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Top 20 First Round NFL Picks Who Are At Risk Of Being Busts

There’s a lot of pressure on first round draft picks. They’re drafted with the hope that they can be difference makers for their franchise at some point in their careers. While that is the case sometimes, more often than not it doesn’t quite work out as planned. After all, the draft isn’t an exact science. Even the best can miss on a top end pick. The word bust is thrown around a lot in the NFL these days. It’s used to describe a high draft pick who doesn’t live up to expectations. The league is now more demanding than ever, especially on young players. Naturally, their window for success will become smaller as the teams need to win grows. This is making it even harder for young players to develop as some teams just can’t afford the wait and are forced to move on.

There are a number of players in the NFL right now that are struggling to make an impact. A good deal of them are former first round picks. While teams want these guys to succeed, it’s hard to put too much confidence in someone who just isn’t performing on the field. Be it a lack of skill, effort or plain bad luck, a ton of former first round picks are on the verge of being branded busts. 2015 might be a crucial season in all of these athletes’ careers as it might determine whether they’re still in the league next year. Of course, some starters might get backup roles and some backups might find jobs elsewhere, but that essentially means that they won’t be starters for the majority of their remaining career. You expect these guys to come out of college, start and then dominate. In most cases, as soon as you see a former first rounder looking for a new jersey or sitting on the bench, you know he’s a bust.

20 Quinton Coples

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

19 Luke Joeckel

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

18 Barkevious Mingo

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

17 Morris Claiborne

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

16 Bjoern Werner

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sportss

15 Dion Jordan

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

14 Matt Elam

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

13 Justin Gilbert

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

12 Eric Ebron

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

11 Marcus Smith

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

10 Shea McClellin

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

9 E.J. Manuel

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

8 Eric Fisher

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

7 Doug Martin

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

6 Dee Milliner

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

5 Trent Richardson

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4 Cordarrelle Patterson

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

3 Justin Blackmon

Bob Martin-USA TODAY Sports

2 Datone Jones

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1 Robert Griffin III

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Another guy who had a good rookie year but hasn’t done much since is Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III. Griffin has struggled over the last couple of years due to both injuries and inconsistency due to scheme change. He even lost his starting job last season and most agree that this year is going to be crucial for his future both in Washington and in the NFL. It’s hard to look at what he did in 2012 and see him struggle so badly now. You’ve got to wonder whether it’s due to an improper grasp on head coach Jay Gruden’s system or perhaps an attitude problem with Griffin himself. We’ll find out soon enough.

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Top 20 First Round NFL Picks Who Are At Risk Of Being Busts