Thursday, March 20, 2008

The All-Bust Bowl

With the national holiday known as the NFL draft coming and every team spending jillions trying to figure out which player is the best fit, I got all nostalgic thinking of drafts pasts. And since I am a Jet fan, drafts pasts means drafts picks wasted and gigantic, humungous busts. Which got me thinking: What if we could alter time, and have the worst, all-time busts play each other? Call it the Super-Bust Bowl (sponsored by Wonder bra of course). On one side we could have Team Ryan Leaf, on the other, Team Akili Smith. All right, let's get to the Rosters:

Team Ryan Leaf
Art Schlicter - Ohio State - Baltimore - 1982
A lot of people would put Heath Schuler here, but Schlicter was picked ahead of Marcus Allen and Hall of Fame guard Mike Munchak. Massive gambling problems limited him to 6 career starts and a 45% completion rating. An All-Time Buster.

Team Akili Smith
Todd Blackledge - Penn State - Kansas City - 1983
Picked ahead of Dan Marino and Jim Kelly. 28 TD passes and 39 ints. Awesome.

Running Backs:
Team Ryan Leaf
Blair Thomas - Penn State - New York Jets - 1990
The Jets should have their own wing in the Hall of Busts. Picked ahead of Emmit Smith and Rodney Hampton, as well as Junior Seau. A Colossus of Busts.

Team Akili Smith
Lawrence Phillips - Nebraska - St. Louis Rams - 1996
A mega talent. A major jerk. So talented coaches kept bringing him back. Such a jerk he wiped out not only in the NFL, but the CFL too.

Wide Receivers:
Team Ryan Leaf
Charles Rogers - Michigan State - Detroit Lions - 2003
Taken by his home state Lions ahead of Andre Johnson. Got suspended a few times for violating the NFL drug policy and out of the league.

David Terrell - Michigan - Chicago Bears - 2001
Former teammate, Dashing Tom Brady tried to help him out when he was cut by the Bears and gave him a shot in New England. Didn't take.

Team Akili Smith
Rae Carruth - Colorado - Carolina Panthers - 2001
In the library of the All-Time busts, murder has a very special place.

Johnny "Lam" Jones - Texas - New York Jets - 1980
Another brilliant Jet pick. A no. 2 pick in the draft, the guy could run like the wind. Too bad he also caught passes like the wind. Oh, and Anthony Munoz was the next pick.

Tight Ends:
Team Ryan Leaf
David Lafleur - LSU - Dallas Cowboys - 1997
Really wasn't as bad as Cowboy fans remember. Still, Lafleur holds a special place in their hearts as they traded 2 no. 1 picks to move to get him.

Team Akili Smith
Johnny Mitchell - Nebraska - New York Jets - 1992
I still get anger spasms from this pick. Also could haven selected Derek Brown, taken in the same draft one spot before him. Brown had an illustrious 11 catches in 3 seasons.

Offensive Tackles:
Team Ryan Leaf
Tony Mandarich - Michigan State - Green Bay Packers - 1989
The definition of Bust. The second pick in that year's draft, he was selected ahead of Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders.

Antone Davis - Tennessee - Philadelphia Eagles - 1991
8th pick in the draft, two ahead of 3-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champ, Jim Lachey.

Team Akili Smith
Kevin Allen - Indiana - Philadelphia - 1985
Another Eagle pick, taken from the college football hotbed of Indiana U. One year in the league was all he lasted. Also a sex offender, which is nice.

Mike Williams - Texas - Buffalo Bills - 2002
A 330-lb. Bust. Couldn't play tackle or guard.

Team Ryan Leaf
Eugene Chung - Virginia Tech - New England Patriots - 1992
Noted for being the first Asian American taken in the first round. That's about it.

John Rienstra - Temple - Pittsburgh Steelers - 1986
You take a guy from Temple? With the 9th pick in the draft?

Team Akili Smith
Andre Hines - Stanford - Seattle Seahawks - 1980
Get this. The Seattle coaches wanted to pick a guy named Brian Holloway, but wrote down the wrong jersey number and ended up picking Hines by accident. Overweight, soft (Seahawk coaches said that you could ... "walk around the field and beat him by three minutes"), his career lasted 9 games.

John Charles Hicks Jr. - Ohio State - New York Giants - 1974
Awesome collegiate career (they still sing songs about him at Ohio State). Taken an amazing 3rd in the draft. Out of the league in three years.

Team Ryan Leaf
Steve Everitt - Michigan - Cleveland Browns - 1993
If you take a center with the 14th pick in the draft, he'd better be better than bouncing around the league for 6 years.

Team Akili Smith
Robert Shaw - Tennessee - Dallas Cowboys - 1979
You just have to love the name. Injuries kept to 3 years and out.

Defensive Tackles:
Team Ryan Leaf
Steve Emtman - Washington - Indianapolis Colts - 1992
1st pick in the draft, the guy was an animal when healthy. He just was never healthy. Poster boy for anti-Astroturf protestors.

Gabriel Rivera - Texas Tech - Pittsburgh Steelers - 1983
A drug addict, he became paralyzed in a drunk driving accident his rookie season. Notable because Pittsburgh fans are upset the Steelers passed on hometown favorite Dan Marino.

Team Akili Smith
Jonathan Sullivan - Georgia - New Orleans Saints - 2003
Not only a big, fat, mega-bust, but cost the Saints two no. 1 picks to move up to take him. Lasted 3 years.

Ryan Sims - North Carolina - Kansas City Chiefs - 2002
Drafted 6th in the draft ahead of Dwight Freeney, John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth, he has a career total of 6 sacks.

Defensive Ends:
Team Ryan Leaf
Reggie Rogers, DE, Detroit Lions - 1987
Even surpassing the Jets, the Lions picks over the years are astonishing in their cluelessness. The 7th overall pick, he is remembered more for his off-the-field behavior. On the field, he had a career total of two sacks. Off the field he was imprisoned for vehicular manslaughter.

Jamal Reynolds, DE, Green Bay Packers - 2001
I remember being so happy that Green Bay took this guy, because I was afraid the Jets might take him a few picks later. Total washout.

Team Akili Smith
Cedric Jones - Oklahoma - New York Giants - 1996
Blind in one eye, which the Giants didn't know, he totaled 15 sacks before he was bounced from the league.

John Copeland - Alabama - Cincinnati - 1993
Copeland, who had 24 career sacks, went 35 picks before Michael Strahan, who has 142.

Team Ryan Leaf
Mike Junkin - Duke - Cleveland Browns - 1987
Whatever Schottenheimer saw in this kid, no one else did. Projected to a mid-round pick, Mad Marty moved up 19 spots in the first round to the no 5 spot to take him.
The result. No tackles, no sacks. Ever.

Tom Cousineau - Ohio State - Buffalo Bills - 1979
The 1st Pick Overall, he never played a down for them. Why? Because he thought they were rude. He went the CFL for two seasons, then came to Cleveland. Not a bad player, but still worthy of the Super-Bust list. If you draft a player and he never touches the home turf, that's a bust.

Team Akili Smith
Keith McCants - Alabama - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1990
Tampa Bay, who picked McCants as the 4th Pick Overall were shocked, yes, shocked to find out McCants was completely incapable of playing linebacker in the NFL, mostly because they had no idea he had sustained a serious knee injury. They tried to convert him to defensive end this second season in the league, where he got fat and looked lost. He was cut by 1993. The next pick after McCants. Junior Seau.

Rick Middleton - Ohio State - New Orleans Saints - 1974
Had to use the Way-Back Machine for this one. The Aints used the 13th pick in the 74 draft to take Middleton, one slot ahead of his teammate, future Pro Bowler and "the heart and soul of the original Orange Crush defense," Randy Gradishar. Middleton was traded after two seasons and was out of the league in 5. Never recorded a sack.

Team Ryan Leaf
Bruce Pickens - Nebraska - Atlanta Falcons - 1991
"Easy" Pickens was exactly that for quarterbacks. The 3rd pick in the 91 draft, he had a total of 2 interceptions before being bounced out of the league in 1995. Also, gets the distinction of being the only draft pick to even threaten to sue the team that drafted him, before he ever played a game for them. He now supposedly runs a doomsday cult in California.

Michael Booker - Nebraska - Atlanta Falcons - 1997
Atlanta did so well with cornerbacks from Nebraska with Pickens, they decided to try again 6 seasons later with Booker. Taken directly ahead of Warrick Dunn and Tony Gonzalez, 33 picks ahead of Sam Madison and 55 picks before Ronde Barber, Booker left the league by 2001. He is quoted as saying he didn't like playing in the NFL as much as he did in college.

Team Akili Smith
Tom Knight - Iowa - 1997 - Arizona Cardinals
1997 seems to be a banner year for El Busto cornerbacks. If you are taken 9th in the draft and your interception total for your career is 3...then you are guaranteed a cushy soft chair at the table. The mega-Bust table.

Russell Carter - Southern Methodist University - New York Jets - 1984
Ahhh, good old reliable Jets. Always up for a huge miss in the draft. Taken with the 10th pick in the 84 draft, one spot ahead of Wilbur Marshall, Carter was traded a few seasons later to the Raiders for a 6th round pick. Classic Jets.

Team Ryan Leaf
Leonard Coleman - Vanderbilt - Indianapolis Colts - 1984
Two picks ahead of Russell Carter, Coleman with taken by the Colts with the 8th pick. However, they couldn't agree with Coleman, so he spent the '84 season playing in the USFL. When they did sign, he did a whole lot of nothing. Traded to the Chargers and out of the league shortly after.

Rashard Anderson - Jackson State University - Carolina Panthers - 2000
A cornerback, who Carolina immediately realized couldn't play there and tried to convert to safety. Carolina continually bounced him between safety and corner, but one thing was constant. He couldn't play. After his second season, he was suspended twice for violating NFL drug policy, and never played again.

Team Akili Smith
Patrick Bates - Texas A&M - Los Angeles Raiders - 1993
Such a bust, no remembers him ever being in the NFL. Practically no info on this guy.

Derrick Gibson - Florida State - Oakland Raiders - 2001
Go to the Oakland Raiders bulletin board and see what the fans think of Derrick Gibson. Here's a sample. "Seriously, does this guy ever make the smart decision on a play? He blows routine tackles, is always 2 steps late reacting to the ball, and just looks lost in the zone scheme. Gibson has sucked his entire 4 years in the NFL. Derrick must be a favorite of Al's for him to be starting and still be on our team."

Team Ryan Leaf
Russell Erxleben - Texas - New Orleans Saints - 1979
Drafted a ridiculous 11th in the draft after a very nice collegiate career, his first NFL game "was a portent of his pro career." A punter as well, the snap in an overtime game, went over his head. When Erxleben went to go get it, he turned around and threw a strike to Falcon, James Mayberry who walked into the end zone for a TD. Next season, during the very first game, he blew a game-tying field goal. After his pro career, he got busted for securities fraud and served time in jail.

Team Akili Smith
Steven Little - Arkansas - St. Louis Cardinals - 1978
Drafted 15th in the 1978 draft after kicking an NCAA record-tying 67-yard field goal in 1977, Little flamed out in the NFL as both a punter and a kicker. 2 years later, on the day he was released from the Cardinals, Little was in a car crash leaving him a quadriplegic.

Not enough punters to warrant a Bust.

I realize we left a whole mess of Busts on the table; Willie Middlebrooks, Ken Macafee, Curtis Enis, Ki-Jana Carter, Percy Snow, Sammie Smith, etc, etc. But we have to play the game now. And after one quarter where they really play well, Akili Smith team flames out for the next three. While Team Ryan Leaf just freaks out, tries to hit officials, fans, refs and the occasional teammate. Final score: -10 to -10. A tie. What other way would you end the Bust Bowl?


ABS said...

Ah Paul you KNEW this posting would be right up my alley.

However, I (and most Redskin fans) would disagree on your stance on Punter. Mention the name Ed Bunn to to Redskin nation and they will still shake their heads. Drafted in the third round out of UTEP, they got this pick from the Chargers in a trade for Stan Humphries, who ended up taking the Chargers to a Super Bowl! Bunn might be the worst bust on your list because....he never even played! Redskins bought in Reggie Roby and Bunn was cut. It worked out okay for him, tho, he got into Harvard law school.

The reason why I know so much about this guy? Some clown in my fantasy league drafted him. Guess who this dope was????

um, me.

ABS said...

As I started following the Giants in the mid-70s, I recall John Hicks very well. Apparently he ate his way out of the league. I still have a card of him!!

Anyway, if you think the Jets have had a history of bad 1st round picks, check out some of these beauties the Giants drafted 1st:

1964: Joe Don Looney
1966: Francis Peay
1971: Rocky Thompson
1972: Eldridge Small
1973: Larry Jacobsen
1974: Hicks
1985: George Adams
1991: Jarrod Bunch
1992: Derek Brown
1994: Thomas Lewis
1996: Jones
2000: Ron Dayne


To be fair, the Giants, especially under George Young, were always good at finding gems in later rounds.

P-Cat said...

Jarrod Bunch. I wanted to find a spot for him on the team. What a waste of a pick. There were so many other guys I wanted on the bust team i couldn't fit.

Anonymous said...

Where is Bruce Pickens or does anyone know the number or address to this supposed cult he owns? Curious........

Anonymous said...

No Mossy Cade? Figured he would be the first pick at cornerback.

Are you wondering how I came across this article? I was doing a google search on Robert Shaw to see who the hell was was. Sad commentary on my life.

Todd Pence said...

1987 St. Louis Cardinals
Kelly Stouffer, QB, Colorado State

So you're the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987. You've got needs almost everywhere except at quarterback, where you've got one of the league's better ones in Neil Lomax. So what to you do? You draft QB Stouffer, a player not even projected as a first-rounder.
To top it all off, you are then unable to sign Stouffer and trade his rights to Seattle the following year for a song.