Philadelphia, PA - We always talk about the best decisions in the NFL, the best players, and the best NFL odds. We always love talking about what aspects of the league have brought us joy, laughs, and wonder. But, we are human, and we have to admit, we absolutely love to talk about the bad as well, we love to gossip and talk about where things went wrong.
Worst Draft Decisions Ever Made In The NFL
Obviously, there have been plenty of instances of things going wrong in the NFL. The league is not short on hiccups. However, one of the places where things have gone wrong, and we don’t realize it until later in the draft. The NFL actually is littered with plenty of tales of players who seemed like a good choice at the time but were an absolute bust when it came to it. So, join us as we walk you through the 10 worst draft decisions in the history of the National Football League.
The Biggest Drafting Busts In NFL History
Today, we will start with the worst bust there ever was and work our way down, so, who was the worst?
#1. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns, 2012
First up is Trent Richardson. He had the best way to ensure he made the top of this list. He had two teams spend 1st round picks on him in a single 3-year career. In 2012, the Browns traded to third overall to get Richardson. They gave up many late-round spots to grab him. He then only gave them 950 rushing yards, although he scored 11 touchdowns. He was voted 73rd in the top 100, but after 2 games, he got 105 rushing yards and the Browns traded him. Then the Colts came in and took him, he played 29 games and made 977 rushing yards. He had 2,032 rushing yards in his whole career. Ouch.
#2. Ryan Leaf, Los Angeles Chargers, 1998
Leaf’s career was bad. He was seen as a top pick and went 2nd overall. He threw 15 interceptions and only had 2 touchdowns in his rookie season, and the rest of his career was not much better. As a quarterback, he was just not kitted out, what makes it burn more is Manning was the only pick before him, and he is a Hall of Famer.
#3. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders, 2007
Russell has a very impressive college career and all were hopeful for him. However, it started awful, he missed training camp due to a dispute around his contract, then he only threw 4 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. His 2nd year was better, but his career only lasted 3 seasons, in spite of a 6-year contract.
#4. Tony Mandarich, Green Bay Packers, 1989
Mandarich did the Packers no favors. He has high expectations around him, and people were naming him as the best prospect going, yet he was out of the league in only 2-years!
#5. Tim Couch, Cleveland Browns, 1999
Tim Couch was an overall pick, and he was the worst Browns QB pick there was. He played for 5 years, he had 64 touchdowns, and 67 interceptions over his whole career. What makes Couch look even worse is the success of the other worst picks on our list!
#6. Akili Smith, Cincinnati Bengals, 1999
Smith’s career just never really lifts off. In his rookie season, he threw 6 interceptions and had 2 touchdowns. His second season was pretty similar. He started a total of 17 games, and only won 3, completing less than 50% of his passes. In the 1999 selection, most others did so much better and this just makes things even worse for Smith.
#7. Charles Rogers, Detroit Lions, 2003
Rodgers was not a good choice. He played 3 seasons, and was only in 15 games, catching only 40% of his passes. His career stats sat at 440 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 34 receptions. What adds salt to the wound for the Lions is that they selected him before Andre Johnson, Johnson finished his career with 70 touchdowns and 14,185 yards, in the same amount of time.
#8. Brian Bosworth, Seattle Seahawks, 1987
Bosworth is only really here for the insanity of it all. He was rewarded and revered out of college, and he was seen as a top linebacker. However, he was chucked from Oklahoma for using steroids, and then the Seahawks took him in. They gave him a 10-year contract with $11 million, but he was out of the NFL only 2 years later!
#9. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns, 2014
Manziel was the 22nd overall of 2014, but he only played 2-seasons which doesn’t look good. Everyone was so excited about him as he came out of college, he had so much potential. But, he never came close. He started only 8 games, won two, and only threw 7 touchdowns. His second season was better, but his career ended when he was benched.
#10. Isaiah Wilson, Tennessee Titans, 2020
Finally, Isaiah Wilson. As a rookie, he only saw four snaps. He blew his second chance before it started. He basically blew 2 chances in a year and was out of the league within that time. It’s almost impressive.