With Volume I and Volume II in the books, we move on to the third installment of this NFL Draft bust series. Skill position players dominate this version of Would’a Should’a Could’a. Three quarterbacks, a running back, and three wide receivers are included in this weeks’ NFL Draft busts. Like usual, injuries, drugs and high expectations took down most of this group of eight first round busts.
Pittsburg Troy Edwards 1999 13th overall Louisiana Tech
Edwards lasted just three seasons in Pittsburg. For the most part, the Steelers have been hitting on first round picks over the last twenty years, but missed in 1999. After a solid rookie season, Edwards’ productivity dropped off the table. In his final two years in Pittsburg, he caught just 37 passes and didn’t score any touchdowns.
Big miss: Jevon Kearse
Couch had no chance. He was thrown into an impossible situation with a terrible expansion team. He was beat up over his six year Browns career and never had a quarterback rating of over 78. More importantly he didn’t win. Injuries – due to being beat up behind a poor offensive line – ultimately did him in.
Big miss: This was a great first round. Take your pick Donovan McNabb, Edgerrin James, Ricky Williams, Torry Holt, Champ Bailey, Jevon Kearse, on and on.
Baltimore Kyle Boller 2003 19th overall California
Boller made double digit starts in only one season. Like division rival Pittsburg, Baltimore has had a long history of solid first round picks, but Boller was one of the few who didn’t work out. After five up and down seasons with the Ravens, Boller moved on and is now a back up in Oakland.
Big miss: Dallas Clark
Cincinnati Akili Smith 1999 3rd overall Oregon
Smith was an even bigger bust than Couch who was picked two spots before the former Oregon Duck. Smith’s ineffective play kept him in the league for just four seasons. In his second season he made eleven starts – by far the most he ever made – and threw just three touchdown passes the entire season.
Big miss: See Tim Couch
Chicago Curtis Enis 1998 5th overall Penn State
Still looking to replace Walter Payton and Neal Anderson, knee problems doomed Enis and had him out of the league after just three seasons. He saw the writing on the wall and retired instead of continuing to punish his left knee. He gained just over 1,000 yards and scored four touchdowns in his short career.
Big miss: Randy Moss
Detroit Charles Rogers 2003 2nd overall Michigan State
Injuries and substance abuse did in Rogers and started the Lions’ string of wide receiver misses – until hitting a home run with Megatron. Two broken collar bones derailed his first two seasons and a drug suspension helped cut short his third season. His career stats: 36 catches, 440 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Big miss: Andre Johnson
Reynolds lasted just three seasons with the Packers. In 18 games played he totaled 16 tackles and three sacks. To make things worse, the Pack traded up to pick him. The price to get him was the 17th overall pick – and quarterback Matt Hasselback.
Big miss: Steve Hutchinson
Minnesota Troy Williamson 2005 7th overall South Carolina
Could have gone Underwood here, but he was at the bottom of the first round. Underwood never played for the Vikings, unfortunately Williamson did. Pegged as Randy Moss’ replacement, Williamson had the speed, but the Vikings forgot to check and see if he could catch. A number of dropped balls over his three seasons with the Vikings got him a ticket out of town when he was traded to Jacksonville for a sixth round pick. He lasted just one season with the Jags. In four seasons he caught 87 balls for 1131 yards and four touchdowns.
Big miss: Aaron Rodgers (Vikings passed on him twice)
Brian covers basically all high school sports, but mainly football and wrestling in Minnesota where he has lived his entire life. Fed up with his day job he decided to try writing as a hobby over ten years ago and that hobby has turned into sort of a second career. He has been involved in some way with football since he was a water boy for his high school team when he was in elementary school and has been playing fantasy football since before he could vote.