List Headline Image
Updated by John Huh on Nov 08, 2015
Headline for Ten Biggest NFL Busts
 REPORT
John Huh John Huh
Owner
10 items   1 followers   0 votes   159 views

Ten Biggest NFL Busts

The National Football League is a money making machine with revenue reportedly over six billion dollars for the past 2013 season. And with that kind of money to be made and paid, you can rest assured that a lot of money and resources are put into the scouting of these players.

After all making the wrong decision can not only sink the franchise monetarily but on the field as well. Effects of these wrong decisions can cause front office turnover and doom the chances of the team being successful for years.

It’s some small wonder then that considering the amount of funds and resources poured into the process, that draft busts still happen as regularly as they do. Mountains and reams of data matrixed and massaged into 32 different flavors and the draft still remains to this day largely a crapshoot.

As the 2015 NFL Draft approaches, let’s take a look at the Ten Biggest NFL Busts of all time.

1

Akili Smith – QB – Cincinnati Bengals

Akili Smith – QB – Cincinnati Bengals

Opening our Ten Biggest NFL Busts list, is Akili Smith. An athletic specimen coming out of Oregon in 1998, where he passed for 3,763 yards and 30 TD and logging 82 carries for 184 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns.

Selected third overall in the 1999 year draft, he struggled with the playbook despite flashing obvious physical talent. He washed out of the NFL in just four seasons.

2

Tim Couch – QB – Cleveland Browns

Tim Couch – QB – Cleveland Browns

Couch could do no wrong as a Kentucky Wildcat in 1998, amassing Xbox like video game stats and being selected first overall in 1999. Throwing for 4,611 yards and 38 touchdowns, Couch also carried an impressive 71.5 completion percentage.

Joining the basically expansion team Cleveland Browns in 1999, Couch had difficulty succeeding behind a lackluster offensive line. He washed out of the league in just a few years, another failed Cleveland quarterback.

3

Aaron Curry – LB – Seattle Seahawks

Aaron Curry – LB – Seattle Seahawks

Aaron Curry set the bar impossibly high by becoming the highest paid non-quarterback in NFL history in the 2009 NFL Draft. Supposedly a ‘cant-miss’ talent with ability and passion, Curry was given the most guaranteed money ($34 million) to a non-quarterback rookie in NFL history.

Lasting just two years in the Great Northwest, Curry was traded two years later for a seventh round 2012 draft pick.

4

Matt Leinart – QB – Arizona Cardinals

Matt Leinart – QB – Arizona Cardinals

Selected 10th overall out of USC, Leinart couldn’t get the job done in Arizona. Lasting in the league a few years as a backup, Leinart could never play consistently well enough to merit his draft position.

Losing his job to Kurt Warner who eventually led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, Leinart is another USC quarterback that couldn’t make it in the big game.

5

Tony Mandarich – OT – Green Bay Packers

Tony Mandarich – OT – Green Bay Packers

Mandarich was a mountain of a man, a physical specimen that just defied logic and genetics. His size and speed was supposed to redefine offensive line play for the next 10 years, but he couldn’t last three seasons in Lambeau.

Selected third overall in 1989 Mandarich was an incredibly unique athlete but not unique as a football player, a theme common on this list.

6

Brady Quinn – QB – Cleveland Browns

Brady Quinn – QB – Cleveland Browns

This Golden Domer was much heralded coming out of the 2007 NFL Draft, with experts gushing over his size and smarts. On draft day however Quinn sank like a rock, being passed over multiple times before being selected late in the first round.

The Browns swung and missed again, taking Brady Quinn 22nd overall in the first round.

7

Brian Bosworth – LB – Seattle Seahawks

Brian Bosworth – LB – Seattle Seahawks

As colorful as he was productive, Brian Bosworth was all hype and no substance on the field. One of the biggest and most successful NFL players at marketing themselves, Bosworth couldn’t produce where it counted.

Lasting just three years in the league, Bosworth was remembered more for being run over by Bo Jackson than anything else.

8

Vernon Gholston – OLB – New York Jets

Vernon Gholston – OLB – New York Jets

One of the biggest cases of combine numbers over inflating the worth of a player, Vernon Gholston was drafted sixth overall in the 2008 #NFL #Draft. He dazzled scouts at the combine posting incredible numbers that led teams to believe he would dominate at the next level.

Lasting just four seasons and with zero sacks to show for it, Gholston was another freakish athlete that couldn’t play football.

9

Ryan Leaf – QB – San Diego Chargers

Ryan Leaf – QB – San Diego Chargers

It’s hard to look back now and recall that Ryan Leaf was once compared against Peyton Manning. Coming into the 1998 NFL Draft however, the fact that Leaf and Manning could both be number oe overall picks was pretty much all everyone could talk about.

Lasting just four uninspired and uncommitted seasons the second overall pick showed nothing but immaturity and a failure to grasp his chance at being great.

Experts tout Leaf as one of the greatest quarterback busts of all time, with many critics using the phrase “next-Ryan-Leaf” to describe quarterbacks they feel will fail at the next level.

10

JaMarcus Russell – QB – Oakland Raiders

JaMarcus Russell – QB – Oakland Raiders

Jamarcus Russell is without a doubt the biggest NFL Draft Bust of all Time. There cannot be a question about his spectacular failure to even appear professional at the next level.

With a gifted arm and a huge frame, Raiders owner Al Davis saw greatness in the 2007 NFL draft and made the LSU signal caller the number one pick overall.

A cautionary tale for any NFL GM looking to fall in love with arm strength or willing to overlook character concerns, Russell defines the very definition of draft bust.

He didn’t care about his job, couldn’t care about winning or losing and simply cashed his checks.