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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
497 92
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

2
513 87
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

3
348 119
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added

4
241 78
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
210 65
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

6
206 68
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

7
207 59
Trent Richardson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Running back

8
199 65
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

9
178 55
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

10
190 70
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

11
204 92
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

12
133 53
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

13
107 45
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

14
124 44
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

15
129 54
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive end, Linebacker

16
139 66
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

17
122 65
Ki-Jana Carter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Running back

18
124 54
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive lineman

19
82 28
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Running back

20
97 42
Dan McGwire is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Quarterback - Drafted ahead of Brett Favre. Younger brother of MLB legend Mark McGwire.

21
126 65
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

22
91 39
Brian Bosworth is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
ScottPolichette added Linebacker

23
74 23
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

24
58 31
Steve Entman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Steve Entman Defensive Tackle

25
62 23
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Running back

26
57 33
Rick Mirer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

27
75 34
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Linebacker

28
69 33
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Offensive Tackle

29
101 59
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added Quarterback

30
66 28
E. J. Manuel is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Quarterback

31
48 16
Rae Carruth is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

32
117 67
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

33
67 33
Aaron Maybin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Defensive end, Linebacker - #11 in '09. Cut several times in his 2 year career.

34
54 23
J. P. Losman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

35
53 29
Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

36
48 24
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

37
69 42
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
willyboymcoy added

38
68 39
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

39
42 21
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

40
49 20
Christian Ponder is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

41
58 37
Peter Warrick is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Return specialist, Wide receiver

42
43 20
Mike Williams is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Mike Williams

43
58 29
Jake Locker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

44
60 36
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive end

45
65 36
Reggie Rogers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive tackle, Tackle

46
59 38
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

47
98 71
Mark Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Quarterback

48
34 25
Kelly Stouffer is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

49
59 39
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Linebacker

50
35 15
Aundray Bruce is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end