The 2016 NFL Draft is tomorrow and there will be smart picks, value picks and plenty of bad picks. Here are the worst picks since 2000:
10. Dion Jordan – 2013 – Third overall by Miami
Miami gave up a lot to move up and draft Jordan (a first and a second round pick). In 2013, he played all 16 games and did register two sacks, but it’s been a nightmare since. After two failed drug tests, Jordan was suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season and then suspended for the entire 2015 season after failing another.
9. Vernon Gholston – 2008 – Sixth overall by New York Jets
Gholston was supposed to be a big addition to, at the time, a very good Jets defense. He was able to get into the starting lineup, but only for five games. In three years!
After those three seasons, the Jets decided to release him since his production never was what they hoped. (only a handful of tackles and zero sacks). He’s been out of the league since 2011.
8. Robert Griffin III – 2012 – Second overall by Washington
The 2012 season did seem promising after Griffin took the league by storm and helped Washington win the NFC East. He did get injured in the Wild Card game against Seattle, but since then, the Redskins have floundered (3-13 in 2013 and 4-12 in 2014).
Making things worse is the fact that they gave up so much to draft RG3 (3 first round picks and a second round pick) and his character has been a problem.
7. Joey Harrington – 2002 – Third overall by Detroit
The Oregon standout was brought in to turn around the fortunes of the Detroit Lions and finally bring stability to the position of Quarterback, which had been in disarray since Bobby Layne.
While Detroit’s record slowly moved in the right direction, they were still a losing team and Harrington did not improve. In his first season, he started 12 games but completed just over 50 percent of his passes and had more interceptions than touchdowns. By the time he left the game following the 2007 season, he had three unsuccessful stints with the Lions, Dolphins and Falcons, never posting a winning record.
6. Matt Leinart – 2006 – Tenth overall by Arizona
Before getting drafted, many felt he was possibly one of the top five quarterbacks to ever come out of college, especially after his senior year at USC.
It’s difficult to blame one thing, but while injuries were a factor, Leinart just never was able to put it together and be any kind of consistent quarterback.
Once Kurt Warner retired in 2010, the Cardinals hoped their investment would pay off, but Leinart wouldn’t even beat out Derek Anderson for the starting job and then promptly got cut.
Since leaving Arizona, he has only started one time and was out of the league by 2012.
5. Jason Smith – 2009 – Second overall by St. Louis Rams
At Baylor, Jason Smith was a skilled tight end who converted to tackle. He had all the raw talent in the world, or so the Rams thought when they made Smith the second overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.
He did sustain concussions and other injuries, which limited his playing time and dropped him to the bottom of the depth chart, but he was never able to recover. He has been out of the league since 2013.
4. Charles Rogers – 2003 – Second overall by Detroit
After posting amazing numbers at Michigan State, the Lions believed they were on their way to success by making Rogers their first round pick in 2003.
They had just drafted Joey Harrington (see above for how that went) and now they felt they had a number one-type receiver to compliment their star quarterback.
The Lions could not have been more wrong. After a good opening day in 2003 where Rogers caught two of his four career touchdowns, he sustained a broken collarbone in Week 5. He was able to get on the field in 2004, but again, broke his collarbone by the third play of Week 1.
In 2005, he got suspended for violating the league’s drug policy and got released by 2006. He played in only 15 career games.
3. Aaron Curry – 2009 – Fourth overall by Seattle
After posting 16 sacks at Wake Forest in 2008, the Seahawks were sure they were getting a stud. Curry was the highest drafted linebacker since 2000 and seemed like a sure thing.
They gave Curry the largest contract for a non-quarterback rookie, but he only produced five and a half sacks in a total of 35 games.
He became so ineffective that Seattle traded him to Oakland during the 2011 season and fared no better there. He tried to make it for the Giants in 2013, but got released during training camp and he hasn’t played since.
2. Trent Richardson – 2012 – Third overall by Cleveland
Trent Richardson was supposed be the next Adrian Peterson. In 2011 at Alabama, Richardson rushed for 1,679 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. It was a sure thing.
Cleveland traded up a spot (but had to give up 3 picks to do it) and got their man. He had a disappointing rookie season and then shockingly got traded to the Colts in 2013.
His numbers have been awful, averaging barely three yards a carry since leaving Cleveland. Perhaps he can get his career back on track, but it doesn’t look likely
1. JaMarcus Russell – 2007 – First overall by Oakland
While it’s disappointing, it’s hard to argue against Russell being the biggest draft bust since Ryan Leaf in 1998.
He was touted as being Oakland’s savior, especially after his impressive senior year at Louisiana State. But that was not to be. Russell only played in three seasons and was hideous all three years. Oakland only won seven games with him under center and his performance was terrible. He was released just before the 2010 season.