The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts Football Players (American)

The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

4.2k votes 321 voters 7.6k views 112 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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 Photo: user uploaded image
  • 7 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 169
    - 24


    Quarterback

    ;
  2. 2
    + 171
    - 26


    Quarterback

    ;
  3. 4
    + 92
    - 25


    Quarterback

    ;
  4. 5
    + 91
    - 27


    ;
  5. 6
    + 79
    - 22


    Quarterback

    ;
  6. 7
    + 78
    - 22


    ;
  7. 8
    + 86
    - 25


    Wide receiver

    ;
  8. 9
    + 77
    - 29


    Quarterback

    ;
  9. 10
    + 64
    - 21


    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  10. 11
    + 78
    - 34


    Quarterback

    ;
  11. 12
    + 36
    - 6

    added by muzziac
    Quarterback

    ;
  12. 13
    + 70
    - 27


    Quarterback

    ;
  13. 14
    + 60
    - 21


    Quarterback

    ;
  14. 15
    + 34
    - 5

    added by KT32889MD
    Running back

    ;
  15. 16
    + 64
    - 25


    Quarterback

    ;
  16. 17
    + 52
    - 25


    Running back

    ;
  17. 18
    + 42
    - 11

    added by Kenne_W
    Quarterback Drafted ahead of Brett Favre. Younger brother of MLB legend Mark McGwire.

    ;
  18. 19
    + 61
    - 28


    Defensive lineman

    ;
  19. 20
    + 36
    - 12


    Offensive Tackle

    ;
  20. 21
    + 28
    - 7

    added by KT32889MD
    Quarterback

    ;
  21. 22
    + 36
    - 16


    Return specialist, Wide receiver

    ;
  22. 23
    + 37
    - 15


    Quarterback

    ;
  23. 24
    + 17
    - 4
    Steve Entman 
	is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

    added by muzziac
    Steve Entman Defensive Tackle

  24. 25
    + 43
    - 19


    Defensive tackle, Tackle

    ;
  25. 26
    + 37
    - 17


    Linebacker

    ;
  26. 27
    + 30
    - 12

    added by willyboymcoy

    ;
  27. 28
    + 33
    - 12

    added by Kenne_W
    Defensive end, Linebacker #11 in '09. Cut several times in his 2 year career.

    ;
  28. 29
    + 35
    - 16


    Defensive end

    ;
  29. 30
    + 21
    - 9

    added by muzziac
    Quarterback

    ;
  30. 31
    + 7
    - 0


    Running back

    ;
  31. 32
    + 16
    - 2

    added by KT32889MD
    Quarterback

    ;
  32. 33
    + 35
    - 19


    Wide receiver

    ;
  33. 34
    + 51
    - 31


    Quarterback

    ;
  34. 35
    + 43
    - 24


    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  35. 36
    + 20
    - 7

    added by muzziac
    Quarterback

    ;
  36. 37
    + 20
    - 5

    added by KT32889MD
    Quarterback

    ;
  37. 38
    + 38
    - 23

    added by manupinsky
    Quarterback

    ;
  38. 39
    + 21
    - 9

    added by JeffreyJustus
    Defensive end

    ;
  39. 40
    + 41
    - 24


    Linebacker

    ;
  40. 41
    + 16
    - 3

    added by KT32889MD
    Running back

    ;
  41. 42
    + 16
    - 3

    added by muzziac
    Defensive end, Linebacker, Tight end

    ;
  42. 43
    + 28
    - 14


    Defensive tackle, Tackle

    ;
  43. 44
    + 25
    - 14


    Defensive end, Defensive lineman

    ;
  44. 45
    + 13
    - 2
    Mike Williams 
	is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

    added by KT32889MD
    Mike Williams

  45. 46
    + 46
    - 29

    added by Kenne_W
    Quarterback

    ;
  46. 47
    + 13
    - 5

    added by muzziac
    Linebacker

    ;
  47. 48
    + 13
    - 7

    added by muzziac
    Quarterback

    ;
  48. 49
    + 14
    - 6

    added by muzziac
    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ;
  49. 50
    + 19
    - 11

    added by muzziac
    Wide receiver

    ;
113 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >