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
295 51
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JaMarcus Russell Quarterback

2
290 57
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ryan Leaf Quarterback

3
179 49
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
145 45
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
128 37
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Todd Marinovich Quarterback

6
129 39
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

7
136 41
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Akili Smith Quarterback

8
103 25
Trent Richardson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Trent Richardson Running back

9
121 38
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Charles Rogers Wide receiver

10
66 17
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Andre Ware Quarterback

11
127 54
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Tim Couch Quarterback

12
90 31
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Art Schlichter Quarterback

13
106 43
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Heath Shuler Quarterback

14
88 32
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Vernon Gholston Defensive end, Linebacker

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15
81 35
Ki-Jana Carter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ki-Jana Carter Running back

16
110 48
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Leinart Quarterback

17
69 21
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
87 38
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Courtney Brown Defensive lineman

19
88 42
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Joey Harrington Quarterback

20
60 23
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Brady Quinn Quarterback

21
41 11
Brian Bosworth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
ScottPolichette added Brian Bosworth Linebacker

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22
69 36
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added Brandon Weeden Quarterback

23
34 8
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Maurice Clarett Running back

24
52 21
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Jones Quarterback

25
30 13
Steve Entman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Steve Entman Defensive Tackle

26
48 22
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
willyboymcoy added Steve Spurrier

27
32 7
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Curtis Enis Running back

28
47 20
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jason Smith Offensive Tackle

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29
30 15
Rick Mirer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Rick Mirer Quarterback

30
43 18
Aaron Maybin is listed (or ranked) 30 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.

31
49 23
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aaron Curry Linebacker

32
76 43
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Blaine Gabbert Quarterback

33
50 22
Reggie Rogers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Reggie Rogers Defensive tackle, Tackle

34
28 9
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Justin Blackmon Wide receiver

35
45 23
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Troy Williamson Wide receiver

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36
31 15
Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kyle Boller Quarterback

37
41 24
Peter Warrick is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Peter Warrick Return specialist, Wide receiver

38
25 8
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Cade McNown Quarterback

39
42 22
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Derrick Harvey Defensive end

40
28 10
J. P. Losman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added J. P. Losman Quarterback

41
22 5
Aundray Bruce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Aundray Bruce Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end

42
20 10
Kelly Stouffer is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kelly Stouffer Quarterback

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43
48 27
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mike Junkin Linebacker

44
39 20
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Aaron Hernandez Tight end

45
47 28
Keith McCants is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Keith McCants Defensive end, Linebacker

46
25 14
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JeffreyJustus added Kenneth Sims Defensive end

47
26 10
E. J. Manuel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added E. J. Manuel Quarterback

48
67 45
Mark Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Mark Sanchez Quarterback

49
18 6
Mike Williams is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Mike Williams

50
20 10
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Mike Mamula Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman