The NFL Draft is the yearly event where all 32 NFL Teams gather around for 3 days of absolute mayhem. The draft is 7 rounds of 32 picks, and the idea behind it is for the 32 NFL teams to draft the absolute best college football players in the country to become the next big thing within their respective franchises.
The NFL Draft can be make or break for a lot of franchises which is why these teams have legions of employees watching and scouting every single second of every single college football game just for this 3 day event. The Draft delivers some of the greatest pick ups in NFL History and can change the athletes' lives and the NFL franchise's reputation forever. What we will be diving into in this article is the biggest draft busts from all 32 teams in NFL History.
A bust can mean a lot of different things, but the general idea is that a team selected a player who was highly touted as a surefire selection coming into draft weekend, and their career fell flat on it's face. Each team's draft day busts have the ability to cripple a franchise for years and can live on as the butt of a joke for decades, which is why the 3 days in April are truly some of the highest stakes the world of sports presents. Enough of me rambling, let's jump right into it... Arizona Cardinals, you are on the clock!
32 Arizona Cardinals
Andre Wadsworth was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 3rd pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Wadsworth played his college career at Florida State as a walk-on at defensive tackle for 3 years, before switching over to defensive end for his senior season. He was a 3-time All-ACC Honor and put up freakish number on the field and in the weight room. Wadsworth was selected 3 overall and lived up to expectations in his rookie season. Andre played in all 16 games his rookie season and looked like he would live up to the hype, unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, that did not hold true. Wadsworth had knee surgery 3 times over the next 2 seasons and it was not very promising that he would make it back to full form. The Cardinals released Wadsworth after offering him a tender contract that went unsigned.
This only seems to get worse as time goes on for the Cardinals because somebody who was still on the draft board at the 3 spot was a man by the name of Charles Woodson. Woodson could have changed the direction of the Cardinal defense for many years to come.
31 Atlanta Falcons
Aundray Bruce was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 1st pick in the 1988 draft. Bruce was a defensive end that attended Auburn University for his college years. Bruce was a stud on the field and earned All-SEC Honors in 1986 and 1987 as well as being named an all-American in 1987. After being drafted #1 overall, Bruce started in only 42 games over 11 years as an NFL player, and even though that seems like a long tenured career, it was not nearly as impressive as it could have been. Bruce was considered lazy when it came to picking up the playbook which played a key factor in the downturn of his career.
The Falcons could have gone with a lot of different talent over the Bruce selection but look no further than the 5th pick by the Los Angeles Raiders, Tim Brown. Brown became a hall of fame wide receiver that played 16 years in the league. Brown could have been the perfect player to bring the Falcon offense to the next level.
30 Baltimore Ravens
Kyle Boller was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 19th pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Boller was supposed to be the franchise QB of the future and seemed like the easy pick at the time. He played 4 very impressive years at the University of California-Berkeley and his style of play seemed like it would adjust to the fast pace of the pro style, however, this was not the case. Boller would go on to play in the league until 2011, mostly serving as a backup. His best season was in 2004 when he posted 2,500+ yards over 16 games. He was jumped from the Ravens, over to St. Louis, and ended his career in Oakland. The Ravens were hurt bad by this bust of a draft pick and would not recover at the QB spot until Joe Flacco arrived in 2008.
As for the man they should have drafted in hindsight, I would say Dallas Clark. Clark was selected at the 24th spot by the Indianapolis Colts and played a very consistent 11 years in the league. Clark might not have ever been the #1 guy but he was consistently one of the best TEs in the NFL over his career.
29 Buffalo Bills
With the 4th selection in the 2002 NFL draft, the Bills selected Mike Williams, who was an offensive tackle that spent his college days under the leadership of Mack Brown at the University of Texas. Williams played right tackle as a Longhorn and as a senior, he earned 1st Team All-Big-12 and 1st Team All-America. Williams was a big man with quick hands that looked like a great pick at the time, but unfortunately it did not pan out this way. Williams would eventually lose his starting job to an undrafted free agent Jason Peters. Partial blame could be put on the Bills franchise for switching Williams from right tackle to left tackle early in his career, but that could never really be proven. Williams was passed around to a few different teams, but never came back to his college form.
With this pick, the Bills missed a huge opportunity and chose to take Williams over Bryant McKinnie. McKinnie was a natural left tackle and would end up playing the league for 11 seasons. McKinnie would go on to become a pro bowler in 2009 and win a Super Bowl in the 2012-2013 season with the Baltimore Ravens.
28 Carolina Panthers
Rae Carruth was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 27th pick in the 1997 NFL Draft. Carruth was a wide receiver that came from the University of Colorado. He was an All-American in 1996 and his speed and route running showed signs that he could make an impact at the next level. At first, his career looked promising and finished with a strong freshman year but ran into a broken foot in the first game of the 1998 season, which sidelined him the whole year. Everything in Carruth's life would fall apart in 1999 when he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Carruth is still currently in jail serving 18 to 24 years.
The Panthers needed help on the offensive side of the ball a could have picked up a few talents that were drafted soon after Carruth. With all the info we have now, the team should have selected Corey Dillon, which would have gave them a strong presence in the backfield for season's to come. Dillon would be a consistent presence in the backfield's of the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots during his career.
27 Chicago Bears
With the 5th pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, the Bears selected Curtis Enis. He was a highly touted running back out of Penn State who was raved over by multiple NFL teams after delivering 32 touchdowns in his final 2 season in Happy Valley. Enis earned All-American Honors in his days as starting backer for the Nittany Lions but Enis' NFL career never mounted to anything close to his college playing days due to injury. After a long holdout to begin camp, Enis would tear a ligament in his left knee in his first ever start as an NFL player. He would never bounce back from the injury and was used as a fullback with the team in small yardage situations during the 2000 season. Enis would retire in 2001 due to the setback of his injured knee. The Bears would go years without finding a running back to fill the hole they hope Enis would fill.
The man that the Bears should have spent this pick on was Fred Taylor, who was taken with the ninth pick in the draft and would go on to live out a 13-year NFL career. Taylor did have his fair share of injuries over the years but consistently made a difference for the franchises he played for.
26 Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Akili Smith with the 3rd pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. Akili Smith would actually start out as a young man as a baseball recruit and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1993 MLB Draft. He would play at the minor league level for 2 seasons before heading back to school. After a year of junior college, Smith would land at the University of Orgeon and drew boatloads of attention with 30 touchdown passes in his only 11 starts as a Duck. The strong arm and big play ability of Smith never quite reached it's potential at the next level. Akili would play 4 seasons as a Bengal and only had 5 touchdowns to show for it. The team did not recover from this huge bust of a pick until Carson Palmer's coming in 2003.
Instead of Smith, the Bengals should have taken the safer choice in QB Daunte Culpepper from UCF, who was selected 11th by the Vikings. Culpepper would play in the NFL for 11 seasons and found instant success as a Viking, pairing up with Randy Moss, and leading the team to the NFC Championship game in 2000. The Akili Smith pick had huge boom or bust implications, and unfortunately for the Bengals, it turned out a bust.
25 Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Tim Couch with the first pick in the 1999 draft. The Browns were a tricky team to find their biggest bust because they have seen so many in recent years, but Tim Couch seemed to be the guy who started all the problems at the QB position in Cleveland. Couch hailed from the University of Kentucky and was honored with multiple awards for his work on the field, including First Team All-SEC and First Team All-American in 1998. Couch played 3 years with the Wildcats, racking up 74 touchdowns. He flat out did not perform well at the NFL level and dragged down the Browns organization with him. He completed only 59% of his passes over 62 games with the team and only amassed for 64 Touchdowns over the 5 season.
The Cleveland Browns should have taken the safer choice in QB Donovan McNabb from Syracuse. As we know now, McNabb had a great NFL career and brought the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC Championship 5 times and the even the Super Bowl on 1 occasion. The Browns picking Tim Couch is first in a long line of disappointing quarterback selections.
24 Dallas Cowboys
With the 23rd selection in the 1994 draft, the Dallas Cowboys take Shante Carver. Shante Carver was a defensive end from Arizona State University. Carver was a beats in college posting double digit sacks in all 4 of his seasons at ASU. He became a 2-Time All- American and his athleticism was believed to be good enough to excel at the NFL level. Carver would play 4 seasons with the Cowboys with only 26 starts, recording only 11.5 sacks in his Cowboy career and never forcing or recovering a single fumble. This selection hurt the Cowboys a lot considering they gave up a late first rounder and a late second round pick to move up in the order to take Carver, who ended up being a bust and a backup for most of his NFL career.
Instead of picking Shante Carver, the team should have helped out the offensive side of the ball by selecting WR Isaac Bruce from Memphis. Bruce is an NFL Legend who racked up over 15,000 receiving yards in his career, cementing him as one of the best to ever lace up the cleats at the wide receiver position.
23 Denver Broncos
With the last pick of the 3rd round in the 2005 draft, the Broncos selected RB Maurice Clarett. I understand that marking the 101st pick of the draft sounds a bit odd but Clarett showed signs of being an all-time great in his time as an Ohio State Buckeye. In his only season as a college football player in Columbus, the freshman led the Buckeyes to a perfect 14-0 season and a National Championship. Soon after the title games is where this dream story falls apart. Clarett plead guilty to receiving special benefits and special treatment in the classroom, which led to him being kicked off the team and out of the University.
Clarett took a year off and tried to pursue eligibility to be drafted in 2004, but was denied. Unfortunately, Clarett had already hired an agent and because of this could not go back back to school. In 2005, Maurice had become eligible for the NFL Draft naturally and was chosen by the Denver Broncos with the last pick in the 3rd Round. You may be thinking this is a comeback story but that is surely not the case as Clarett was released from the team only weeks after the draft after showing up to training camp unmotivated and out of shape., this would be his first and last time on a NFL roster.
Instead of Maurice Clarett, the Broncos should have selected Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs was never a top tier running back in the league but he was always a steady goal line presence and racked up 9 years in the league with 2 Super Bowl rings.
22 Detroit Lions
With the 2nd pick in the 2003 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions selected Charles Rogers. Charles Rogers was a standout wide receiver from Michigan State University with freakish athleticism and a knack of finding the endzone. In his 2 season as a Spartan, he racked up 27 touchdown receptions and broke a boat load of school records. Rogers was seen as a Randy Moss type deep threat, which would never actually come to fruition. Rogers would break his clavicle 2 times in his first 2 seasons, giving him very limited time to see the field and when he was supposed to return, he was hit a 4 game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. After coming back from the suspension, he rarely saw the field and was cut the before the start of the next years. Between injuries and substance abuse, Rogers really never got to show what he was made of and was never picked up by another team.
This pick hurts a lot more when looking in hindsight because the man that the team should have drafted was still on the board, Andre Johnson. Andre Johnson would become a fan favorite at wide receiver for the Houston Texans even though he was never really part of a playoff caliber team. Johnson would have made a huge difference in the league if had been picked by a team with a decent offensive attack.
21 Green Bay Packers
In the 1989 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers would select offensive tackle, Tony Mandarich, with the 2nd overall pick. Mandarich was product out of Michigan State University where he would cement himself as one of the best lineman in the country. In his college days, Mandarich would earn First Team All-American honors and was named 2-time Big Ten lineman of the year. With all of these awards, it looked like a sure thing that he would make a big impact at the next level, but as we all know now, it did not pan out like that. Following being drafted by the Packers, the freakish athletic lineman would look nothing like his days as a Spartan. He was know for having a terrible attitude which could have played a big part in his ability to transition at the NFL level. After a very poor 3 years in Green Bay, Mandarich would be cut and never came back to the league.
Instead of taking Mandarich to help offensive production in 1989, the Packers should have selected Barry Sanders. Sanders was picked in the very next spot and would go on to have a legendary hall of fame career and is regarded as one of the best running backs of all-time.
20 Houston Texans
With the 1st pick in the 2002 draft, the Texans select David Carr. David Carr was a quarterback product out of Fresno State who caught National attention after carrying the Bulldogs into the Top 10 in BCS polls. Fresno State, a non-BCS team, almost landed a BCS bid which a pretty rare feat. Carr's jersey was retired at Fresno State and he was seen as a hero who had given the school recognition they had never achieved before. After being drafted by the Houston Texans, Carr found out quickly that he would not be able to carry the team in the NFL like he did in college just 1 year prior. In his 5 years with the team, he would never bring them a winning record even once which would create a bad reputation for the Houston Texans for years to come. Carr was built up by the Houston fanbase so much before touching the field, that he was doomed from the start.
Instead of drafting Carr to be the face of the franchise, the Texans should have selected Defensive End, Julius Peppers. Peppers would make a massive impact on the league and he is still on an NFL roster to begin the 2018. Players lasting this long in the trenches in the league come so few and far between, it is truly noteworthy and will earn him Hall of Fame votes when he become eligible.
19 Indianapolis Colts
With the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NFL draft, the Indianpolis Colts select Steve Emtman. Emtman was a defensive lineman from the University of Washington that had a lot of promise heading into the draft. He became a star on a Huskies team that would go on to win the Rose Bowl in his sophomore season and he would be a large reason that the team won a National Championship in the following year. Emtman would cash in multiple awards in his years as Washington including becoming an All-American, winning the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award, and was named lineman of the year in 1991. After his selection as the first overall pick, the defensive lineman from Washington would be plagued by injuries that cut his career short. In each of his 3 years with the team, Emtman would finish the year on the injured reserved after blowing out his knee, tearing his patellar tendon, and rupturing a disc in his neck. This draft pick hurts a lot because there is no telling how great he could have been if injuries did not come into play.
Instead of selecting Steve Emtman at number 1, the Colts should have selected defensive end, Sean Gilbert. Gilbert would play 11 years in the NFL with multiple organizations and would play consistent enough to earn himself multiple Pro Bowl selections over his career.
18 Jacksonville Jaguars
With the 29th pick in the 200o NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected R. Jay Soward. Soward was a wide receiver out of the University of Southern California that truthfully had no business being a first round pick. Soward never truly reached his potential at USC and finished his 4 years with 32 touchdowns, 4 of which came all in1 game. Even with the lack of stats, Soward was selected by the Jaguars at the 29 spot and they basically would regret that choice immediately. The rumor is that Soward didn't want to play for the Jags and coach Tom Coughlin had to pick him up everyday so he would show up to practice. Drugs and alcohol were seen as the main reasons that Soward had become uninterested in playing and he entered the NFL Substance Abuse Program in his rookie season. Soward would never make it back to the league after being released at the end of his first season. He would finish his only season in the league with only 14 receptions.
Instead of selecting R. Jay Soward in the first round, the team should have taken offensive tackle Marvel Smith. Smith played on the line of scrimmage in the NFL for 8 seasons and would go on to become a Pro Bowler and a 2 Super Bowl Champion.
17 Kansas City Chiefs
With the 7th pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Todd Blackledge. Todd Blackledge was a QB at Penn State University that seemed to have all the tools to get the job done at the next level. Blackledge would start at QB under Joe Paterno for 3 seasons and led the team to a National Championship in 1982. Blackledge also earned the honor of the Davey O'Brien Award, which is given to the best quarterback in the nation. After being selected in the '83 draft, Blackledge would never amount to his hype during his 6 NFL seasons. He spent 4 years with the Chiefs before being cut and left the team in shock at how well the other quarterback in the draft class had turned out, which leads me to the topic of who the team should have drafted instead.
With the 7th pick in the draft, the Kansas City Chiefs should have selected Dan Marino - yes, that Dan Marino! I'm not going to list out his career accomplishments cause it might take too long, but just know that the Chief franchise could have had a much brighter story in the 80s and 90s had Marino gotten the call at 7. He is widely considered one of the best QBs of all time.
16 Los Angeles Chargers
Using the 2nd pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, the Chargers selected Ryan Leaf. Ryan Leaf was a quarterback at Washington State University for 32 games in 3 seasons and made just about every single game count. Leaf would lead the Cougars to a Pac-10 championship in his junior season and became a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. In that same season he would earn Pac 10 Offensive Player of the Year and would decide to skip his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. After being selected by the Chargers, Leaf would start off immediately with a bad reputation for being arrogant and irresponsible, even being fined in the preseason for skipping a mandatory rookie symposium. Leaf would only last 3 seasons with the team and would only tally 4 wins, and even though he had 2 significant injuries during that time, the Chargers had seen enough and released him. Ryan Leaf is thought of as one of the biggest busts in NFL History because of the potential he had shown at the college level.
Instead of draft Leaf, the team should have selected wide receiver Randy Moss. Moss became one of the best wideouts to ever touch the field and his accomplishments could fill up a Stephen King novel. Randy is a once in a lifetime player and 20 teams decided to sleep on him.
15 Los Angeles Rams
With the 6th pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, the Rams selected Lawrence Phillips. Phillips started as a running back at Nebraska and gained quite a bit of attention after a huge performance as a freshman in the 1993 Orange Bowl. In his sophomore year with the team, he was the focal point of the offense and would lead the to an undefeated season and a national championship arose. Off the field issues arose when Phillips was accused for vandalism, assault, and accepting a free lunch from an agent. All of these situations aside, Phillips was still able to compete in the 1995 season and was even suspended again during the season for breaking into a teammates apartment and assaulting a Nebraska basketball player. Despite his second major run in with the law, he still started the Fiesta Bowl that season when he was eligible for return and he broke off a huge game, which boosted his draft stock. Even with the character issues, the Rams went ahead and drafted Phillips, which would not pay off. Tons of off the field issues would get the start running back released after 2 years and he would be tossed around to different teams before calling it quits.
Instead of drafting a huge mistake, the Rams should have selected Eddie George. Eddie George was a running back out of Ohio State that really made his mark on the Titans organization and was seen as a league wide fan-favorite.
14 Miami Dolphins
With the 9th pick in the 2005 draft, the Dolphins select Ted Ginn Jr. Ted Ginn was a wide receiver and kick/punt returner that made a huge name for himself for his ability to turn a little into a lot. He was what people liked to call a "home run hitter", because he could catch a 5 yard pass and turn it into an 80 yard touchdown in the blink of an eye. When the Dolphins selected him, they believed they would be acquiring a rare athlete that could out run every man on the field, but as we have all learned, you need to have a lot more than speed to make it in the NFL. Ginn had a few flashes but never rose up to the potential that he was believed to have had. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they swung for the fence with this pick, and ended up striking out.
In place of Ginn, the Dolphins should have selected running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch has become know as "Beast Mode" in the league and is still considered to be a top back in the league. Lynch has won the hearts of the league with his play on the field, and his hilarious care-free attitude off of it.
13 Minnesota Vikings
In the 2005 NFL Draft, the Vikings would select Troy Williamson with the 7th overall pick. Williamson was a wide receiver from the University of South Carolina that made noise around the country because of his blazing speed. He was known for catching the long ball and being one of the best track and field runners in the state of South Carolina. The Minnesota Vikings drafted him looking for the replication of Randy Moss but Williamson would never come close to that. He was a bad route runner and dropped way too many passes to be taken as a serious threat. He would last 3 years with the team, but never really made a huge impact. This pick was all built on hope that they would be getting Moss 2.0 which was a terrible move on the teams part.
Instead of drafting Troy Williamson with the 7th pick, the team should have selected Demarcus Ware. Ware, a defensive end, made his presence felt for 11 seasons in the league and left his final game with a Super Bowl win. Ware is a household name to NFL fans and he could have for sure made the Vikings a formidable barrier on the defensive side of the ball.
12 New England Patriots
With the 29th pick in the 1997 draft, the New England Patriots selected Chris Canty, who was a cornerback out of Kansas State University with ridiculous closing speed. He was named an All-American during his sophomore and junior seasons as a Wildcat and also won the Jack Tatum Award as a junior. Canty would skip his senior season and go right to the draft where he was picked up by the Patriots. The rookie corner looked like a shell of himself playing against NFL competition and could physically not match up at all with NFL wideouts. He would be released by the Patriots at the end of the year, which absolutely qualifies him as a huge bust.
Instead of drafting Chris Canty, the team should have cornerback Sam Madison. Madison was selected 44th in the same draft and would go on to become a 4-time Pro Bowler and would even go onto win the Super Bowls with the New York Giants over who? That's right, the New England Patriots.
11 New Orleans Saints
With the 11th selection in the 1987 NFL Draft, the Saints selected Shawn Knight. Shawn Knight was a defensive tackle from Brigham Young University. Knight, unlike a lot of players that get drafted, did not have multiple years making a huge impact in his college days. Knight had one freakish season in his time at BYU and that is the reason NFL teams took notice. In his senior year, the defensive tackle exploded for 16 sacks that year which is an extremely rare accomplishment. Knight immediately landed on the Saints radar after his huge senior year and they jumped on the opportunity, unfortunately for them, that senior year was a fluke. Knight started off his NFL career in bad favor with the team after he would show up late to practice and meetings on a consistent basis. Knight would be traded at the end of his rookie year with zero official statistics as a member of the Saints.
Instead of drafting Shawn Knight, the Saint should have selected Haywood Jeffires. Jeffires was not by any means an all-time great but he was a very solid wide receiver in his 10 years in the league, racking up 3 Pro Bowls and 2 All Pro selections.
10 New York Giants
With the 11th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, the Giants select Ron Dayne. Dayne was a start running back at the University of Wisconsin from 1996 to 1999, earning the nickname, "Great Dayne." Dayne would break a laundry list of NCAA records during his time as a Badger and led his team to 3 consecutive bowl games. Dayne would set the record for most yeards in NCAA Division 1 football at the time and would win the Heisman trophy in 1999. Ron Dayne had the look and the statistics to back up that he was the real deal when it came to football, but that hope would not last very long. As a rookie for the Giants, Dayne would make an impact alongside fellow running back Tiki Barber, and the duo helped the Giants make it all the way to the Super Bowl, a game they lost 34 to 7. Over the next few seasons, Dayne would become lazy and put on extra weight which caused him to lose carries in the backfield. The Giants would let Dayne walk after 4 years, which had to be very heartbreaking considering the damage he had done in his college days.
The selection the Giants should have made at the 11 spot should have been Shaun Alexander. Alexander, a running back, only played in the league for 8 seasons but made a massive impact. He became a 3-Time Pro Bowler, a 2-Time All-Pro, and an NFL MVP.
9 New York Jets
With the 6th pick in the 2008 NFL draft, the New York Jets select Vernon Gholsten. Gholsten was a defensive end who made a splash in college at The Ohio State University. In his 3 years as a Buckeye, Gholston would claim many achievements including becoming a 3- Time Big Ten Champion, a 2nd Team All-Big Ten, and a 1st Team All- Big Ten. Over his 3 years, he would become the anchor of the defensive line and at the end of his college days, he would rank 5th all-time in sacks in OSU history. When he was drafted to the Jets in 2008, he would fall flat as he was never given much of a chance. Gholston was expected to start early in his career but head coach Rex Ryan mainly played him on special teams, and very rarely gave Gholston the time of day on the defensive side of the ball. After 3 seasons, he was released and never recorded even 1 sack in his stint with the team.
Instead of picking Gholsten in the spot, the Jets should have selected Jerod Mayo. Mayo was a idle linebacker that could have added some depth to the Jets defensive. Mayo only played 8 years in the league due to some nagging I juries at the end, but during his time with the Patriots, he became a 2-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champion.
8 Oakland Raiders
With the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Jamarcus Russell. Russell was an absolute stud in his days with the LSU Tigers and his arm strength had scouts watering at the mouth. As a Tiger, Russell would earn honors like 1st-Team All SEC, the Manning Award, and the Davey O'Brien Award. He was seen as a sure thing when he enetered the draft by almost every scout in the league, but boy did he prove them wrong. After being picked by the Raiders, absolutely nothing went right for Russell. He was wildly inaccurate and steadily became more overweight. He played in 31 games over his 3 seasons in Oakland with only 18 touchdowns to show for it. To me, because of the hype he had coming into the draft, Russell is the biggest bust in NFL Draft History.
Instead of Russell, the Oakland Raiders should have selected Calvin Johnson. Calvin Johnson AKA "Megatron" stood tall as the best wide receiver in the league for several seasons and changed the Detroit Lions offense drastically. Although he retired earl, Calvin could have been a huge help for the Oakland Raiders offense.
7 Philadelphia Eagles
With the 23rd pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Danny Watkins. Watkins was an offensive guard that started his journey at Butte College. In his year at Butte, he helped his team to an 11-0 season and was gaining interest from D-1 schools. He chose to move on to Baylor University under Art Briles after his time at Butte College. Watkins would start for the Baylor Bears and was drafted to the CFL in 2010. The very next year he was drafted to the NFL. He was 26 years old when he entered the NFL which is very uncommon. In his time with the Eagles, he was not the lineman they had thought he was and cut him after just 2 years. They took a big chance on a 26 year old and it did not pay off for the Eagles at all.
Instead of Watkins, the team should have drafted a quarterback to help with depth. They should have chosen Andy Dalton. At the time, Michael Vick was playing at a high level and was the QB1 but was very injury prone, so having Dalton as a backup option, and an option for the future would have made sense.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers
In the 1991 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers elect Huey Richardson with the 15th pick. Richardson was a defensive end from the University of Florida that would play all 4 of his college days in Gainesville. Richardson was a terror for SEC teams, racking up 26.5 sacks in his college career and 50.5 tackles for loss which are still both high numbers on the Gator's all-time lists. He was named 1st Team All SEC in 1989 and 1st Team All-American in 1990. Richardson made a living in his college days on blowing people of the line of scrimmage and killing plays in the backfield before they even got started. Richardson would go on to drafted by the Steelers who would try to convert him to an inside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive scheme, which would abruptly end his momentum. The Steelers would try to force him into outside linebacker the following season and they traded him for a 7th round pick at the end of the year. The Steelers really messed up the possibility of Huey Richardson having a long career in the NFL.
Instead of drafting Richardon, they should have drafted a natural linebacker like Alfred Williams to fit their scheme. Williams would earn Pro Bowl Status, All-Pro status and would win 2 Super Bowl rings over his career. Trying to force Richardson into an uncomfortable spot really forced this pick into a bust.
5 San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers would select Jim Druckenmiller with the 26th pick in the 1997 draft. Druckenmiller was a quarterback for the Virginia Tech Hokies for 2 seasons and made big impressions on the Big East. As his time at V-Tech, he personally won All-Big East accolades and and led his team to the Big East Championship in both of he years. In 1995, he lead the Hokies over the Texas Longhorns to win the Sugar Bowl. When he was drafted Druckenmiller was seen as the man who would take over in place of Steve Young. After very limited time on the field in his 2 years with the Niners, Drucknemiller was traded to the Miami Dolphins for conditional draft picks. The Niners were hoping to find their next man up, but it did not work out as planned.
Instead of drafting Druckenmiller, the team should have drafted Jake Plummer. Plummer was never a great QB but he was consistently finding himself on teams in backup roles over his career. Plummer could have been a great option to have behind Steve Young for injuries and for the future.
4 Seattle Seahawks
With the 4th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Aaron Curry. Arron Curry was a linebacker at Wake Forest that stood out the minutes he stepped on campus. As a freshman, he started 10 of 11 games and was names 2nd Team Freshman All-American. He started 14 games as a Sophomore and placed second on the team in tackles and really drew some eyes as a Junior when he had 3 interceptions returned for touchdowns. In his senior year, he won the Butkus Award and led the team with 105 tackles. Entering the draft, Curry was seen as a legitimate #1 option because of his crazy athleticism, but was selected at 4 by the Seahwaks. After having a solid 1st and 2nd year with the team, he had lost his starting job to newcomer rookie, K.J. Wright. Instead of moving Curry to a different spot, they decided to trade him, wasting the draft pick altogether.
Instead of drafting Curry, the team should have selected Brian Cushing. Cushing plays with a tenacity that has given him quite a reputation in the league and made him a beloved player in his time with the Houston Texans.
3 Tampa Bay Bucaneers
With the 1st pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Bo Jackson. Bo Jackson? How does a guy like that end up on a list like this? I will spare you the time of telling you about one of the greatest athletes, if not THE greatest athlete ever, about his stats and his college days. We can skip forward to the controversy that Tampa Bay had created. During his final year at Auburn, Bo Jackson was interested in playing in the NFL and the MLB as he knew both leagues would take him. Jackson was invited to the Buccaneers facilities and shorty after taking the visit, Jackson was informed this was an illegal visit and he would be suspended for his senior season of baseball. Jackson believes the Bucs deliberately invited him on an illegal trip so he would be suspended for baseball and become more likely to enter the NFL Draft. The Bucs ended up drafting Bo with the first overall pick in '86 but he swore he would never play for the organization, instead he went to play in the MLB.
With this pick, the Buccaneers could have drafter anybody else, but instead they tried to play dirty and Bo Jackson knew it. Huge mistake by the front office, as Bo would go on to be a great MLB and NFL player. After screwing Bo, the team should have drafted Ronnie Harmon to become their running back, instead they made the dumbest move off all time. Bo Knows!
2 Tennessee Titans
In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Titans select Jake Locker with the 8th overall pick. Jake Locker jumped onto the scene as quarterback of the Washington Huskies in 2007. He was quickly names pac-10 Freshman of the Year, getting the job done in the air and on his feet. A key game that defined Locker in college would be against USC in 2009. A moment that made Locker a hero was leading the unranked Huskies over the #3 USC Trojans with a 68-yard drive. Locker was named Male Sports Star of the Year and was a fan favorite. He was drafted by the Titans and they believed his leadership could turn him into a franchise QB, but he just did not have the skill set to become great at the next level and he was released after 4 poor seasons with the team.
Instead of taking Locker at the 8th spot, the Titans should have selected JJ Watt to help their defense. Watt is a once in a generation player who could have been considered the greatest of all time at his position had injuries not derailed his career. It's not too late form him to cement his legacy as one of the best ever, though!
1 Washington Redskins
With the 3rd pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select Heath Shuler. Shuler was a quarterback at the University of Tennessee who was one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC and the country. Shuler racked up quite a bit of buzz surrounding his record setting performances in his days as a Volunteer (which have mostly been surpassed by Peyton Manning) he also was a runner up in 1993 for the Heisman trophy award. After being drafted, Shuler would start 18 games for the Redskins with little to nothing to show for it. Because of this, the team benched Shuler in favor of fellow 1994 draft pick, Gus Ferotte. Soon after the move, Shuler was traded to New Orleans for draft picks and the Redskins were ready to move on from their mistake.
Instead of drafting Heath Shuler at QB, the Redskins should have selected Trent Dilfer. Dilfer played quarterback from 1994 all the way to 2007. He was named to 1 Pro Bowl and led the Ravens to a championship in 2000.