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Top 10 Busts of the 2009 NFL Draft

The 2009 NFL Draft looks pretty mediocre in hindsight. This was the last draft prior to the NFL turning the 1st Round into the greatest new Thursday night primetime show in television history. Overall, the first two rounds featured only a handful of Pro Bowlers and All-Pros, and two of the best players-Arian Foster (mega douche) and Michael Bennett, weren’t even drafted. Fortunately for me, this meant that there were plenty of busts, and we were introduced to wonderful team building of Josh McDaniels.

10. Alphonso Smith-CB Wake Forest
37th Overall-Denver Broncos
4 Seasons: 73 Tackles 7 INTs 2 TDs

Alphonso Smith was the first of many hilarious draft blunders courtesy of then-head coach Josh McDaniels. McDaniels traded the Broncos’ 2010 1st Rounder to the Seahawks for the 37th pick in order to be granted the privilege of drafting Smith (not to rub it in, but that 2010 1st Rounder turned out be All-Pro Safety Earl Thomas). Smith was inactive for most of his rookie season, and was so bad in his second training camp that he was dealt to the Lions for a Gronkowski brother. While in Detroit, Smith almost looked like he would become a decent player, even grabbing 5 interceptions in his first season with the team! Unfortunately, those 5 picks were beginners luck, and he was cut two years later.

Career Highlight: Not being McDaniels’ worst Draft-Day decision

9. Chris “Beanie” Wells-RB Ohio State
31st Overall-Arizona Cardinals
4 Seasons: 2,471 Rushing Yards 24 TDs

Judging by the surface, Beanie’s numbers weren’t that bad, but he was a very mediocre running back, and a lot was expected of him coming out of Ohio State. Wells only eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark once in 2011, and all was lost after that. Wells averaged 2.9 yards per carry in 2012, and was out of the league the next year. He did land a tryout with the Ravens, where he promptly tore his Achilles.

Career Highlight: Looking like a decent RB in 2011.

8. Donald Brown-RB UConn
27th Overall-Indianapolis Colts
7 Seasons: 2,731 Rushing Yards 19 Total TDs

Donald “Duck” Brown was supposed to be the complement to Joseph Addai, back when two running back systems were the shit. Unfortunately for the Colts, Addai’s career fell off a cliff, and Brown’s never even made it up the hill. It was evident early on that Brown would never be anything special, and injuries prevented him from ever carrying a full load. Brown did, however, become somewhat of a specialty back, and helped the Colts when the whole Trent Richardson thing happened. He even landed a $10 million contract with the Chargers in 2014 for his part time work. He sucked even worse in San Diego, and was cut in 2015.

Career Highlight: Being better than Trent Richardson.

7. Peria Jerry-DT Ole Miss
24th Overall-Atlanta Falcons
5 Seasons: 67 Tackles 5.5 Sacks

The 2009 Falcons decided to focus their attention on the defensive side of the ball to go with new Franchise QB Matt Ryan, and selected the “polished” defensive tackle prospect from Ole Miss, Peria Jerry. I think the only reason why he was considered polished is that he was 25 years old by the time his rookie season started. Jerry was invisible for the Dirty Birds during his first four seasons, but actually showed some promise in year 5. But for whatever reason, Jerry decided to retire in front of the Hard Knocks cameras.

Career Highlight: Going out in style.

Let the good times roll!

6. Josh Freeman-QB Kansas State
17th Overall-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6 Seasons: 81 TDs 68 INTs 77.6 QB Rating 

The Buccaneers never really had a Franchise QB, and didn’t get one until Jameis Winston came to town with an armful of crab legs. Bucs fans (if they still had any) got some false hope when the team drafted Freeman-a strong armed and raw QB prospect. Freeman showed some promise early on by throwing 25 touchdowns in 2010, and 27 in 2012. These were clearly flukes as Freeman was terrible in every other season with the Bucs, and was cut during the 2013 season in favor of the probably-still-a-virgin Mike Glennon. Freeman got a second chance with the Vikings, and was named the team’s starter for what was quite possibly the worst Thursday Night Football game of all time. He sat out the 2014 season, but helped the Colts win a game in 2015, but was promptly cut again. Poor guy can’t catch a break.

Career Highlight: Winning one single game for the Colts in 2015.

5. Larry English-DE/OLB Northern Illinois
16th Overall-San Diego Chargers
6 Seasons: 103 Tackles 12 Sacks

It seemed like the Chargers were going to be dominant for a long time, but they decided to hire a failed head coach with acne scars, trade Drew Brees, and lose their top defensive player to chronic injuries. To help Shawne Merriman preserve his 75 year old knees, the Chargers drafted Larry English-an athletic young pass rusher out of a MAC school. Unfortunately, Merriman’s knees crumbled, and English never recorded more than 3 sacks in a season. English was so bad that the team drafted his replacement only three years later, and he was cut prior to the start of the 2014 season.

Career Highlight: Getting the highest Wonderlic Test score out of any outside linebacker at the 2009 Combine.

4. Aaron Maybin-DE Penn State
11th Overall-Buffalo Bills 
4 Seasons: 36 Tackles 6 Sacks

Maybin’s 36 tackles and 6 sacks would be disappointing if those were a season total of his. Maybin was supposed to be an athletic pass rusher who was undersized at 250lbs coming into the league. The problem is that he lost weight, and was listed at 237 during his final season in Buffalo. He never recorded a sack for the Bills, but somehow gave the Jets 6 of them in 2011. But this was clearly a fluke, as he was out of the league by 2013.

Career Highlight: Looking like a redemption story for the Jets.

The Sanchise

3. Mark Sanchez-QB USC
5th Overall-New York Jets
9 Seasons: 86 TDs 86 INTs 73.9 QB Rating

The Sanchise. There was so much hope for the former Trojan, especially after he was the quarterback for the Jets in back to back AFC Championship Games. It was all downhill for Sanchez after that as he struggled mightily for the Jets, was benched, and had his replacement, Geno Smith, drafted in 2013.

Career Highlight: Being the QB for the Jets in two AFC Championship Games, by no fault of his own.

2. Aaron Curry-OLB Wake Forest
4th Overall-Seattle Seahawks
4 Seasons: 203 Tackles 5.5 Sacks

Not only was Aaron Curry the safest pick in the 2009 Draft, he was considered the best prospect. Curry ran a 4.56 40 at the Combine after weighing in at 254lbs, and was about as close to a sure thing that you could get. There was even talk about him going 1st Overall to the Lions, because he was that good. But he wasn’t. Curry was an immediate starter for the Seahawks, but it became clear early on that he couldn’t play. He was so bad, that a 2011 7th Rounder named K.J. Wright beat him out for the starting SLB spot, and he was shipped to the Raiders midway through the 2011 Season. He lasted through the 2012 Season before he retired from football.

Career Highlight: Not being drafted 1st Overall.

The next Joe Thomas circa 2009

1. Jason Smith-OT Baylor
2nd Overall-St. Louis Rams
4 Seasons: 26 Starts

Poor Rams. Smith was supposed to be their left tackle for the next decade. He was supposed to be the next Joe Thomas, a guy who stepped in Day One and held down the LT spot at an All-Pro level. But he wasn’t that, and he wasn’t even a good LT. Smith actually never played LT for the Rams, instead Rodger Saffold, a 2010 2nd Rounder, became the starting LT, and Smith played on the right side. He was eventually traded for nothing to the Jets in 2012, which would be his last year in the league. To make things worse, the Rams drafted the guy who was really supposed to be the guy at LT in 2014, Greg Robinson, but he’s been a turd as well.

Career Highlight: None.

Dishonorable Mentions 

Darrius Heyward-Bey-Oakland Raiders 
Drops, drops, and more drops.

Knowshon Moreno-Denver Broncos 
Was the starter, then the 4th string RB, then good, then got his knee torn off.

Michael Oher-Baltimore Ravens 
The Blindside sequel would be pretty depressing after getting cut by the Titans.

Woof. Nothing more to say about this shit show.

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