The Biggest NFL Draft Busts in History - The TEs Paul Seymour
Paul Seymour

Who were the biggest NFL Draft busts in history? There’s been a lot more than you might think, so we’ve decided to focus on the tight ends.

Biggest NFL Draft Busts

  • Ken MacAfee (drafted 7th overall in 1978 by the San Francisco 49ers)
    After two seasons as the starting TE for the 49ers, new head coach Bill Walsh asked MacAfee to switch to guard. MacAfee decided to retire and become a dentist rather than switch. Consequently, his career stats are a paltry 46 receptions, 471 yards, and five TDs.
  • Paul Seymour (drafted 7th overall in 1973 by the Buffalo Bills)
    Seymour’s five-year totals (62 catches, 818 yards, three TDs) rate him a bust. However, the Bills didn’t draft Seymour to catch passes. They drafted him to block for O.J. Simpson.
  • J.V. Cain (drafted 7th overall in 1974 by the St. Louis Cardinals)
    St. Louis drafted Cain into a difficult situation as they already had Jackie Smith entrenched as the starting TE. In effect, Cain was drafted to be Smith’s understudy. Cain became the starter in 1976 and remained in place until an Achilles injury cost him the 1978 season. Unfortunately, Cain passed away on his 28th birthday in 1979 when he suddenly collapsed during a non-contact training practice.
  • Paul Bergmann (drafted 8th overall in 1984 by the Indianapolis Colts, supplemental)
    The Colts spent their first-round pick on Bergmann in the 1984 Supplemental draft, but he signed with the USFL’s Jacksonville Bulls. As a result, Bergmann never played a down in the NFL.
  • Derek Brown (drafted 14th overall in 1992 by the New York Giants)
    As a rookie, Brown recorded four catches for 31 yards and followed that season up with seven catches for 56 yards in 1993. By 1994, Brown mostly played on special teams. Unsurprisingly, the Giants left Brown unprotected in the 1995 expansion draft, and the Jaguars selected him. Brown ended his career with 105 games played, 43 catches, 401 yards, and one TD in seven seasons.

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Biggest NFL Draft Busts

  • Willie Scott (drafted 14th overall in 1981 by the Kansas City Chiefs)
    Scott played a total of eight NFL seasons, five with the Chiefs. For their investment, the Chiefs got 72 games, 75 catches for 682 yards and 11 TDs. Ultimately, this constitutes a bust.
  • David Lewis (drafted 20th overall in 1984 by the Detroit Lions)
    Lewis lasted three seasons with the Lions, providing them with 54 receptions for 68 yards and seven TDs. As a result, he was cut following the 1986 season.
  • Gordon Hudson (drafted 22nd overall in 1984 by the Seattle Seahawks, supplemental)
    Similarly to Paul Bergmann, Hudson was taken 22nd overall in the 1984 Supplemental draft. He ended playing in the USFL for the 1984 and 1985 seasons, then joined Seattle for the 1986 season. Ultimately, that was his only NFL season.
  • Mike Cobb (drafted 22nd overall in 1977 by the Cincinnati Bengals)
    Cobb played only one season for the Bengals before being traded to the Bears. In his five-year NFL career, Cobb produced 11 catches for 134 yards and no TDs.
  • David LaFleur (drafted 22nd overall in 1997 by the Dallas Cowboys)
    One of the biggest busts of Dallas’ Super Bowl era drafting, the Cowboys traded up to nab LaFleur. As a rookie, Lafleur managed 18 reception for 122 yards and two TDs. Things did not get much better for LaFleur, who ended his four-year career in Dallas with 85 catches for 729 yards and 12 TDs.

Wrapping Up

This is our list of the biggest NFL TE Draft Busts. Do you agree with our selections? Who would you have included in this list? Drop a note in the comments and let us know!


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