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
199 29
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JaMarcus Russell Quarterback

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2
196 31
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ryan Leaf Quarterback

3
88 17
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Johnny Manziel

4
103 29
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
91 25
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

6
91 25
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Todd Marinovich Quarterback

7
99 30
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Akili Smith Quarterback

8
94 25
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Charles Rogers Wide receiver

9
49 8
Trent Richardson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Trent Richardson Running back

10
44 9
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Andre Ware Quarterback

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
87 41
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Tim Couch Quarterback

13
80 33
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Leinart Quarterback

14
64 23
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Art Schlichter Quarterback

15
67 25
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Vernon Gholston Defensive end, Linebacker

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16
58 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
Kenne_W added 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
66 30
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Courtney Brown Defensive lineman

20
36 8
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Brady Quinn Quarterback

21
20 4
Steve Entman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added 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
willyboymcoy added Steve Spurrier

24
37 12
Aaron Maybin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added 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
muzziac added Rick Mirer Quarterback

28
47 26
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added 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
KT32889MD added 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
KT32889MD added 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
muzziac added 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
Kenne_W added Mark Sanchez Quarterback

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

39
22 10
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JeffreyJustus added 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
muzziac added 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
muzziac added Kelly Stouffer Quarterback

45
16 6
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added 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
KT32889MD added 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
muzziac added Trev Alberts Linebacker