My Top 10 #NFL QB Draft Busts in My Lifetime

Ok, a lot of people are still involved in the NFL season as well as the NCAA’s, but I’ve been thinking, who are some of the bigger draft busts in the NFL? I’ve come up with my Top Ten List:

jamarcus russell

1. Jamarcus Russell: The bad part is that he’s still out of the league due to substance abuse problems and attitude issues. The great news is that he’s trying to work himself back in the league after being out of it since 2009.

The 1st overall pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2007 out of LSU, Russell struggled with his work ethic and becoming a leader for the Raiders offense and team. According to ESPN, he threw for 4,083 yards, 18 TD’s, 23 INT’s, a completion percentage of 52.1% and a record of 7-18 as a starter.

2. Vince Young: Who expected a Heisman-winning QB would be on this list? He had a great start to his young career as the 3rd overall pick out of the University of Texas to the Tennessee Titans. One of his biggest highlights was beating his hometown team, the Houston Texas, in overtime back in 2006 off of a 39-yard scamper in overtime:

But, he’s currently out of a job in the NFL and lobbied via Twitter for a job.


Career numbers? ESPN reported he threw for 8,964 yards, 46 TD’s, 51 INT’s and rushed for 1,459 yards for 12 TD’s. He has a completion percentage of 57.9% and a win-loss record of 30-17 as a starter (per Bleacher Report).

joey harrington

3. Joey Harrington: A prolific college starter at Oregon, Harrington was all the hype coming out of the college ranks in 2002. The Detroit Lions took him 3rd overall and expected him to save their wallowing franchise. His last year playing in the NFL was in 2007 with the Atlanta Falcons.

Career numbers? 14,693 yards passing, 79 passing TD’s, 85 INT’s, 56.1% completion percentage and a 18-37 win-loss record as a starter.

4. Kyle Boller: Kyle who?! That’s what you should be saying. He was supposed to be the next biggest thing for the Baltimore Ravens in the 2003 NFL draft as their 19th pick in the 1st round. Out of California-Berkeley, he ended up getting replaced time and time again by Pro Bowler Steve McNair.

Yet, he could never be the great starter the front office envisioned. Stats with the Ravens per ESPN: 8,931 yards passing, 48 TD’s, 54 INT’s, 56.7% completion percentage and a 21-19 win-loss record as a Ravens starter.

5. Mark “the Sanchize” Sanchez aka Butt Fumble: Anointed the “Sanchize” by teammates and the New York media, Mark Sanchez used one year as USC starter into the 2009 5th overall pick for the New York Jets. But, he has not lived up to the hype and is best known for the Butt Fumble.

Per ESPN, He’s thrown for 12,092 yards, 68 TD’s and 69 INT’s with a career record of 37-31 as a starter. I have to note that the Jets front office did not develop or bring in top WR talent to help develop Sanchez, so it’s not all on him.

He’s currently out of the season with shoulder surgery as 2013 1st round pick Geno Smith is the starter for the Jets for the foreseeable future.

6. Blaine Gabbert: A top passing QB out of Missouri, Gabbert has struggled mightily as the starter for the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, he’s been replaced by David Gerrard, a veteran who ended up retiring because of constant nagging injuries after being released from the Jaguars.

Castaway Chad Henne has also spent time filling in for Gabbert. That is not a positive thing if Henne is starting over you.

His numbers? 4,357 passing yards, 22 TD’s, 24 INT’s, 53.3% completion percentage and win-loss record of 2-14.

matt leinart

7. Matt Leinart: A Heisman-winning quarterback out of USC, he is now an afterthought for a NFL backup. Picked 10th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, he has flamed out of a starting job. He even got replaced the older Kurt Warner, who led the Cardinals to a Super Bowl XLIII berth (and loss versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009). He’s now unemployed after not getting a gig with the almost QB-less Buffalo Bills.

Career numbers are: 4,065 passing yards, 15 TD’s, 21 INT’s, completion percentage of 57.1%.

8. Patrick Ramsey: A hard-throwing QB out of Tulane, Washington Redskins management saw a potential starting QB they spent decades looking for. After seeing Heath Shuler and others go down in flames (except for Brad Johnson, who won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay after his stint with the ‘Skins), they selected him 32nd overall in 2002.

He could never grab the spotlight or starting job consistently, and was deemed a failure and whose rookie contract was not renewed. He ended his seven-year NFL career with only 37 games played.

9. David Carr: A top heralded college quarterback out of Fresno State, he was drafted by the Houston Texans. Without a decent or even adequate offensive line, the coaching staff and front office were content in letting him get hit and sacked an NFL-record 76 times. After that, he was never the same.

Now he is backing up two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning and watching his younger brother, Derek, rack up yards and hype at his alma mater.

tim tebow

10. ESPN’s Skip Bayless, er, Tim Tebow: Done in by ESPN’s “Tebowmania” coverage when he went unexpectedly high as the 25th overall pick in the NFL draft to the Denver Broncos, Tebow is currently out of the league.

Not even the Canadian Football League wants him.

But, you have to first blame Skip Bayless and the drama that ESPN created around Tebow. He could never avoid questions and throngs of reporters wherever he went. Yes, his poor QB mechanics are to blame, but that is shouldered on his college coach at Florida (and current Ohio State coach) Urban Meyer. Still, Denver sent him packing to the dysfunctional locker room of the New York Jets, where he spent more time talking to the media than hitting the field.

That’s my list. Any thoughts?


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About Spencer Irvine

Fun loving, D.C. area sports fan, which means I'm frustrated and still can't get a grip on what a win truly means (or a championship for that matter).

2 responses to “My Top 10 #NFL QB Draft Busts in My Lifetime”

  1. David says :

    Nicely done. Glad that transition from college to career is less traumatic for non sports folks. Enlighten us on recent conference realignments, starting with football and end with basketball. Thank you.

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