In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, we will be looking back at the drafts from the past 10 years, including busts, studs, and steals.
It’s hard to believe that the 2007 Draft was 10 years ago. 10 years since a monster-sized wide receiver named Calvin Johnson was drafted out of Georgia Tech. 10 years since the baddest man in the whole damn town was drafted over Adrian Peterson. 10 years since Allegheny County Jail Inmate #24 was taken by the Jets. Sadly though, all of these players’ careers are coming to an end, save for Calvin Johnson, who did just what all-time great Detroit Lions do by retiring in his late prime. Despite this, we can now look back in 20/20 hindsight and judge the stupidity of the ones making these decisions, most of whom have probably already been fired. With that being said, let’s look at the top 10 busts from the 2007 NFL Draft.
10. Anthony Gonzalez-WR, Ohio State
32nd Overall-Indianapolis Colts
5 Seasons: 99 Receptions, 1,307 Yards. 7 TDs
Bust Status: Gonzo was a cursed pick from the start. He was drafted to be a slot receiver for the Super Bowl 41 Champion Colts, so a luxury pick in other words. Luxury picks in the first round almost never work out. It’s like the football gods punish those teams who feel as if they can draft a guy just because they’re already good enough elsewhere. Gonzalez’s career never took off, and he lost his spot on the depth chart to Pierre Garçon in 2009, and was a healthy scratch for most of the 2011 season. Rumor has it that the only reason he wasn’t cut was because of former Colts GM Bill Polian’s pride.
What Went Wrong: It’s hard to say. After a promising first two seasons in the league, in which he caught 94 of his 99 career receptions, he struggled with injuries and competetion at the wide receiver spot.
9. Craig “Buster” Davis-WR, LSU
30th Overall-San Diego Chargers
4 Seasons: 51 Receptions, 558 Yards, 2 TDs
Bust Status: I’m just going to throw it out there, you probably shouldn’t draft a guy in the first round with the nickname “Buster.” Fun fact-There was another Buster Davis in the 2007 Draft, a linebacker from Florida State chosen by the Cardinals atop the 3rd Round, and he was among the team’s final cuts out of training camp. Two players named Buster Davis in the same draft, both massive busts. Nicknames aside, Davis just flat out sucked. He was a project player coming out of LSU that never came to fruition.
What Went Wrong: Bad nickname, project player, Norv Turner, and injuries.
8. Jarvis Moss-DE, Florida
17th Overall-Denver Broncos
6 Season: 48 Tackles, 6 Sacks
Bust Status: The 6’7″ 250lbs DE that ran a 4.70 40 was traded by the Broncos after only three seasons. He averaged 1 sack per season, and contemplated retirement during the 2010 preseason.
What Went Wrong: Moss was the classic guy who’s stock goes waaaay up after one big game, which happened to be the 2007 National Championship. Also, his size and athletic ability made him a hotter commodity than he should’ve been. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that he was a pre-lockout first rounder, so he got paid, and just didn’t give a shit after that.
7. John Beck-QB, BYU
40th Overall-Miami Dolphins
6 Seasons: 3 TDs, 7 INTs, 67.6 QB Rating
Bust Status: The Stormin’ Mormon was supposed to be the franchise QB throwing bombs to Ted Ginn Jr. under the command of Cam Cameron. In reality, the Beck-Ginn-Cameron Era looked like this. Beck was so bad as a rookie that he lost the backup job to a guy named Cleo Lemon, and never took a snap in year 2. He was cut after the 2008 season and bounced around the league for a few more years.
What Went Wrong: To start, Beck was a 26 year old rookie because of a mission trip that is standard with BYU grads. Part of his problem is that he was the fourth QB taken in a draft where Kevin Kolb ended up having the most “successful” career, so he was likely overdrafted based on need.
6. Amobi Okoye-DT, Louisville
10th Overall-Houston Texans
7 Non-Consecutive Seasons: 177 Tackles, 16 Sacks
Bust Status: The youngest player ever drafted into the NFL at 19 years old, Okoye peaked in his first year in the NFL. He was cut after four seasons with the Texans, but bounced around the league for a few years after. Okoye is only 29 years old though, so maybe there’s still time.
What Went Wrong: Let’s start with the fact that he chose Louisville over Harvard when he was 15 because he wanted to play at a good football program. Aside from this, I have no freaking clue. He was a 19 year old in a grown man’s body and turned down a scholarship from Harvard. Worse than being a bust in the NFL, he gave up the chance to use his brain for good, possibly to cure cancer or AIDS, in order to play in the NFL. Also, he was put into a medically-induced coma because of a string of severe seizures, but that’s neither here nor there.
5. Justin Harrell-DT, Tennessee
16th Overall-Green Bay Packers
4 Seasons: 28 Tackles
Bust Status: With a career average of 7 tackles per season, it’s not hard to justify his spot on this list. But then again, tackles are tackles, and are necessary to playing good defense. Harrell got his career off to a bad start after showing up to training camp overweight and out of shape (by 300lbs linemen standards apparently). He does have a Super Bowl ring however, so I guess some good came out of his career.
What Went Wrong: Injuries, injuries, injuries. Harrell was always injured, starting at his very first rookie mini-camp. He never stood a chance.
4. Levi Brown-OT, Penn State
5th Overall-Arizona Cardinals
7 Seasons: 79 Starts
Bust Status: Brown had a very mediocre, if not shitty, career. He was a decent run-blocker in his prime, and always a liability in pass protection. Making matters worse is that Adrian Peterson, Darrelle Revis, and Joe Staley were all drafted after him.
What Went Wrong: Brown was probably better suited to play RT or guard, but was always a LT out of need for the Cardinals. He was always bad, but decent enough at times that the Cardinals couldn’t justify giving up on him. Brown was also a Penn State product during a time when the worst thing that Penn State was known for was producing underwhelming NFL players.
3. Jamaal Anderson-DE, Arkansas
8th Overall-Atlanta Falcons
6 Seasons: 132 Tackles, 7.5 Sacks
Bust Status: Jamaal Anderson was drafted to terrorize offensive tackles opposite of Pro Bowler John Abraham. The duo rang fear into every offensive coordinator’s minds in the fall of 2007. Then they realized that Anderson sucked. Atlanta eventually moved Anderson to DT, where he struggled to get playing time. He is however, the other Jamaal Anderson in Atlanta, which means he hasn’t been caught snorting cocaine off a toilet seat at the Peachtree Tavern or been accused of exposing himself in a QuikTrip convenience store, so that’s a plus.
What Went Wrong: According to my sources (they’re not good) Anderson’s college production was inflated by defensive schematics, and many of his sacks were the result of a free path to the quarterback. Perhaps he was too inexperienced as well since he switched from a wide receiver to defensive end in college. Or maybe he just sucked, straight up.
2. Brady Quinn-QB, Notre Dame
22nd Overall-Cleveland Browns
7 Seasons: 12 TDs, 17 INTs, 64.4 QB Rating
Bust Status: First we need to look back here for a minute. Brady Quinn was the long awaited savior for the Browns franchise. That was 10 years ago. Here’s to 10 more years Browns fan. Anyway, Quinn had so much going for him-he was the star QB at Notre Dame, he was a hard worker who was in great shape, and he was an ideal pocket passer. Brady Quinn should be the star of every other commercial during football season with an MVP Award and a Super Bowl ring. Instead, he was traded to the Broncos for nothing after he failed to beat out the slightly less miserable QB Derek Anderson, and couldn’t take advantage of an undeserved second chance with the Kansas City C-Words.
What Went Wrong: Aside from being drafted by the Browns, I have no idea. I don’t think a 15 year old Amobi Okoye could figure this one out. Quinn just flat out sucked for no particular reason.
1. JaMarcus Russell-QB, LSU
1st Overall-Oakland Raiders
3 Seasons: 18 TDs, 23 INTs, 65.2 QB Rating
Bust Status: THE BIGGEST BUST IN NFL HISTORY. What needs to be said.
What Went Wrong: Let’s see, he was lazy and overweight coming out of LSU, had a big arm, serious character flaws, rode the momentum of a big bowl game in college, and became addicted to purple drank. Seriously, anyone could’ve seen this coming from a mile away. My 16 year old self knew that this was a colossal mistake waiting to happen. The icing on the cake that Russell probably engulfed as of writing this is that, despite him being overweight coming out of college, he was overweight every single year, to the point that he ballooned up to a reported 300lbs, earning him the nickname JaWalrus. It’s so bad, it’s almost funny. He did manage to get a tryout with the Bears in 2013, along with Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer. The Bears opted not to sign Russell, stating that they did not want to add a fourth QB to the roster. They signed both Edwards and Palmer shortly thereafter.
Tony Ugoh-OT, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts traded their 2008 1st Round pick for Ugoh, and got shitty LT play for three years in return.
Brandon Meriweather-S, New England Patriots
Horrible safety, despite being named to multiple Pro Bowls. Also shot a guy after his teammate was shot in the buttocks while at the University of Miami (In lawful self-defense, of course)
Aaron Ross-CB, New York Giants
Not even the most accomplished pro athlete in his own relationship.
Marshawn Lynch-RB, Buffalo Bills
Fell behind Fred Jackson and eventually CJ Spiller in Buffalo, then Beast Mode was born.
Ted Ginn Jr.-WR, Miami Dolphins
Still kind of a bust, but has turned out a nice career and was Cam Newton’s second favorite target in 2015.
Coming next week-the Top 10 Busts of the 2008 Draft