the Browns probably aren't going to be the team to help him along. Though nobody can blame the franchise there.
9 Michael Floyd - Arizona Cardinals (2012, #13)
When Michael Floyd was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals it was abundantly clear they wanted someone who could be the next Larry Fitzgerald who is a great player and an even better person. And while Floyd did have some strong years in Arizona, that just made it sting more when his DUI back in 2016 saw him get released. Floyd didn't make a huge impact with his next team, the Patriots, and the jury is still out as to if Minnesota will be where he needs to be. But 10 catches for 78 yards last year are not the numbers Floyd hoped of himself.
8 Dion Jordan - Miami Dolphins (2013, #3)
Is it possible that Dion Jordan has a great year this season with the Seattle Seahawks? Sure. But that isn't going to make Miami Dolphins fans feel much better about their decision to draft him with the 3rd overall pick. His success might have quite the opposite effect. Jordan's career in Miami was faced with several difficulties. This included 2 suspensions in his first 3 years, the latter of which led to a 15-month absence from the league. Jordan knows that this is his last chance with Seattle and with Pete's "Always Compete" attitude, perhaps he's right where he needs to be.
7 Justin Blackmon - Jacksonville Jaguars (2012, #5)
Justin Blackmon had all the potential to be one of the best wide receivers to ever lace up a pair of cleats. But in 2012 before his career even started Blackmon had received a DUI. And that was perhaps a sign of things to come. Blackmon received two suspensions in 2013 for violations of the substance abuse program. He was denied reinstatement in 2015 and later that year received a DUI. The most recent action out of Blackmon was the league once again denying his reinstatement attempts in 2017. While football seems to be long behind him, every NFL fan out there should be hoping that Blackmon is able to still get his life on track.
6 Bjoern Werner - Indianapolis Colts (2013, #24)
When Bjoern Werner was drafted back in 2013 the Colts were definitely hoping he was going to be able to have a long career ahead of him that would hopefully see him be able to stay healthy and productive. But for Werner, his time in the NFL was a short one that saw him retire after the 2015 season. Part of the reason for why Werner retired was, sadly, his injury history - particularly issues with his knees. This was one of the reasons as to why people thought Werner drafted to the 24th spot. So while the reward was potentially there, for the Colts, this was a risk that never paid off.
5 Breshad Perriman - Baltimore Ravens (2015, #26)
Nothing may say the team has moved on from a player more than having him be a healthy scratch. Which is the reality that Perriman faced for several games this past year as he was forced to sit on the sidelines. A decision that means his future with the Ravens is still very much in question. As a player for the team, Perriman was marred by injuries; including missing his entire rookie campaign. Flacco can make big plays happen so you can understand why the Ravens went for Perriman. But you don't have to think about his career for long to also understand why he ended up on a list like this.
4 Marcus Smith II - Philadelphia Eagles (2014, #26)
It's going to be very hard to make Philadelphia Eagles fans too upset right now. Not only did they win the Super Bowl but they did it against the team that previously had thwarted their hopes and dreams. But even if they may be over the moon with excitement, the more realistic ones would still agree that Marcus Smith was a miss. I mean hell, he's playing for the Seahawks this year. Smith failed to record a stat in his first 8 games with the franchise and his best year for the Eagles in 2016 only saw 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
3 Mike Williams - Los Angeles Chargers (2017, #7)
The jury is still very much out for Mike Williams. But that's the case for any player who was taken in the 2017 draft. But his first year was definitely not one that made Chargers fans all too thrilled. This includes suffering an injury - something Chargers fans are too familiar with - that saw him miss the first 6 games of the year. Another injury in week 12 put a thorn in his rookie year. As of now, Williams has only amassed 95 yards on 11 catches. If he and Keenan Allen can stay healthy I'm sure many Chargers fans will be more than happy with the pick.
2 Jonathan Cooper - Arizona Cardinals (2013, #7)
If Jonathan Cooper ends up being a solid contributor for the San Francisco 49ers this year it's only going to upset Arizona Cardinals fans even more. Because while the Cardinals were the team that took a shot on Cooper in 2013, his NFL career has seen him play for 4 other teams. This included failing to make an impact when he played for the Patriots or Browns. He did, however, play 13 games with the Cowboys last year. Which means that the health of Cooper (which has also played a role in the past) may be the biggest question on the mind of 49er fans.
1 Trent Richardson - Cleveland Browns (2012, #3)
The Cleveland Browns appearances on this list highlight their struggles to pick a succesful cornerback, quarterback and running back. But when you think about the career of Trent Richardson, it's hard to imagine that Browns fans could make any argument as to how he isn't one of the biggest busts of all-time. Richardson seemed to have a chance to turn his career around, at least in terms of playing football, when he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017.
Though then he decided not to report to training camp in May and as a result was suspended. Looks like the days of Trent trying - but ultimately often failing - to find the hole might be behind him.