Worst Draft Picks in NFL History - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Worst Draft Picks in NFL History

To be the number one draft pick, you have to have an enormous amount of talent, but maybe more than that you will need to have a tremendous amount of character. It’s a very slippery slope to be ranked as the top draft pick, and while it is expected to go well; sometimes it ends in an unmitigated disaster. Here are three examples of players that were ranked first, but would have been much better placed lower.

Jake Long

He was drafted as number one to the Miami Dolphins in 2008, and his career only went backward. The initial signs were positive for Long, as he reached the Pro Bowl on four occasions in his first five years; however a number one draft pick is expected to hold down a position for years to come, and unfortunately Long didn’t do that.

His career in Miami ended when he was put on the injured reserve in 2012, after suffering from a torn bicep. He was given another chance after the St. Louis Rams put the injury down to bad luck, and they paid a hefty price for his services. It turned out to be an expensive mistake for the Rams as Long suffered consecutive torn ACL’s in back-to-back seasons. In 2016 he signed for the Vikings, but the comeback didn’t last long as he tore his Achilles tendon. Less than six months later he announced that he would be retiring.

JaMarcus Russell

You would be hard-pressed to find any American football fan that would feel sympathy for either the player or the franchise with this failed draft pick. The Oakland Raiders decided to pounce on Russell in the 2007 draft due to the obsession of Al Davis and his long throwers. He was strongly urged not to pursue the move by Detroit GM Matt Millen after concerns of his attitude, but the franchise sought the move and agreed to a contract with a $32 million guaranteed for the quarterback.

He was given a pass in the 2007 season due to concerns over developments. However, 2008 was expected to be his breakthrough campaign. It didn’t exactly go to plan, as he started 15 games; with the Raiders winning only five of these. There were more concerns ahead of the next season as Russell reported for preseason weighing more than 300 pounds. He was almost immediately dropped from the team, and despite a few comeback attempts; he never played a game in the NFL again.

Tim Couch

It’s almost impossible to put together a list of the worst draft picks in NFL history and not mention a Cleveland Brown quarterback pick that offered so much, and delivered nothing. Couch was the number one draft pick in 1999 and was handed the honor of being the first quarterback to wear the Browns colors since they rejoined the league. He was phenomenal at college for the Kentucky Wildcat’s, and Couch was expected to continue that form for the Browns. However, it didn’t quite plan out that way.

His college form eluded him, and injuries and his offensive line resulted in a devastating career. He endured five frustrating seasons in Cleveland. Tipsters such as nflpredictions.net couldn’t foresee Couch taking the Browns to the playoffs, but he did manage to do this in his penultimate season. However, in the fifth and final season he picked up a leg injury, and he was forced to retire from the game. He walked away from the NFL with a 22-37 record.


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