football The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts  

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List Rules Vote up the most-hyped first round picks who failed to perform after Draft Day.

The biggest first round NFL Draft pick busts are those players who were drafted really high, got monster rookie contracts then did little to nothing afterwards. From those who were overhyped only to fail to perform to those whose off-field problems outweighed their on-field performance, these are some of the worst NFL Draft picks of all time.

One name is frequently mentioned as not just the worst first round NFL draft pick ever but the biggest NFL Draft bust of all time: Ryan Leaf. In a fierce race with guaranteed Pro Football Hall of Fame future inductee Peyton Manning, Leaf was selected first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. That's where the fairy tale ends however as on- and off-field issues soon followed. As of 2012, Leaf was serving a lengthy prison sentence for burglary and drug charges. He played just 25 NFL games throwing 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.

But Leaf is far from the only NFL Draft bust of note in the history of the league. JaMarcus Russell is frequently mentioned for his inconsistent play and drug issues, not to mention having an amusing athlete mug shot. Bo Jackson was a great NFL player, at least until he dumped the sport and his fans for a baseball career. Don't even get started on quarterbacks drafted by the Cleveland Browns in their miserable history as few, if any, of those stories end well.

While not every first round draft pick is a guaranteed NFL legend, a certain amount of expectation comes with being selected so high and these men all failed miserably. Does a certain NFL Draft bust stick out in your mind as particularly awful? Vote for the worst first round draft picks ever, add any not listed or even re-rank these men who are all among the biggest first round NFL Draft pick busts of all time.
list ordered by

1
+ - 195 30
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ryan Leaf Quarterback

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2
+ - 196 29
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JaMarcus Russell Quarterback

3
+ - 85 15
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

4
+ - 102 29
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
+ - 90 24
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

6
+ - 90 25
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Todd Marinovich Quarterback

7
+ - 97 30
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Akili Smith Quarterback

8
+ - 93 25
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Charles Rogers Wide receiver

9
+ - 44 9
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Andre Ware Quarterback

10
+ - 48 8
Trent Richardson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Trent Richardson Running back

11
+ - 83 31
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Heath Shuler Quarterback

12
+ - 80 33
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Leinart Quarterback

13
+ - 64 23
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Art Schlichter Quarterback

14
+ - 67 25
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Vernon Gholston Defensive end, Linebacker

15
+ - 86 41
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Tim Couch Quarterback

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16
+ - 56 27
Ki-Jana Carter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ki-Jana Carter Running back

17
+ - 46 12
Dan McGwire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Dan McGwire Quarterback - Drafted ahead of Brett Favre. Younger brother of MLB legend Mark McGwire.

18
+ - 67 28
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Joey Harrington Quarterback

19
+ - 36 8
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Brady Quinn Quarterback

20
+ - 65 30
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Courtney Brown Defensive lineman

21
+ - 20 4
Steve Entman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Steve Entman Defensive Tackle

22
+ - 14 1
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Maurice Clarett Running back

23
+ - 34 12
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

24
+ - 37 12
Aaron Maybin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aaron Maybin Defensive end, Linebacker - #11 in '09. Cut several times in his 2 year career.

25
+ - 42 16
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Jones Quarterback

26
+ - 38 14
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jason Smith Offensive Tackle

27
+ - 23 10
Rick Mirer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Rick Mirer Quarterback

28
+ - 47 26
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Brandon Weeden Quarterback

29
+ - 38 18
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aaron Curry Linebacker

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30
+ - 36 17
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Derrick Harvey Defensive end

31
+ - 19 3
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Cade McNown Quarterback

32
+ - 44 19
Reggie Rogers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Reggie Rogers Defensive tackle, Tackle

33
+ - 36 20
Peter Warrick is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Peter Warrick Return specialist, Wide receiver

34
+ - 20 4
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Curtis Enis Running back

35
+ - 22 9
Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kyle Boller Quarterback

36
+ - 37 20
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Troy Williamson Wide receiver

37
+ - 55 32
Mark Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mark Sanchez Quarterback

38
+ - 15 4
Brian Bosworth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Brian Bosworth Linebacker

39
+ - 22 10
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenneth Sims Defensive end

40
+ - 57 36
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Blaine Gabbert Quarterback

41
+ - 44 25
Keith McCants is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Keith McCants Defensive end, Linebacker

42
+ - 18 3
Aundray Bruce is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aundray Bruce Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end

43
+ - 30 14
Wendell Bryant is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wendell Bryant Defensive tackle, Tackle

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44
+ - 15 7
Kelly Stouffer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kelly Stouffer Quarterback

45
+ - 16 6
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mike Mamula Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

46
+ - 21 7
J. P. Losman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
J. P. Losman Quarterback

47
+ - 27 14
Jamal Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jamal Reynolds Defensive end, Defensive lineman

48
+ - 43 26
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mike Junkin Linebacker

49
+ - 13 3
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Justin Blackmon Wide receiver

50
+ - 13 6
Trev Alberts is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Trev Alberts Linebacker