Scott Mitchell

Top 10 NBA Draft Busts

Akili Smith: #5 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.

Honorable Mention

Andre Ware: Honorable Mention (NFL)

Following a string of Heisman winners who succeeded in the NFL (i.e. Bo Jackson, Vinny Testaverde, Tim Brown, and Barry Sanders), Andre Ware was the first of a string of disappointments (i.e. Ty Detmer, Desmond Howard, Gino Torretta, Charlie Ward, and Rashaan Salaam). With 4,700 passing yards and 46 touchdowns for the University of Houston Cougars during the 1989 season, Ware was a deserving winner of the Heisman Trophy. In contrast, he categorically failed as an NFL player with only 1,100 passing yards and five touchdowns in his entire career. The following post shows that Ware’s falloff from college to the pros was certainly bust worthy. However, he only started six NFL games so he never really got a fair shot. As such, he earned an Honorable Mention as a Top 10 Bust instead of making the actual countdown.

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