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
281 53
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ryan Leaf Quarterback

2
285 50
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JaMarcus Russell Quarterback

3
169 47
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
138 43
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
121 35
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Todd Marinovich Quarterback

6
123 38
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

7
128 39
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Akili Smith Quarterback

8
95 23
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
115 37
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Charles Rogers Wide receiver

10
124 51
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Tim Couch Quarterback

11
62 17
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Andre Ware Quarterback

12
85 30
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Art Schlichter Quarterback

13
103 41
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Heath Shuler Quarterback

14
68 19
Dan McGwire is listed (or ranked) 14 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.

The Dirtiest NFL Players of All Time

15
82 32
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Vernon Gholston Defensive end, Linebacker

16
104 46
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Leinart Quarterback

17
76 35
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
84 36
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Courtney Brown Defensive lineman

19
56 19
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Brady Quinn Quarterback

20
82 40
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Joey Harrington Quarterback

21
37 9
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
47 19
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
willyboymcoy added Steve Spurrier

23
29 12
Steve Entman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Steve Entman Defensive Tackle

24
64 34
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added Brandon Weeden Quarterback

25
49 20
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Jones Quarterback

26
30 7
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Maurice Clarett Running back

27
29 6
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
42 17
Aaron Maybin is listed (or ranked) 28 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.

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29
29 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 20
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jason Smith Offensive Tackle

31
45 23
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aaron Curry Linebacker

32
41 23
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
49 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
41 21
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Derrick Harvey Defensive end

35
71 43
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Blaine Gabbert Quarterback

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36
43 23
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Troy Williamson Wide receiver

37
24 8
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Cade McNown Quarterback

38
20 9
Kelly Stouffer is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kelly Stouffer Quarterback

39
28 15
Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kyle Boller Quarterback

40
37 18
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Aaron Hernandez Tight end

41
25 13
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JeffreyJustus added Kenneth Sims Defensive end

42
47 27
Keith McCants is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Keith McCants Defensive end, Linebacker

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43
21 5
Aundray Bruce is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Aundray Bruce Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end

44
47 27
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mike Junkin Linebacker

45
23 9
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Justin Blackmon Wide receiver

46
26 10
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
20 9
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Mike Mamula Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

48
65 44
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
16 6
Mike Williams is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Mike Williams

50
31 18
Wendell Bryant is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wendell Bryant Defensive tackle, Tackle