SI.com has a nice pictorial about the recent list of draft busts. SI.com - Photo Gallery - Top Draft Busts of the Modern Era. With the NFL draft looming this weekend, not only are teams looking for the next big thing....they are trying to stay away from the next big bust. It's one thing to miss out on a player, but get a decent one yourself. But it's another to miss out on a Hall Of Famer [Barry Sanders] to pick up Tony Mandarich.
Here is my comments on just a few of them.
BRIAN BOSWORTH. Once the Boz got rolled over by Bo Jackson.....the Boz image was done. Not just that, but it was lovingly recreated in the movie "The Program" as a hyper linebacker who gets off the juice gets run over at the goal line.
AUNDRAY BRUCE. Anytime you are the #1 pick in the NFL draft as a linebacker....then at the end of your career [which isn't much later] they are trying to make you a tight end.....you are indeed a bust.
TONY MANDARICH. SI itself dubbed him the greatest lineman ever. Oops. He was a freak of a physical specimen, sure.....but he was also a holdout and really nothing of note past that. What makes him an even bigger bust? The next three picks were Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders. One's in the Hall, one's heading to the Hall, and the other may still end up there.
ANDRE WARE, JOEY HARRINGTON. Both Lions QB draft picks....both busts.
BLAIR THOMAS. This pretty much began the Jets distaste for the NFL draft. And anyone about Penn State backs [see Carter below....and Curtis Enis]. Only now with Larry Johnson's surge with the Chiefshave the Nittany Lions backs regained some sort of dignity.
STEVE EMTMAN, QUENTIN CORYATT. I've been over this before...and, yes, injury issues still make you a bust. Emtman was bitten by the injury bug and never recovered. Coryatt just stunk up the joint. And what made this all the worse was that the Colts owned the top two picks in the 1992 draft and got both of these busts. Not that the 1992 1st round was all that spectacular.
TREV ALBERTS. Two years later, the Colts miss again....but this one was more brutal, as this was the pick that drew Mel Kiper Jr's famous ripping of the Colts franchise. Because of this, Mel now is a legend.
DAVID KLINGER. The posterchild for the decade of decadence in Cincinnati. He was the stat king in college but never turned it over to that in Cincy. And being Boomer Esiason's replacement didn't help matters. A few years later, the Bengals made the same mistake with AKILI SMITH several years later.
KIJANA CARTER. Carter blew out his knee in the preseason game and was an injury prone back the rest of his career. The Bengals traded up with the expansion Panthers to get that #1 pick. Ouch.
RICK MIRER. Being the QB of the Golden Domer's gets you some press....but how was he and Drew Bledsoe in the same sentence??
HEATH SCHULER. Well, the Redskins were an organization in flux....as Joe Gibbs left and the franchise seemed to be in a bit of disarray. Still, Schuler was handed everything and dropped it all.
LAWRENCE PHILLIPS. Two things. One, the Rams knew what they were getting with Phillips. His horrible college antics were coming to the surface. Two, because of this...teams are extra careful of these guys mental states now more than ever.
RYAN LEAF. He is the posterboy for busts. In any sport. Not only did he suck on the field, but he was a big baby off it. His "bust-ness" grows even bigger with the career that Peyton Manning, the guy selected right ahead of him, keeps going. Then remember that because of the magnitude of Leaf's bust-ness was....it scared the Chargers away from drafting Michael Vick with the #1 pick a few years ago [they dealt it away and got a pretty good guy in Drew Brees].