The NFL, perhaps more than any other professional league, places emphasis on making excellent draft choices. Sometimes, though, things go unexpectedly awry once a formidable college player hits the big leagues. Today, we’re going to take a look at the top ten worst first round draft picks of the 2000s.
1. I hate to start off with a Bama boy, but I’m trying to be objective, y’all. RB Trent Richardson, taken third overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 draft, had one of the worst pro careers I’ve ever seen. He did next to nothing at Cleveland, so the Indianapolis Colts decided to trade a first round pick for him in 2012 (good move, Indy). Ultimately, Richardson averaged 3.1-yards a carry for the Colts and was, mercifully, released this offseason.
2. In 2007, the Oakland Raiders used the No. 1 overall pick to select former LSU Tigers QB JaMarcus Russell. Russell was expected to have an illustrious NFL career. In reality, he played for 3 seasons, cost the team $39 million, and had a 7-18 record as a starter, complete with 23 interceptions. Oh, and Russell’s passer rating? An exceptional 65.2.
3. WR Charles Rogers, the Detroit Lions’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft, was expected to be the next big thing at the receiver position. Rogers had two touchdowns in his very first game, but subsequently broke his collarbone. He broke his clavicle again at the start of the 2004 season. Ultimately, Rogers played just 15 NFL games in 3 years. He had 36 receptions and 4 touchdowns (half of which were in his very first appearance). Yikes.
4. We all know I’m a Derek Carr fan, but I can’t say the same for his big brother. QB David Carr was taken first overall by the Houston Texans in the 2002 NFL draft. Carr was expected to become the face of the franchise, but instead went onto become the laughingstock of the AFC South. During his career, Carr has thrown 65 touchdowns to 71 interceptions and he’s arguably spent more time on the ground than he has upright. Good times.
5. With the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected QB Blaine Gabbert. With the 3rd overall pick the in 2014 draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected QB Blake Bortles. That’s pretty much all you need to know to consider Gabbert a total bust. During his rookie season, Gabbert completed just about half of his passes and had a league-low passer rating of 65.3. Not a good call, Jags.
6. In 2005, the Chicago Bears used the No. 4 overall pick to select RB Cedric Benson. Benson started-off with a bang, opting to skip training camp his rookie season. Then, he went on to rush for an average of 3.7 yards per carry (which is, admittedly, better than T.Rich). Following that debacle, Benson was arrested a couple of times and was ultimately released by the team in 2008. That’s what you get for drafting a RB so high, Bears.
7. DE Courtney Brown was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns (you can probably guess where this is going) in the 2000 draft. Brown actually started out well, with 4.5 sacks his rookie season. However, he suffered a knee injury in 2001, which spiraled into a myriad of other injuries, which caused his entire NFL career to go downhill. Brown missed 33 games during his 4 seasons with the Brownies. I’d call that a bust.
8. In 2000, the New York Giants selected RB Ron Dayne with the No. 11 overall pick. If you haven’t noticed, the moral of today’s article is that taking RBs early is a bad call. Dayne, clearly, had just about worked himself into the ground during his college years at Wisconsin. Dayne played 4 years for the Giants, never averaging more than 3.8-yards per carry. His final season with the team Dayne had 179 yards total. Ouch.
9. WR Peter Warrick, a Florida State Heisman candidate (until he stole some clothes from Dillard’s…oops) was considered a top prospect when he was drafted 4th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2000. Warrick went on to do, well, basically nothing in the pros. He never even notched a single 1,000-yard season, despite playing 5 years with the Bengals and one with the Seattle Seahawks.
10. T Mike Williams, drafted 4th overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2004 draft, was 6’7 and pushing 400 pounds when he left college. Williams had the potential to be a great NFL lineman, but sadly for the Bills, he just wasn’t cut out to be a pro left tackle…or right tackle…or right guard…get the picture? Williams was released from the squad in 2006.