8 Biggest NFL Draft Busts Since 2000

​The NFL draft is pretty much a gamble at every level. For every great pick a team makes, there are always several that simply never pan out. 


Sometimes, we're gifted with a head-scratcher from the start.


By any measure, these are the 20 biggest NFL draft busts since 2000. These picks turned out poorly due to either injury, awful play, and even run-ins with the law.

8. Justin Blackmon

  • Drafted: No. 5 overall in 2012 by the Jaguars
  • Years in NFL: 2012-2013
  • Career stats: 93 catches, 1,280 yards, 13 TDs

​What was once considered a promising career, Blackmon is considered one of the biggest draft busts in Jaguars history. The former Oklahoma State All-American had a good rookie season, being named to the 2012 All-Rookie Team. Four games into his sophomore season, Blackmon was suspended for the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and has not played an NFL down since.

7. Courtney Brown

  • Drafted: No. 1 overall in 2000 by the Browns
  • Years in NFL: 2000-2006
  • Career stats: 194 tackles, 19 sacks

​The Browns were looking to build up the defensive front back in the day, and went with Penn State lineman Courtney Brown first overall. Brown had two decent seasons in Cleveland, but the majority of his career, he dealt with injuries and never became the premier pass rusher they had hoped for. 


A Browns mistake? You're kidding.

6. David Carr

  • Drafted: No. 1 overall in 2002 by the Texans
  • Years in NFL: 2006-2015
  • Career stats: 59.7 completion percentage, 14,452 passing yards, 65 TDs, 71 INTs

​Coming into an expansion team as the first overall pick, Carr had a lot of expectations. From the start, he struggled getting sacked an NFL record 76 times in his rookie season. He was the continued starter until the 2006 offseason when he was released after failing to lead Houston to the playoffs. He stuck around the NFL for a few more years, noticeably as Eli Manning's backup. He even won a ring during the Giants Super Bowl win in 2012.

5. Aaron Curry

  • Drafted: No. 4 overall in 2009 by the Seahawks
  • Years in NFL: 2009-2012
  • Career stats: 203 tackles, 5.5 sacks

​Coming out of Wake Forest, analysts deemed Curry one of the best pass rushers in the draft, and he was the highest drafted linebacker since LaVar Arrington in 2000. Unfortunately, he struggled in Seattle, recording just 5.5 sacks in three seasons with Seattle. He would never have an NFL sack again as he was shipped to Oakland for two years before retiring in 2013.

4. Charles Rogers

  • Drafted: No. 2 overall in 2003 by the Lions
  • Years in NFL: 2003-2005
  • Career stats: 36 catches, 440 yards, 4 TD

​After receiving All-American honors while at Michigan State, Detroit selected the hometown kid second overall. His ability to get open and score touchdowns did not translate to the NFL, as he only posted 243 yards and three touchdowns his first year. Injuries and a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy ended his playing career in 2005.

3. Trent Richardson

  • Drafted: No. 3 overall in 2012 by the Browns
  • Years in NFL: 2012-2014
  • Career stats: 2,032 yards, 17 TDs

​Coming out of Alabama, the hype for Richardson was through the roof. He was the complete back coming into the draft, with the size and field vision to be one of the next great running backs. He had a solid rookie season with 950 yards but was traded halfway through his sophomore season to the Colts. He was never able to find that spark he had his first season and the Colts released him in 2014. He tried out of the Raiders and Ravens but never made the regular season roster for both teams.

2. Vernon Gholston

Gholston had a stellar career at Ohio State and was supposed to be the next elite pass rusher, a new generation of Sack Exchange. The Jets selected Gholston to build up the defensive line, but he struggled right from the start. After having 21.5 sacks during his time with the Buckeyes, Gholston posted zero sacks while in a Jet uniform and was released after 2010.


He attempted two more comebacks in 2011 and 2012 with the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams respectively, but was cut both times during the preseason. A once-promising career as a top pass rusher turned to be one of the biggest draft busts in Jets history.

1. JaMarcus Russell

  • Drafted: No. 1 overall in 2007 by the Raiders
  • Years in NFL: 2006-2009
  • Career stats: 52.1% completions 4,083 passing yards, 18 TDS, 23 INT

​With a 6-6, 260 pound frame to go along with a cannon of an arm, Russell was considered one of the best quarterbacks to come out of the draft in a long time. Oakland took Russell in hopes of bringing the franchise back to its winning ways. That was not the case, as he was released after the 2009 season after poor play and conditioning issues. He has attempted multiple comebacks but has never signed with another NFL franchise.


Not gonna happen.