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.
Quarterbacks were taken with five of the first twelve picks in the 1999 NFL Draft. Interestingly, those five QBs ran the gamut with a super-star (#2 pick Donovan McNabb), a star (#11 pick Daunte Culpepper), a disappointment (#1 pick Tim Couch), a bust (#12 pick Cade McNown), and a Top 10 Bust (#3 pick Akili Smith). Some of you (especially Cleveland Browns fans) might believe that Couch was a bust, but he simply was too productive. In particular, he threw for 11,000 yards with 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions in 62 career games. On the other hand, McNown certainly was a bust after throwing for only 3,000 yards with 16 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 25 career games. For as bad a McNown was, Smith was even worse. For instance, Smith had career totals of 2,000 passing yards with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 22 games. In addition, he had a career record of 3-14 as a starter. In essence, McNown was really bad but Smith was historically bad. As one of the worst quarterbacks ever drafted with an early first round pick, Smith has earned the #5 spot as a Top 10 NFL Draft Bust.
If given the option, who would you chose between Jerry Rice and Randy Moss? Arguably the two greatest receivers in NFL history, one proved to be the epitome of excellence while the other had a flair for the spectacular. While Moss had impressive career totals of 156 TDs and over 15,000 yards, he fell far short of Rice’s career totals of 197 TDs and almost 23,000 yards. Still, I’d like to ask Tom Brady which receiver he’d prefer to have in his huddle. For that matter, I’d like to ask Joe Montana or Steve Young the same question. I imagine the former 49ers would stick together. However, I’m sure both QBs would have relished throwing to Moss as well.