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The 10 Biggest NFL Draft Busts from the Pac-12

Ryan Leaf surprisingly doesn't make the top of the list.


1. Reggie Rogers DE Washington - Taken by the Lions with the seventh pick of the 87 draft.

You will usually see Ryan Leaf here, but as bad as Leaf's career was, I am going with Rogers because he only ended up playing in six games total due to severe emotional problems. Of course Leaf was a train wreck, but he at least was able to play a bit (Though poorly). Rogers also put a black eye on the Lions and his career when he was convicted of vehicular homicide while driving drunk in 1988, ending his career with the Lions in just his second year in the NFL.

2. Ryan Leaf QB Washington State - Taken by the Chargers with the second pick of the 98 draft.

We all know Leaf's story which just seems to spiral further and further downward each year. No need to rehash it.

3. Terry Baker QB Oregon State - Taken by the Rams with the first pick of the 63 draft.

The Heisman-winning Baker usually slips through the cracks because it was back in the earlier days of the NFL but he was out of the league within three years of being taken first overall. It was a different league back then, but that's a very underwhelming career for a first pick overall and would get a ton of attention if it happened now.

4. Akili Smith QB Oregon - Taken by the Bengals with the third pick of the 99 draft.

Smith was a raw athlete when he came out who only had one good year with the Ducks so he was a bit of project when he came into the NFL and simply never panned out. Smith held out during his first ever training camp and it may have stunted his career as he just never seemed to be able to put together the mental part of the game.

5. Bo Matthews RB Colorado - Taken by the Chargers with the second pick of the 74 draft.

Matthews is another guy who seems to never get mentioned because his career was so long ago, but he had an extremely underwhelming career for a guy who was taken second overall in the draft. Matthews played with the Chargers for five years but never broke out and then had a few more stops along the way before leaving the league in the early-80s.

6. Jack Thompson QB Washington State - Taken by the Bengals with the third pick of the 79 draft.

The "Throwin Samoan" Thompson was the most prolific passer in the history of college football when he finished his career at Washington State but he only lasted in the NFL for a few years and threw far more interceptions than he did touchdowns.

7. Steve Emtman DT Washington - Taken by the Colts with the first pick of the 92 draft.

Considered by many to be one of the best defensive linemen in the history of college football it was no surprise when Emtman was taken with the first pick of the 92 draft. Despite showing early promise, Emtman's career was quickly derailed by injuries and his most memorable NFL moment may have been a cameo in the movie Little Giants that resulted in kids all across America asking their Dad's who the white guy with the crew cut who showed up with the Hall of Famers was.

8. Matt Leinart QB USC - Taken by the Cardinals with the tenth pick of the 06 draft.

The Heisman-winning Leinart likely turned down the chance to be the first player taken in the 05 draft when he returned for his senior year and but he was still taken in the Top 10 after graduating by the Cardinals. Leinart was actually showing a lot of promise as a rookie and in his second season before getting knocked out with an injury and being replaced by Kurt Warner who experienced a resurgence and took the Cardinals to a Super Bowl. Leinart has never been able rejuvenate his career since and has gotten more notoriety for partying then performing on the field in recent years.

9. Joey Harrington QB Oregon - Taken by the Lions with the third pick of the 02 draft.

Harrington wasn't a washout after his illustrious career at Oregon but he just never broke out the way that you would expect a number three draft pick to the Lions were terrible when he played there. Harrington found backup work after leaving the Lions, but only made it in the league for a handful of years and finished his career with more interceptions than touchdowns.

10. Mike Williams WR USC - Taken by the Lions with the tenth pick of the 05 draft.

Williams had two of the best years a receiver has ever had as a freshman and sophomore at USC but he lost a fight to become draft eligible after his sophomore season and had to sit out a year. Still, Williams was talented enough to be taken in the Top 10 by the Lions. Williams struggled with injuries though and never did much and was out of the league within a few years. He had a slight resurgence in 2010 and 2011 with the Seahawks under Pete Carroll, but is now once again out of the league.

Others Considered

Todd Marinovich QB USC, Cade McNown QB UCLA, Rashaan Salaam RB Colorado, R. Jay Soward WR USC, Reggie Williams WR Washington