Tomorrow is the night football fans, as the 2014 NFL Draft is (finally!!!) open for business. To help you get ready, we’re going to take a look at the ALL-TIME WORST #1 DRAFT PICKS. That’s right, for every Andrew Luck there is one of these guys. Feel free to look away now Houston Texans fans!
10. Tim Couch (QB, Cleveland Browns, 1999)
Tim Couch was not terrible, but was definitely not the franchise quarterback the Browns expected him to be after leaving Kentucky. He was helpful in a 2002 playoff push, but was soon replaced by the slightly better Kelly Holcombe. It didn’t help Couch that the Browns were a newly formed expansion team and were pretty bad their first few seasons.
9. David Carr (QB, Houston Texans, 2002)
Tim Couch redux…no seriously, they were essentially the same player.
8. Courtney Brown (DE, Cleveland Browns, 2000)
So you think the Browns aren’t cursed? First Tim Couch, then this guy…in back-to-back freaking years. This story is much sadder though, as Brown was a victim of serious injury rather than just poor play. Had he been healthy, I highly doubt he would have made this list.
7. Aundray Bruce (LB, Atlanta Falcons, 1988)
So similar to Courtney Brown, it’s scary. Incredible hype led to Bruce’s #1 selection in 1988. For a season, he easily lived up to the hype. The second season though…he sustained a severe injury that greatly hampered the remainder of his career.
6. Ricky Bell (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1977)
Let’s just put aside the fact that he was taken instead of Tony Dorsett (sorry Bucs fans). Bell had a pretty underwhelming career. Not a terrible career for a fourth-rounder, but the guy was the #1 pick in the whole draft.
5. Ki-Jana Carter (RB, Cincinnati Bengals, 1995)
I don’t care how good of a player you are coming out of college, a serious knee injury in your first preseason game is an uber bad sign for things to come. For a running back, such an injury is disastrous. Actually, disastrous would be a pretty good way to describe the Bengals in the mid-1990’s as well.
4. Steve Emtman (DT, Indianapolis Colts, 1992)
Serious knee and neck injuries are “Bad News Bears” early in your career. This was the case for Emtman, who never could recover fully and struggled through a relatively brief career.
3. Terry Baker (QB, Los Angeles Rams, 1963)
Baker was a freakish two-sport athlete in college who was poised to be one of the NFL’s best. Problem with that was…he barely saw the field. Let me tell you this, no matter how bad your top draft pick is when you get him to camp, you still face enormous pressure to play him for a couple seasons at least. More often than not, you do. This tells you how much Baker struggled. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe this will…the man never threw a TD pass in the NFL…ever!
2. Tom Cousineau (LB, Buffalo Bills, 1979)
How can Cousineau beat out a guy who barely played…by literally not playing. That’s right the guy “decided screw Buffalo, I’m heading north to the CFL.” In fact, he never played for the Bills and was traded to Cleveland upon his return to the States. Happy ending for Bills fans though, his trade to the Browns ultimately resulted in getting Jim Kelly. So all’s well that ends well I guess.
1. JaMarcus Russell (QB, Oakland Raiders, 2007)
You might say “but Russell had a better career than some of the guys on this list, how can he be the worst ever?” I would retort by telling you that his contract was for nearly $70 millions dollars!!! While Russell didn’t collect all of that, this was the same guy who held out of training camp cause he didn’t think he was getting paid enough. Just to give you some insight, a QB sitting out his first training camp in the NFL and then expecting to play is like somebody who thinks they can be a surgeon cause they were amazing at Operation. It’s ludicrous!!! What’s really sad about Russell though, is that he had all the physical gifts to be an all-time great. I still remember him in 2007 Sugar Bowl and thinking that he was a “can’t miss” prospect. Well…the Raiders missed.
Sorry fans to bring up some painful memories. I hope you found some catharsis in this list…which hopefully will not have to be revised after Thursday night (I’m looking at you Houston Texans).
Tomorrow, be on the lookout for the 10 Most Anticipated Concerts of the Spring and Summer.