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
302 53
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JaMarcus Russell Quarterback

2
298 58
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Ryan Leaf Quarterback

3
183 50
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
150 45
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

5
131 37
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Todd Marinovich Quarterback

6
133 39
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

7
139 42
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Akili Smith Quarterback

8
105 26
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
124 39
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Charles Rogers Wide receiver

10
68 18
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Andre Ware Quarterback

11
130 54
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Tim Couch Quarterback

12
93 31
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Art Schlichter Quarterback

13
108 43
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Heath Shuler Quarterback

14
89 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
82 36
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
111 49
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Leinart Quarterback

17
70 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
89 39
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Courtney Brown Defensive lineman

19
90 42
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Joey Harrington Quarterback

20
61 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
43 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
36 8
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Maurice Clarett Running back

23
34 7
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Curtis Enis Running back

24
31 13
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
53 21
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Matt Jones Quarterback

26
70 37
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added Brandon Weeden Quarterback

27
49 22
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
willyboymcoy added Steve Spurrier

28
32 15
Rick Mirer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Rick Mirer Quarterback

The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

29
48 20
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Jason Smith Offensive Tackle

30
44 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
50 23
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Aaron Curry Linebacker

32
79 43
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Blaine Gabbert Quarterback

33
30 9
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Justin Blackmon Wide receiver

34
27 8
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Cade McNown Quarterback

35
51 22
Reggie Rogers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Reggie Rogers Defensive tackle, Tackle

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36
46 23
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Troy Williamson Wide receiver

37
32 15
Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Kyle Boller Quarterback

38
42 24
Peter Warrick is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Peter Warrick Return specialist, Wide receiver

39
43 22
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Derrick Harvey Defensive end

40
24 5
Aundray Bruce is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Aundray Bruce Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end

41
29 10
J. P. Losman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added J. P. Losman Quarterback

42
21 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
49 27
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Mike Junkin Linebacker

44
26 14
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JeffreyJustus added Kenneth Sims Defensive end

45
48 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
27 10
E. J. Manuel is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added E. J. Manuel Quarterback

47
21 10
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
39 22
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Aaron Hernandez Tight end

49
67 46
Mark Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Kenne_W added Mark Sanchez Quarterback

50
17 8
Trev Alberts is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Trev Alberts Linebacker