Let's face it...not everyone is not everyone is meant to dominate the NFL. Not everyone is destined for greatness like Peyton and Eli Manning. Not everyone will achieve the level of notoriety that Brett Favre did. The simple fact is that even though you get drafted into the NFL there is good chance that you will either pale in comparison to the greats or even find the spotlight and blow it like Michael Vick. In honor of the fine college athletes who are about to embark on this journey...let's discuss some the worst performing draft picks in the history of the NFL.
Lawrence Phillips - Drafted #6 by the Rams. OK...I started with Lawrence because he pissed me off as a kid and honestly...he still bugs me. Not only did he shame the Rams but he shamed the Cornhuskers which = Double Whammy. This guy had a great deal of potential on the field...but couldn't get his shit together off the field. The one good thing from the whole Lawrence fiasco...the NFL now does psychological testing for all draftees.
Tony Mandarich - Drafted #2 overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1989. For the record...I don't really remember this guy. I do remember my father predicted who the next Mandarich would be every year at our annual NFL draft party. I never really got it as a young girl but now I get it. This guy was over hyped from the start and probably never would have lived up to all the expectations that came from being named "The Greatest Offense Line Prospective of All Time." Whatever genius at at SI who wrote that deserves some of the credit for the fall of young Tony. Who could live up to a title like that? Clearly not Tony who lasted a pathetic and insignificant seven years in the NFL.
Derek Brown - Drafted #14 by the New York Giants in 1992. Derek's claim to fame? Well he is credited with being the main reason that teams avoid drafting tight ends in the first round of the draft. Way to ruin it for the rest of 'em.
David Klingler - Drafted # 6 by the Cincinnati Bengals. This is another name that my football loving father would use to describe poor performing athletes. In this case...Klinger is said have spent more time on the turf than on his feet. I seem to remember being compared to him after a pretty disastrous fall in the gym that I didn't get up from right away. I thought it had to do with clinging to the floor....a silly fact that always makes my dad smile whenever I remind him of it. Anyway...any QB who throws more interceptions than TDs throughout his career deserves to be turned into a "You don't want to be like ___, do you?" I might not have known who he was but I knew from my father's tone that I didn't want to be like him.
Andre Ware - Drafted #7 by the Detroit Tigers in 1990. Andre is proof that the Heisman Trophy does not equal success in the NFL. His claim to shame...he only three five TDs in four seasons. A quick Google search on Ware taught me that Ware was also the laughing stock of the CFL...which makes his story all the more tragic. I wouldn't call the Heisman a curse but....
My All Time Favorite Draft Bust....Ryan Leaf - drafted #2 by the San Diego Chargers in 1998. In all fairness...I should be nicer when it comes to Ryan Leaf but I am not. I don't hate him...I just find his descent into football history amusing. Maybe it is because there were so many comparisons between him and Peyton Manning. Maybe it is because some people said that Ryan should have been drafted before Peyton. Maybe it it is because he always seem cocky compared to the sweet southern charm of Peyton. More likely it is the fact that he was a total ass who pissed off everyone from his teammates to the waterboy. Sure nobody wants to talk to the media but when you are single handedly responsible for the crash and burn of an NFL team, you better figure out how to explain yourself. Ryan did have one good appearance since being drafted...and that was his cameo on a recent episode of The Simpsons in which he endorsed a mop.
To be honest...I intentionally left off Joey Harrington in spite of the fact that he earned a spoton this list but only because of the fact that I have long admired the guy. Truth be told...Joey should have have been so much more than the floating QB that he has become. It sucks but all is well when he flashes that smile. Of course I cannot think of Joey without thinking of Eric Crouch....but we'll save him for another night.