Biggest NFL Busts

This is one for those that were highly touted coming out of college and fell flat once they got the big money.

The Top Ten

1 Ryan Leaf - No 2 to Chargers in 98 Ryan Leaf - No 2 to Chargers in 98 Ryan David Leaf is a former American football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League for four seasons. He was selected as the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft after only Peyton Manning. He played for the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and Seattle ...read more.

I'm surprised that Cryin' Leaf doesn't have like 98% of the vote on this one. God, did he suck.

About 85% of America thought HE was better than PEYTON MANNING. Well let us look at what Manning did and what Leaf did. Well manning went to three SBs, has almost 70,000 passing yards, holds the single season passing td record, holds the career td mark, and well, isn't on this list. Leaf? Well, the Chargers got a a guy who had a 50 qb rating for his career, a retirement, and a jailbird - Danmarino4

Without a doubt, the biggest bust EVER. One year wonder at Wash State, 5 year blunder in NFL.

Where is he now hmmm in jail

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2 JaMarcus Russell - No 1 to Raiders in 2007

Just as bad on the field as Ryan Leaf, but the coaching staff kept wishing he would get better, then kept giving him numerous additional chances even though he was a lost cause.

Bust he sucked boo

He's so fat

3 Tony Mandarich - No 2 to Packers in 89

And Troy Aikman and Derrick Thomas. Boy ill bet the Packers feel stupid. - aman28

Big guy big bust. Barry Sanders and Deion Sanders went in that draft.

People forget he came back and he should not be this high. - Titanlord25000

Well when your picked next to names like Troy Aikman, Barry, & Deion Sanders the bar is pretty high, and he sticks out as a big offensive line bust especially more less in Green Bay rather than in Indy. - htoutlaws2012

4 Tim Couch - No 1 to Browns in 99

In his defense, Browns were expansion team but faltered badly and was recently released by Jags.

He went to the '99 Browns, I don't know hat you want from him. - Titanlord25000

Should have taken Edgerrin James or Torry Holt. - Darrell

It's not his fault he didn't have a line

5 David Carr - No 1 to Texans in 02

His a lot like Tim Couch, both were to have expectations for being brought in these new expansion teams to lead. Hey everyone knows who Derek Carr is, Does anyone recognize David Carr anymore? - htoutlaws2012

Same as Couch..4 bad years and a ton of sacks and for his troubles landed in Carolina.

6 Courtney Brown - No 1 to Browns in 2000

Two bad 1st overall picks in a row. OUCH!!!! - Darrell

7 Kevin Allen - No 9 to Eagles in 1985

Played one TERRIBLE season, tested positive for cocaine, spent 33 months in jail for sexual assault, got banned from the NFL, and spent the rest of his days in the WLAF and Arena Football. And to think the Eagles passed on Jerry Rice!

8 Leo Hayden - No. 1 to Vikings in 71

Star running back for Ohio State. Never gained a single yard for the Vikings. Played for St. Louis for 2 years and had a grand total of 17 yards for his NFL career. - BurtReynoldsWig

9 Brian Bosworth - Supp Draft to Seahawks in 87

The Boz amounted to at the time a waste of money 24 games later.

Deserves to be higher

10 Lawrence Phillips - No 6 to Rams in 1996

This running back couldn't stay out of trouble. He was cut in the middle of his second season, spent a year in Spain, missed a block that ended Steve Young's career, wound up in Canada, and now he's rotting away in jail. And to think the Rams gave up on Jerome Bettis! They passed on Eddie George and Ray Lewis for a criminal. - thomwim

The Contenders

11 Michael Vick - No 1 to Falcons in 01

Even when he played he was a terrible qb and the most overrated one in the league now hes in prison and if the falcons had not traded there pick they couldve gotten LT and Drew Brees just a horrible move. By the way how is Mario Williams on this list. Hes a great player way better than Reggie Bush who is closer to a bust than Mario. Must be some stupid people out there. - Chris-1

Michael Vick was pretty damn good. He has two NFL records which busts don't have. He was also selected to four Pro Bowls and won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Michael Vick is far from a bust. - DWHutchII

Just think that the Chargers had the NO 1 pick that year and traded the pick and got LT and Drew Brees. Vick's next stop is the US Bureau of Prisons.

Don't hate on vick he was a great quarterback after the scandal and he was pretty talented too

Maybe not if he comes back - waterboy51

12 Dimitruis Underwood - No 29 to Vikings in 99

Never played a down with Vikes and mental issues killed his career.

13 Charles Rogers - No. 2 to Lions in 2003

He was picked 1st overall and only played 5 games in his first 3 years

14 Vernon Gholston - No 6 to Jets in 2008

Aw man, he never recorded a sack in his career. Pretty pathetic because he was a top-10 pick. - thomwim

15 Johnny Manziel - No 22 to Browns in 14

He is so bad

16 Joey Harrington - No 3 to Lions in 2002

Although to be fair, he played for Matt Millen, and none of the other QBs from that draft have gone on to anything spectacular. - Darrell

17 Kenneth Gameday Sims - No 1 overall to New England in 1982
18 Mario Williams - No 1 to Texans in 06

Mario Williams was a beast why is he here?

And the Texans passed on Reggie Bush.

19 Reggie Bush - No 2 to Saints in 06 Reggie Bush - No 2 to Saints in 06 Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush Jr. is an American football running back who is currently on the Buffalo Bills roster.
20 Cedric Benson - No 4 to Bears in 2005

Just think of the position the bears would be in if they still had Thomas Jones. Benson never ran for any yards and he's not even on the team anymore. It's actually probably a good thing they got rid of him. We need thomas jones! - crazyeyes56

Wow! To think we could have just kept Thomas Jones and traded Benson. Where's Benson now? O Yeah taking a breathalizer some where.

Jeremy Langford is better then this loser. - Tacocheese

21 Ki-Jana Carter - No 1 to Bengals in 95

Blown out knee in 1st preseason game and never was the same

22 Rich Campbell - No 6 to Packers in 1980

I was afraid that history would repeat itself when the Packers drafter Aaron Rodgers.

23 Aaron Curry - No 4 to Seahawks in 2009
24 Brady Quinn - No 22 to Browns in 2007
25 Alex Smith - No 1 to 49ers in 05

He was a disappointment with the 49ers, but became a star with the Chiefs. - thomwim

26 Rex Grossman - No. 22 to Bears In 2003

Not bad but still wheres brian botsworth on the list come on

27 Aundray Bruce - No 1 to Falcons in 88

Had productive career..WITH RAIDERS.

28 Tim Tebow - No. 25 to Denver in 2010

Seriously? They already have 2 below average quarterbacks! Why do they need 3? - AP1090

You know what's funny about Tebow is yes his not an NFL caliber QB, but hey he got a playoff win. Many QB's today have a losing streak in the playoffs, and can't get over the hump still. - htoutlaws2012

29 Troy Williamson - No. 7 to Vikings In 2005
30 Jahvid Best - No. 30 to Lions In 2010

Trade to 30 for this guy? Jahvid Best was suppose to be the next Barry Sanders, instead he had like 2 100 yard games, and could not be consistent enough to what Barry had done in the 90's. This pretty much marked the curse of finding a great quality running back for the Lions for quite sometime. - htoutlaws2012

31 Sam Bradford - No 1 to Rams in 2010

Injuries destroyed this man's career - htoutlaws2012

32 Trent Richardson - No 3 to Browns in 2012 Trent Richardson - No 3 to Browns in 2012

The Browns could have their own list. But he really was bad. He should be higher. - Titanlord25000

33 Todd Blackledge - No 7 to Chiefs in 83
34 Vince Young - No 3 to Titans in 06 Vince Young - No 3 to Titans in 06 Vincent Paul Young, Jr. is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for six seasons.

One of the worst quaterbacks of all time. Now he's a backup and thats exactly were he belongs.

35 Ricky Williams - No 5 to Saints in 1999

Ok, he was not a bust. Mike Ditka overhyped him by trading all of those picks. He came back and actually played a couple good years - Titanlord25000

36 Robert Griffin III - No 2 to Redskins in 2012 Robert Griffin III - No 2 to Redskins in 2012 Robert Lee Griffin III, nicknamed RG3, is an American football quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.

The picture pretty much solidifies the end of RGIII before your very eyes. - htoutlaws2012

37 Daunte Culpepper - No 11 to Vikings in 1999 Daunte Culpepper - No 11 to Vikings in 1999 Daunte Rachard Culpepper is a former American football quarterback. He last played for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League.

The worst QB of his class, he should have spent his whole career in ARENA Football.

38 Jamaal Anderson - No 8 to Falcons In 2007
39 Blaine Gabbert - No 1 to Jaguars in 2011 Blaine Gabbert - No 1 to Jaguars in 2011

Yes his a bust, but he was not the #1 pick, he was the 10th pick. - htoutlaws2012

40 Marcell Dareus - No 3 to Bills in 2011

Could've had AJ Green or JJ Watt

41 Jared Goff - No 1 to Rams in 2016

How is he a bust his first season sucked but he is one of the best if not the best rookie qb from last years draft

61.7 Passer Rating
7 losses - 0 wins
5 TD - 7 INT
its still very early in his career but its pretty obvious from the get go he is a bust

42 Kevin White - No 7 to Bears in 2015
43 Nathan Peterman - No 171 to Bills in 2017
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Related Lists

Biggest NFL Quarterback Busts of the 21st Century Biggest NBA Draft Busts Biggest NHL Draft Busts Top 10 NFL Quarterback Busts of All Time Top 10 NFL Running Back Busts of All Time

List Stats

400 votes
43 listings
11 years, 102 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Ryan Leaf - No 2 to Chargers in 98
2. JaMarcus Russell - No 1 to Raiders in 2007
3. Tony Mandarich - No 2 to Packers in 89
jareddike
1. Ryan Leaf - No 2 to Chargers in 98
2. JaMarcus Russell - No 1 to Raiders in 2007
3. Tim Couch - No 1 to Browns in 99
RPD6478
1. JaMarcus Russell - No 1 to Raiders in 2007
2. Kevin Allen - No 9 to Eagles in 1985
3. Ryan Leaf - No 2 to Chargers in 98
thomwim

WRemix
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