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
247 44
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
256 43
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JaMarcus Russell Quarterback

3
145 30
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
114 33
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
110 32
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Todd Marinovich Quarterback

6
124 40
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

7
113 38
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Akili Smith Quarterback

8
78 17
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
107 33
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Charles Rogers Wide receiver

10
111 46
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Tim Couch Quarterback

11
94 36
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Heath Shuler Quarterback

12
52 16
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Andre Ware Quarterback

13
76 28
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Vernon Gholston Defensive end, Linebacker

14
73 28
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Art Schlichter Quarterback

15
93 41
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Leinart Quarterback

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16
55 17
Dan McGwire is listed (or ranked) 16 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.

17
66 34
Ki-Jana Carter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ki-Jana Carter Running back

18
77 33
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Joey Harrington Quarterback

19
76 34
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Courtney Brown Defensive lineman

20
49 16
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Brady Quinn Quarterback

21
43 15
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
willyboymcoy added Steve Spurrier

22
25 7
Steve Entman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Steve Entman Defensive Tackle

23
57 30
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added Brandon Weeden Quarterback

24
39 15
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
41 17
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jason Smith Offensive Tackle

26
27 13
Rick Mirer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Rick Mirer Quarterback

27
44 19
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Jones Quarterback

28
26 8
Brian Bosworth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
ScottPolichette added Brian Bosworth Linebacker

29
23 5
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Curtis Enis Running back

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30
47 20
Reggie Rogers is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Reggie Rogers Defensive tackle, Tackle

31
39 19
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Derrick Harvey Defensive end

32
38 21
Peter Warrick is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Peter Warrick Return specialist, Wide receiver

33
41 21
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aaron Curry Linebacker

34
20 4
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Maurice Clarett Running back

35
41 21
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Troy Williamson Wide receiver

36
22 6
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Cade McNown Quarterback

37
64 40
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Blaine Gabbert Quarterback

38
24 11
Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kyle Boller Quarterback

39
20 7
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Mike Mamula Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

40
18 8
Kelly Stouffer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kelly Stouffer Quarterback

41
46 26
Keith McCants is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Keith McCants Defensive end, Linebacker

42
20 4
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
61 40
Mark Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Mark Sanchez Quarterback

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44
45 27
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mike Junkin Linebacker

45
23 13
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JeffreyJustus added Kenneth Sims Defensive end

46
23 9
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
31 16
Wendell Bryant is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wendell Bryant Defensive tackle, Tackle

48
28 16
Jamal Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jamal Reynolds Defensive end, Defensive lineman

49
17 7
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Justin Blackmon Wide receiver

50
14 7
Trev Alberts is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Trev Alberts Linebacker