The Biggest NFL Draft Busts in History - The WRs
Charles Rogers

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 wide receivers.

Biggest NFL Draft Busts

  • Charles Rogers (drafted 2nd overall in 2003 by the Detroit Lions)
    Rogers, a unanimous All-American at Michigan State, was taken 2nd overall by the hometown Lions. However, injuries and substance abuse limited his career to 15 games in three seasons. His career totals read 36 catches, 440 yards and 4 TDs. Unfortunately, Rogers passed away in 2019 at age 38 due to liver failure.
  • Johnny “Lam” Jones (drafted 2nd overall in 1980 by the New York Jets)
    The Jets famously passed on Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz in favor of Jones. Jones rewarded the team with 138 receptions for 2322 yards and 13 TDs in 61 games across five seasons. Classic case of an athlete masquerading as a football player.
  • Justin Blackmon (drafted 5th overall in 2012 by the Jacksonville Jaguars)
    Blackmon certainly had the talent to succeed in the NFL. In fact, he racked up 236 receiving yards in a single game against the Texans as a rookie. However, a four-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy in 2014, in addition to several arrests off the field, ended his career after just two seasons.
  • Kevin White (drafted 7th overall in 2015 by the Chicago Bears)
    Though still active, White might as well be retired. Seven seasons after being drafted, White has only appeared in 30 games and is still looking for his first TD.
  • Troy Williamson (drafted 7th overall in 2005 by the Minnesota Vikings)
    In five NFL seasons, Williamson played in 49 of a possible 80 games, with a stat line of 87 receptions, 1131 yards and four TDs. Williamson claimed that his multitude of drops was due to his poor depth perception, which seems like something that should’ve been brought up prior to his being taken 7th overall by the Vikings to replace Randy Moss.

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Biggest NFL Draft Busts

  • Larry Burton (drafted 7th overall in 1975 by the New Orleans Saints)
    Burton was an Olympic sprinter, representing the U.S. in the 200 meters at the 1972 Games. Burton was also the world record-holder in the 60-yard dash (5.9 seconds). Despite his blinding speed, Burton could not make enough plays on the field. Consequently, he could only post career totals of 44 catches, 804 yards, and seven TDs.
  • David Terrell (drafted 8th overall in 2001 by the Chicago Bears)
    Much like Kevin White, Terrell was a colossal bust for the Bears. However, unlike White, Terrell’s downfall wasn’t injuries but talent and character. In 54 games, Terrell only managed 128 catches, 1602 yards, and nine TDs.
  • John Ross (drafted 9th overall in 2017 by the Cincinnati Bengals)
    In what has become a recurring theme on this list, Ross became a Top 10 pick based almost entirely on his blazing 4.22 40 time. In five seasons and just 37 games, Ross’ speed was good for 62 catches, 957 yards, and 11 TDs.
  • Joey Jones (drafted 9th overall in 1984 by the Atlanta Falcons, supplemental)
    The Falcons spent the equivalent of the 9th pick overall in the 1984 Supplemental Draft to nab Jones. Despite high hopes, Jones only lasted 11 games in the NFL, posting seven receptions for 141 yards.
  • Yatil Green (drafted 15th overall in 1997 by the Miami Dolphins)
    Miami drafted Green to provide speed for their WR corps, but the football gods cursed his NFL career. In addition to tearing his quadriceps muscles, anterior cruciate ligament, and cartilage in his right knee on his first day in camp, Green tore the same ACL in training camp the following season. Consequently, in his third season, he played in nine games catching 18 passes for 234 yards and no touchdowns before retiring.

Special Busts

  • Rae Carruth (drafted 27th overall in 1997 by the Cleveland Browns)
    Forget the stats. Forget football. This scumbag hired a hit man to murder his pregnant girlfriend, killing her and causing his son to be born with brain damage. Despite his crimes, Carruth was somehow released from prison in 2018, after serving 18 years.
  • R. Jay Soward (drafted 29th overall in 2000 by the Jacksonville Jaguars)
    Weak character, poor attitude, and substance abuse ended Soward’s career before it had really begun. His career line reads 13 games, 14 receptions for 154 yards and one TD.

Wrapping Up

This is our list of the biggest NFL WR 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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