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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
465 79
JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

2
454 85
Ryan Leaf is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

3
193 56
Todd Marinovich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

4
310 105
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added

5
222 70
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

6
192 63
Lawrence Philips is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

7
188 50
Trent Richardson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Running back

8
187 62
Akili Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

9
164 52
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

10
165 67
Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

11
100 39
Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

12
183 87
Tim Couch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

13
125 50
Art Schlichter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

14
107 38
Brady Quinn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

15
119 50
Vernon Gholston is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive end, Linebacker

16
130 62
Heath Shuler is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

17
113 60
Ki-Jana Carter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Running back

18
112 50
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive lineman

19
69 21
Maurice Clarett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Running back

20
91 39
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
66 17
Justin Blackmon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

22
118 62
Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

23
58 19
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Running back

24
80 36
Brian Bosworth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
ScottPolichette added Linebacker

25
53 27
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
65 29
Jason Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Offensive Tackle

27
52 29
Rick Mirer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

28
70 30
Aaron Curry is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Linebacker

29
93 54
Brandon Weeden is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
manupinsky added Quarterback

30
110 60
Blaine Gabbert is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

31
45 19
Cade McNown is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

32
42 13
Rae Carruth is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

33
66 37
Steve Spurrier is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
willyboymcoy added

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

35
47 19
J. P. Losman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

36
60 30
Aaron Maybin is listed (or ranked) 36 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.

37
54 24
E. J. Manuel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Quarterback

38
40 15
Mike Williams is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Mike Williams

39
66 36
Matt Jones is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

40
57 31
Derrick Harvey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive end

41
38 18
Mike Mamula is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

42
63 32
Reggie Rogers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Defensive tackle, Tackle

43
57 35
Mike Junkin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Linebacker

44
53 36
Peter Warrick is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Return specialist, Wide receiver

45
41 18
Christian Ponder is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Quarterback

46
32 22
Kelly Stouffer is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Quarterback

47
56 35
Troy Williamson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
Wide receiver

48
32 12
Aundray Bruce is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
muzziac added Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end

49
50 27
Jake Locker is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
KT32889MD added Quarterback

50
34 21
Kenneth Sims is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts
JeffreyJustus added Defensive end