When conducting my research, I noticed that many busts could be characterized by recurring themes. I have summarized these themes by presenting them as 7 Lessons from Highly Ineffective NFL Draft Picks.
1. There’s no such thing as a sure thing
2. When in doubt, draft offensive linemen and avoid receivers
3. Don’t reach with the pick
4. Character matters
5. Avoid players who have peaked already
6. Avoid QBs who were interception leaders in college
7. Get to camp on time
Hypothetically, these NFL draft lessons can be applied going forward to help teams avoid making similar mistakes. Regardless, you can apply them when evaluating the draft decisions made by your favorite team.
It’s good to see that Heath Shuler is getting paid to do what he’s being doing for years – acting. Representing North Carolina’s 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007-13, Shuler perfected the ability to act as if he cared about serving his constituents. He supposedly was an NFL quarterback in the mid-1990s, but that was all an act too. Prior to the 1994 Draft, Shuler generally was considered the best prospect at quarterback. He was taken by Washington with the 3rd overall pick that year but failed to live up to expectations. During his NFL career, the former Tennessee Volunteer threw more than twice as many interceptions (33) as touchdowns (15) and compiled an underwhelming 8-14 record as a starter. After four unsuccessful seasons, his act got old so his football days ended. Given his success in college and failure in the NFL, it’s no surprise that Shuler would reminisce about his glory days in a commercial for Dish Network. Come to think of it, that’s the least acting he’s had to do in the last 20 years.
With the 5th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected point guard Kris Dunn. As a junior at Providence last year, Dunn averaged 16 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals per game. Those numbers, which were unmatched by anyone else in the NCAA, earned him 2nd Team All-American honors. Including Dunn, the Timberwolves have amassed a talented group of young players over the last three years. Specifically, they have the last two Rookies of the Year (and #1 overall picks) Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. At the same time, reigning two-time Slam Dunk Champion (and 2014 #13 overall pick) Zach LaVine has shown that he’s not a one-trick pony. It’s too early to tell how good the Timberwolves can be, but Dunn should help make them even more competitive for years to come.