With the NFL Draft just three days away, The Canon Review is compiling a list of the worst draft picks over each of the past 30 years. This is the third of a three-part series. Before I begin, I must say that these selections are as of today, as players picked over the past three or four years still have a good chance of developing into solid players. So, without further adieu, here are the worst NFL Picks over the past 10 years.
2000: Courtney Brown, Cleveland Browns, DE, 1st Pick in the Draft
Brown and fellow Penn State teammate LB Lavar Arrington were the top two picks in the 2000 Draft. While Arrington had a star-crossed career, he at least made a couple of Pro Bowls and was generally considered an impact player during his tenure with the Washington Redskins. Brown, however, was never on the field long enough to make an impact, as he battled injury after injury during his pro football career. When he was on the field, Brown showed signs of the talent that made him an All-American at Penn State, but like a few others I've mentioned, Brown just could not stay on the field. After five years in Cleveland, Brown spent two years with the Broncos, missing one due to a torn ACL, before retiring in 2007.
2001: David Terrell, Chicago Bears, WR, 8th Pick
Coming out of Michigan, David Terrell was considered the best wide receiver prospect in the 2001 Draft, and some thought that other than Michael Vick, Terrell was the player most likely to become an NFL superstar out of this draft. Even more than LaDanian Tomlinson. Terrell did not become a superstar, or even a good NFL receiver. In five NFL seasons, Terrell caught a total of nine touchdown passes. To make matters worse, Terrell was the first receiver picked in a draft class that included wide receivers such as Santana Moss, Steve Smith, Chad Johnson (nee Ochocinco), Reggie Wayne, and Chris Chambers.
2002: David Carr, Houston Texans, QB, 1st Pick
I didn't want to put Carr on this list, as I feel like he got a raw deal. But when your a quarterback picked number one in the draft, and fail to lead your team to the postseason at least once, than you've got to be considered a disappointment. Carr was the Johnny Unitas Award winner for best college quarterback in 2001 for Fresno State, and had the size, arm, and mobility that all NFL teams look for when picking a quarterback. The expansion Houston Texans made Carr the first pick in the draft, and made Carr the starter instantly. In his first year, Carr was sacked a record 78 times, due to playing behind an inept offensive line, and over the next few years, Carr would continue to take a beating, partially due to a bad offensive line, and partially due to his tendency to hold on to the ball too long. In his five seasons with the Texans, Carr threw more interceptions than touchdowns and compiled a 22-53 record as a starter before the Texans moved in another direction. I wonder how Carr would have done with a more established team with a better offensive line, but I guess we'll never know.
2003: Charles Rogers, Detroit Lions, WR, 2nd Pick
Rogers was supposed to be the next Randy Moss after coming out of the draft from Michigan State, where he set all sorts of school records and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for best collegiate wide receiver in 2002. Rogers instead became a spectacular failure. First, his first two seasons were ended due to a broken collarbone. Add to that a poor work ethic, and a drug problem which led to a suspension in 2005, and Rogers managed to flame out in three years, finishing his career with 36 catches and 4 touchdowns. Later, Rogers would admit that he smoked pot and drunk alcohol nearly every day during his playing days, which a judge would rule that, because the admitted drug use violated the terms of his contract, Rogers must pay the Lions back six million dollars. To make matters worse for the Lions, Andre Johnson was selected a pick after Rogers, and Johnson is now considered one of the best receivers in the NFL.
2004: Reggie Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars, WR, 9th Pick
The third wide receiver in the past four drafts to be featured, Williams was a huge target with the deep speed NFL teams covet from their wideouts. While Williams had a good season in 2007 (10 TDs), he largely failed to deliver on the promise that made him a first round pick. Williams has battled injuries, and has had multiple incidents with the law, mainly due to drugs. After five seasons in Jacksonville, the Jaguars let Williams go after the 2008 season. Just 26, Williams recently signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he will try to make the team during training camp.
2005: Adam Jones, Tennessee Titans, CB, 6th Pick
The artist formerly known as Pacman has shown a lot of skill when on the field, as his three punt return touchdowns in 2006 show. The problem is, Jones hasn't been on the field too much, and didn't play at all in 2009. The reason why is simple, as Jones has a rap sheet at long as one of Manute Bol's legs. He was suspended for the 2007 season after one of his entourage members shot up a strip club, in which Pacman had assulted a stripper earlier that night. Like any normal person, Jones used this setback to his advantage, as he signed a contract with the wrestling organization TNA, where he was one-half of the world Tag Team champions. In 2008, Jones played for the Dallas Cowboys, and is looking to sign on with another team for the 2010 season. If he's serious, Jones still could become a very good player, but it remains to be seen if he can stay out of trouble.
2006: Michael Huff, Oakland Radiers, S, 7th Pick
Huff is still on the Raiders, but up until this point has not become the player the Raiders felt would solve their problems in the secondary. An All-American and the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award for best collegiate defensive back in 2005, the former Texas Longhorn was thought to have the versatility to play either cornerback or safety. The Raiders stuck him at safety, but by 2008 Huff had lost his starting position, due to a lack of big plays and poor tackling. 2009 was a step in the right direction, as Huff set a career high with three interceptions. Entering the 2010 season, Huff might not have a lot of chances left to prove that he is not a bust.
2007: JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders, QB, 1st Pick
Russell was considered the next great quarterback coming out of LSU. He's a huge guy, with some mobility, and may have the strongest arm among all quarterbacks in the NFL. He was supposed to breathe new life into the Raiders, but instead all Russell has brought is a triple dose of frustration to the Raiders and their fans. While Russell can throw a pretty deep ball, he can't throw with any accuracy, has trouble dealing with a pass rush, and hasn't shown a great ability to read defenses. There have also been questions about Russell's conditioning and commitment to the game. Other than all of that, JaMarcus Russell is everything you could hope for in a quarterback picked number one. Coming into the 2010 season, Russell is now in a battle for his starting job with Bruce Gradkowski, a man with the fraction of Russell's talent but unlike Russell, he understands the game and seemed to gain the trust of his teammates last year.
2008: Vernon Gholston, New York Jets, OLB, 6th Pick
I suppose I could have put Darren McFadden or Glenn Dorsey on this list, but at least those two have shown glimpses of excellence, even if they have yet to meet expectations. Gholston, on the other hand, has spent his first two years buried on the Jets bench. Gholston was expected to use his considerable speed and 260 pound frame to become the next great pass rusher, but in two years, Gholston has yet to record a sack. It's still early, but due to a lack of confidence in Gholston by Jets coach Rex Ryan, it may take a change of scenery for Gholston to receive an opportunity to realize his potential.
2009: Jason Smith, St. Louis Rams, OT, 2nd Pick
Even though it's only been one year, I had to choose somebody, and Jason Smith did not have a good rookie year. In 2009, Smith played in only eight games, five of which he started, due primarily due to injuries. But there's no reason to fret yet, as in 1997 the Rams used the number one pick on OT Orlando Pace. Like Smith, Pace struggled his rookie year, but he bounced back and became one of the best offensive lineman in football. The Rams are hoping for deja vu with Smith.
Well, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the final part of our three part series on the worst NFL Draft Picks over the past 30 years. If you have any feedback on this or other posts, or have an idea for a future post, than share them either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at KtheC2001@gmail.com.