Despite having numerous high draft picks in the early 2000s, the Detroit Lions were unable to reverse their fortunes as basement dwellers. Specifically, the Lions failed with their selections of Joey Harrington (3rd overall pick in 2002), Charles Rogers (2nd overall pick in 2003), and Mike Williams (10th overall pick in 2005). As a starting NFL quarterback, Harrington had a pathetic win-loss record of 26-50, but wasn’t a Top 10 Bust (or even an ordinary bust) based on his career totals of approximately 15,000 passing yards and 80 touchdowns. Not quite a Top 10 Bust, Williams receives an Honorable Mention after finishing his career with paltry totals of approximately 130 receptions and 1,500 yards from scrimmage. Unlike these other Lions, Rogers couldn’t escape the countdown. As a former consensus All-American at Michigan State who finished his professional career with fewer than 50 receptions and 500 yards, Rogers deservedly is the #4 NFL Draft Bust.
To the extent that a bust can be described as having a bad career, a Top 10 Bust can be described as having a really bad career. Whereas most players referenced as all-time NFL busts were really bad, Tony Mandarich is an exception. Compared to the roided-out Adonis before the 1989 Draft, the roid-free version of Mandarich was not as strong and not as fast. Regardless, he still was good enough to survive in the NFL for six seasons over a ten-year period (i.e. two three-year stints separated by a four-year absence). Having played in 86 games (including 63 starts), he hung around long enough to escape being considered a Top 10 Bust. However, he still received an Honorable Mention given all of the pre-draft hype and post-draft disappointment surrounding him. This post references his career as an introduction to the 3rd criterion used to refine the list of Top 10 NFL Draft Busts.