Take a look at the best teams in the NFL right now, and you'll see they all have one thing in common: great drafting.
Now, take a look at the worst teams in the NFL during the 2010s. You'll see they all have one thing in common: Horrible drafting. Even if they have top-five or 10 picks on an annual basis, these teams find a way to always mess them up.
Perhaps no GM has been better on draft day than John Schneider for the Seattle Seahawks. Some of his top picks in Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman weren't even first-round picks. Think about that for a second.
You compare that to teams like the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars, who have found the most impressive ways to botch all of these high-end draft picks. Yes, the Browns have Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and Baker Mayfield now. But don't remind Cleveland fans that this team has wasted picks on the likes of Trent Richardson, Johnny Manziel, Barkevious Mingo and Corey Coleman.
See? It all comes down to what you do and don't do on draft day. Hit the picks, you're a winner. Waste them on future busts, and you don't go anywhere. It's a simple recipe to success or failure.
On this list, we're taking a trip down memory lane and taking a look at the worst draft selection every year from 2010 to '18. We make it more fun by adding in the players that should have been selected instead. And finally, we made it more fun by adding the projected first and second picks in the upcoming 2019 draft.
20 2010: Rolando McClain
It was tempting to put Sam Bradford on this list, but he was somewhat productive when healthy for the St. Louis Rams. They were also able to at least flip him for Nick Foles, who enjoyed a successful2015 season in St. Louis.
The Oakland Raiders drafted Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain with the eighth selection this year, missing out big time on a handful of Pro Bowlers that went after him. And boy, did they live to regret this selection.
McClain spent just three seasons with the Raiders and got into trouble off the field numerous times. To be fair to McClain, he was far from the only major draft mistake this franchise has made over the years.
19 Should Have Taken: Earl Thomas
After McClain was taken, six of the next 10 picks became Pro Bowl players. But safety Earl Thomas - whom the Seahawks took 14th overall - is by far the best of those six. And boy, could the Raiders ever use him on a defense that's been wretched for a while now.
Thomas has been perhaps the NFL's best safety of this decade. He was the heart and soul leader of the Seattle Seahawks' 'Legion of Boom'. You know, the group that led Seattle to a Super Bowl 48 championship, plus another big game appearance the following year?
Thomas is a six-time Pro Bowler and a sure bet to reach the Hall of Fame. The Raiders would be better off taking him over a guy who only played three years there, wouldn't you say?
18 2011: Jake Locker
The first seven picks from the 2011 NFL Draft all became Pro Bowlers: Cam Newton, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones and Aldon Smith. The first draft choice from that class that didn't become a star?
Quarterback Jake Locker, whom the Tennessee Titans took with the eighth selection.
Locker didn't play much in his rookie season, and when he finally became the starter in 2012, the Washington product struggled mightily with 10 touchdowns against 11 interceptions.
Locker suffered a handful of injuries in 2013, just when he was started to show signs of breaking out. He lost the starting job a year later, before opting to retire in the 2015 offseason. So yeah, the Titans didn't get a whole lot out of their first-round selection.
17 Should Have Taken: J.J. Watt
The Houston Texans managed to nab the league's best defensive player of this era with the 11th pick. This draft miss really stings the Titans, seeing how Watt has terrorized the AFC South rivals twice a year for over a half-decade now.
In case you were unaware. Watt is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year who records double-digit sack seasons when healthy. If it weren't for Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald, Watt would undoubtedly be the best defensive player in the NFL right now.
Thing is, the Titans defense is now among the best in the NFL under rookie head coach Mike Vrabel. Their defensive line and secondary are vastly underrated units. But oh, just imagine if they had Watt to complement the likes of Jurrell Casey, Jayon Brown and Wesley Woodyard?
16 2012: Trent Richardson
The Cleveland Browns drafted Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the No. 3 selection, which looked like the right move after his rookie year. Richardson rushed for 950 yards and touchdowns, while adding 51 catches for 367 yards.
But in a surprise move, the Browns traded Richardson in the the midst of the 2013 season to the Indianapolis Colts, receiving a first-round pick in return. Richardson was a major bust for the Colts and was let go after two seasons.
The Browns also didn't make good use of that first-round pick, taking the chance on Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Well, he was never able to put it together at the professional level, and Cleveland let Manziel go after the 2015 season.
T'was a trade for both sides lost big time.
15 Should Have Been Taken: Luke Kuechly
While the Browns are left wondering what could have been, the Carolina Panthers jumped on the chance to select Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, who's been among the NFL's best defensive players for almost a decade now.
Cleveland's defense now looks great with Denzel Ward and Myles Garrett, but just imagine if they had a six-time Pro Bowler in Kuechly to lead the way. He was named 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. Kuechly also guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl 50 appearance and has helped them reach the postseason four times.
Kuechly has been a franchise changer on Carolina, and he's arguably the best defensive player in the NFL right now. Instead of getting Kuechly, Cleveland got just one season out of Richardson. A true shame.
14 2013: Luke Joeckel
It was tempting to put No. 1 selection Eric Fisher on this list, but the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive tackle has revived his career and was named to his first Pro Bowl in the 2018 season. Thus, Fisher has officially erased the "bust" label.
So instead, we'll go with fellow offensive tackle Luke Joeckel - whom the Jacksonville Jagaurs took with the second selection. Joeckel was an unanimous All-American at Texas A&M and had all the makings to be a true star in the NFL. Unfortunately, he just couldn't translate his talents over to the professional level.
Joeckel suffered numerous injuries during his time with the Jaguars, which obviously held back his chances to develop more. The Jaguars opted not to re-sign Joeckel after the 20146 which was probably the smart call. They cut their losses and move on.
13 Should Have Taken: DeAndre Hopkins
There is a large quantity of great Pro Bowl talents whom the Jaguars could choose from in a re-draft, but we'll go with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins here.
Somehow, one of the NFL's elite wide receivers fell down to the Houston Texans at the 27th spot. The Clemson product has already made his case as arguably the best wideout in the game right now, having racked up his fourth 1,000-yard season now.
Blake Bortles never panned out in Jacksonville, and a key reason for that is because the Jaguars didn't supply him with many quality receivers. Just imagine if they had Hopkins to work with Bortles and Leonard Fournette.
12 2014: Greg Robinson
The St. Louis Rams earned the No. 2 selection from the Washington Redskins, thanks to the bundle of picks they acquired two years earlier in the blockbuster Robert Griffin III trade.
The Rams had two first-round picks here, and they wisely used the 13th selection on Aaron Donald- who's only the best defensive player in the NFL right now. Unfortunately, their decision to take offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the second overall pick did not pan out.
Robinson played just two seasons with the Rams and was never able to grow into a reliable pass protector for the likes of Nick Foles and Jared Goff. The Rams eventually just gave up and let Robinson leave in free agency during the 2017 offseason.
11 Should Have Taken: Khalil Mack
If Aaron Donald isn't the best defensive player in the NFL right now, it's probably Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack. You know, the guy Jon Gruden refused to pay and opted to trade in exchange for four draft selections?
Just imagine if the Rams had both Mack and Donald, as if their defense isn't scary enough to begin with. The Oakland Raiders took Mack with the fifth selection, and he's only a four-time Pro Bowler, 2016 Defensive Player of the Year and ultimate sack machine - having reached double-digits in each of the last four seasons.
The Rams are set to dominate for many years to come, thanks to the likes of Donald, Goff and Todd Gurley. But if they had Mack? There's no telling just how great the Rams could really be.
10 2015: Dante Fowler Jr.
Looking to build up their stout defense, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Florida defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. with the No. 3 selection. It looked like the safe pick at first; Fowler was a First-team All-SEC selection in his last year at Florida, and he had all the makings to be a superstar pass rusher.
But Fowler missed his entire rookie year after sustaining a torn ACL in mini-camp. When he finally took the field in 2016, Fowler was largely unproductive, with just four sacks. A year later, he showed signs of breaking out after registering eight sacks.
However, Fowler had a frustrating start to the 2018 season, and the Jaguars gave up. They traded him to the Los Angeles Rams at this season's deadline, thus moving on from one of the biggest draft busts of the decade.
9 Should Have Taken: Todd Gurley
Speaking of the Rams, it was they who wound up selecting Georgia product Todd Gurley with the 10th pick in 2015. And boy, did this selection ever help turn the Rams franchise into a relevant one again.
Gurley missed three games in his rookie season, and yet he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award after rushing for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gurley has surpassed 1,000 yards in three of his first four NFL seasons, and he won the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2017. The Rams have now won the NFC West division in two straight years, thanks in large part to Gurley's greatness.
That Jacksonville offense could have been something special with Gurley, but they passed on a future superstar for a big-time draft bust. That's just how the Jaguars have done business for a while now.
8 2016: Eli Apple
The top five picks from the 2016 Draft - Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Jalen Ramsey - have all grown into some of the game's top young players. The four next picks have all developed accordingly as well, and they've shown promise of becoming big-time superstars as well.
But the same cannot be said about Eli Apple, whom the New York Giants took with the 10th overall selection. Apple was never able to fit in that secondary and became an afterthought in New York.
The Giants gave up on Apple and traded him to the New Orleans Saints at the 2018 trade deadline. Too bad the Giants passed on this future star...
7 Should Have Taken: Yannick Ngakoue
If there's one thing the Giants are truly lacking on defense right now, it's a reliable pass rusher. The G-Men passed up on the chance to get Maryland product Yannick Ngakoue, whom the Jacksonville Jaguars selected in the third round.
After a solid rookie year (eight sacks, for fourced fumbles), Ngakoue took his game to another level in year two with 12 sacks, six forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries. Ngakoue enjoyed another productive season in 2018 and looks to be one of the game's top pass rushers for years to come.
The Giants continue to try and rebuild that defense. Just think about how far it would be along by now if they wound up taking Ngakoue.
6 2017: Leonard Fournette
Let me make two things clear. Firstly, it's way too early to deem anybody from the 2017 Draft a bust, given how they've all played no more than two years in the NFL. And secondly, Leonard Fournette is only on this entry because he hasn't been able to stay healthy.
The top 10 from this class included Myles Garrett, Jamal Adams, Corey Davis and Patrick Mahomes. These are all established talents, but we haven't seen enough of Fournette on the field to deem him as a star in the making.
The Jaguars drafted Fournette fourth overall, and though he had 1,040 rushing yards, he also missed three games to due injuries. A nagging hamstring injury cost Fournette most of the 2018 season, too. Fournette could very well stay healthy in 2019 and finally grow into the star running back Jacksonville has hoped for. But it won't happen unless he can stay healthy once and for all.
5 Should Have Taken: Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes is only the best NFL player of 2018 not named Drew Brees, and this marked his first season as a starter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes' second year was special in itself, but just wait and see what else he can do from here on out.
The Jaguars, by the way, are set to move on from Blake Bortles after a dismal showing in 2018. They missed out on the chance to find a true franchise quarterback in Mahomes, whom the Chiefs traded up to get with the 10th pick last year.
Mahomes is only an MVP candidate in his rookie year, whereas Fournette hasn't been able to make much of an impact due to his nagging injuries. There's really no telling where Jacksonville could be if they had Mahomes to complement that championship caliber defense.
4 2018: Vita Vea
Again, it's way too early to tell which NFL players from this year's class will be stars and busts. You don't know yet if the likes of Saquon Barkley, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will be superstars. You have to wait and see.
On the flip side, it's too early to call Vita Vea - whom the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took with the 12th pick - a bust. But it's safe to say that the Bucs aren't happy with his lack of production in Vea's rookie year.
It's important to emphasize that defensive linemen often need a year or two to fully develop. Vea has the potential to be a star, especially if the Buccaneers hire a defensive-minded coach. But Vea was unable to do much as a pass rusher or run stopper this season. It's on to 2019.
3 Should Have Taken: Derwin James
One of the candidates for Defensive Rookie of The Year is undoubtedly safety Derwin James, whom the Los Angeles Chargers drafted with the 17th pick 2018. The Florida State product added to what was already a championship caliber defense, earning a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie year.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, have had one of the NFL's worst defenses once again this season. A player like James would have completely changed the dynamic of that secondary, to say the least.
Again, there's plenty of time for Vea to turn into a superstar. But for now, they might be regretting the decision to take him over James.
2 Projected First Overall Pick In 2019: Nick Bosa
For bonus entries' sake, we'll now project the top two picks of the 2019 Draft. Not that we need to remind you that Nick Bosa - the younger brother of Chargers star Joey - is a shoe-in to go first overall in 2019.
The 6-foot-4 defensive end is going to change any team's defense, plain and simple. Just how confident is Bosa? He opted to stop out of Ohio State so he could prepare himself for the big day - when the team with the first pick will call his name.
The NFL is being taken over by great pass rushers like Watt, Mack and Donald. Bosa won't need long to put himself in the same class as those superstars.
1 Projected Second Overall Pick in 2019: Quinnen Williams
While it would be a surprise if Bosa didn't wind up going first overall, that doesn't mean the holder of the No. 2 selection will be missing out. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is going to be a franchise changer, too.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Williams will bring an instant impact to the team that is lucky enough to wind up with the second pick. He displays phenomenal size, strength and mobility, bulldozing his way through the offensive line and missing few tackles on opponents.
It'd be a huge surprise if Williams was somehow available with the third selection. He's too great of a talent to pass up, plain and simple. He's going right after Bosa. No doubt about it.