Wednesday, May 04, 2005


With the NFL draft behind us and various mini-camps underway, we wondered who were the all-time NFL draft day bust?
What makes an NFL draft day bust? Usually, it's a combination of a high pick followed by poor performance over a short career. Every NFL team has had at least one. Looking back at various draft day top picks, we made our own top 10 list of draft day busters. Here's our list of some of the most notable draft busts over the past two decades. Enjoy!
1. QB Ryan Leaf, (No. 2 overall pick, 1998, Chargers), Washington State: After debating for months over which quarterback would be taken first, him or Peyton Manning, Leaf's career was over in the same amount of time that it took the Chargers to decide to draft him.
2. OT Tony Mandarich (No. 2 overall pick, 1989, Packers) Michigan State: A “roid head” Mandarich actually was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. However, you cand blame the SI jinx for this bust, Mandarich entered the league in the first year it dished out steroids punishment. Green Bay bypassed Barry Sanders (3), Derrick Thomas (4) among others.
3. QB Andre Ware (No. 7 overall pick, 1990, Lions), Houston: Four seasons, 14 games, 161 pass attempts. Ware was a beneficiary of the “Run and Gun” offense in college. Unfortunately he was shot down in the NFL. The Lions could have had OT Richmond Webb to block for Barry Sanders.
4. LB Brian Bosworth (No. 2 overall pick, 1987, Seahawks), Oklahoma: Three seasons, 24 games, 4 sacks. “The Boz” was done after that, turning to a film career that busted as well.
5. QB Akili Smith (No. 3 overall pick, 1999, Bengals), 1999, Oregon: Cincinnati took QB David Klingler with the sixth pick in the 1992 draft, who turned out to be a bust. Carson Palmer (1, 2003) became the third QB Bengals drafted among the top six in twelve years by the Bengals.
6. QB Bruce Pickens (No. 3 overall pick, 1991, Falcons), Nebraska: Pickens only played 5 seasons, and had only 2 interceptions to show for it. Falcons had foresight to draft Brett Favre in the second round that year, but then traded him to Green Bay.
7. RB Alonzo Highsmith (No. 3 overall pick, 1987 Miami, Oilers), Does anyone remember Highsmith? The Oilers passed on Rod Woodson.
8. RB Blair Thomas (No. 2 overall pick, 1990, Jets), Penn State: Only 2,236 yards rushing in 8 seasons. An average of 280 yards a season won’t cut it for a No.2 overall pick.
9. QB Heath Shuler (No. 3 overall pick, 1994, Redskins), Tennessee: Four seasons, 29 games, 593 pass attempts. Who knows what happened?
10. LB Brian Jozwiak (No. 7 overall pick, 1986, Chiefs), West Virginia: At 6-5, 304 he had all the size needed to be an NFL LB. Three years, 28 games later the Chiefs found out he didn’t have the skill.