JaMarcus Russell is considered by some to be the #1 Bust in NFL history. While there’s certainly enough support for that claim, I can’t elevate him to that position because no other quarterback drafted in 2007 was even half-way decent. I have argued numerous times that a bust should be determined based on the player’s own poor performance. As such, Russell was a bust given his 7-18 record as a starter and career totals of 4,000 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. At the same time, all-time busts are ranked based on their performance relative to other players available in the same draft. Given the failures of every other quarterback in the 2007 Draft, Russell’s failure is less dramatic. Regardless, it probably doesn’t matter to him because he earned over $30 million in guaranteed money from his rookie contract. Even without the ancillary storyline, Russell still is an all-time bust. In fact, he was so bad that he’s the #3 NFL Draft Bust.
Intuitively, a higher draft pick has more upside than an lower draft pick, but how much more? This post discusses the quantitative approach used to determine a threshold such that a player can be drafted too low to be considered an all-time bust. Based on the frequency and total number of Pro Bowl selections, there’s a significant drop-off in the upside potential of a player drafted after the first ten overall picks. As such, players selected with the 11th overall pick or later, such as Brady Quinn, are exempt from being Top 10 Busts.