Draft bust; noun; A draft bust is a highly touted or highly selected draftee that does not meet expectations. They are evaluated as one of, if not the best prospect in their draft and they turn out to be less than expected. In this writing, we will explore the top 5 draft busts that were booted out of the NFL all together.
5. Derrick Harvey DE for University of Florida
In 2008 the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Derrick Harvey with the 8th pick in the first round. In his three seasons as a Gator, Harvey played in thirty-six games and started eighteen. He closed his college career with 20.5 quarterback sacks (ninth on the Gators’ career record list), and 51.5 tackles for a loss (third on the Gators’ career record list). He also compiled ninety tackles (fifty-nine solo), caused two fumbles and recovered three, and deflected six passes. I can see how the Jaguars thought he was going to be an impactful player for them as well. He went on to play 3 years in Jacksonville, getting benched by the 3rd year. Denver gave him a 1 year deal after that and did not like what they saw either.
4. Kelvin Benjamin WR from Florida State University
In 2014 The Carolina Panthers drafted Benjamin with the 28th pick in the first round. After being redshirted in 2011, Benjamin played in all 14 games in 2012, recording 30 receptions for 495 yards and four touchdowns As a sophomore in 2013, he had 54 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown against Auburn in the BCS title game with 13 seconds left in the game. Sports Illustrated named Benjamin to their All-American first team and he was also selected to the All-ACC Second Team by the coaches and All-ACC Third Team by media. Carolina eventually shipped Benjamin to Buffalo and he later found himself out of the NFL.
3. Jake Locker QB from the University of Washington
In 2011 Jake Locker was the 8th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans. When he entered the Huskies locker room in 2005, he was viewed as the “savior” to their horrible team. Locker was named to the Rivals.com 2007 Freshman Second-team All-America and was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. In 2007, he set UW records for rushing yards in a season by a freshman (986), rushing yards in a season by a quarterback (986, also a Pac-10 record), rushing attempts by a quarterback (172), passing yards by a freshman (2,062), touchdown passes by a freshman (14) and longest pass completion (98 yards to Marcel Reece vs. Arizona).Locker was named to the Rivals.com 2007 Freshman Second-team All-America and was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. In 2007, he set UW records for rushing yards in a season by a freshman (986), rushing yards in a season by a quarterback (986, also a Pac-10 record), rushing attempts by a quarterback (172), passing yards by a freshman (2,062), touchdown passes by a freshman (14) and longest pass completion (98 yards to Marcel Reece vs. Arizona). Despite all of these accolades, Locker finished his career with a 16-24 record. He spent 3 years in Tennessee before his replacement was drafted. in 2014 Locker retired citing he lost his desire to play football.
2. Johnny Manziel QB from Texas A&M University
Drafted #22 overall by the Cleveland Browns, Johnny lands as number #2 on this list due to his high profile lifestyle. On draft day, Manziel sent a text message to QB coach, Dowell Loggains saying the following “hurry up and draft me because I want to be there.” He became the first freshman and only the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3000 and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, reaching that mark two games earlier than any other player. He won the SEC Freshman of the Year Award and College Football Performance National Freshman of the Year Award. Manziel won the Davey O’Brien Award on December 6 and the Heisman Trophy on December 8, making him the first freshman ever to win either award. Unfortunately for the Browns, Manziel fell victim to the rock star lifestyle, spending more time partying than preparing for games and only lasted 2 seasons before the team released him in 2016.
- JaMarcus Russell QB from LSU
I can draft this list 50 times over and JaMarcus will always be #1 on the list. This is next level bust right here. In 2007 the Oakland Raiders drafted this man #1 overall! The Raiders fell in love with his size, arm strength, and this list of accolades:
- Columbus Touchdown Club SEC Player of the Year (2005)
- 4× SEC Offensive Player of the Week (1 in 2005, 3 in 2006)
- First-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and SEC coaches (2006)
- Manning Award (2006)
- Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist (2006)
JaMarcus got a little too comfortable in the Raiders system, causing them to get suspicious of his work ethic. They began setting traps for him. They sent him blank film to take home to study the upcoming defense. They were hoping he would come back saying there was something wrong with his tape because it was blank. He did not. He decided to go with the flow and say that he watched them all. The last thing he watched was his release after 3 season.