With Robert Griffin III benched for Week 1 and possibly on the way out of Washington, as well as Trent Richardson being released by Oakland, we took a look at the top 10 NFL draft busts of the past 10 seasons. Listed in chronological order:
The Miami Dolphins traded a first- and second-round pick in the 2013 draft to move up and select Dion Jordan. After recording two sacks in 16 games as a rookie, Jordan was suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season for two failed drug tests. He was then suspended for the 2015 season after another strike against him. He has started one game for the Dolphins.
2012: Robert Griffin III, No. 2 pick by Washington Redskins (via Rams)
The Redskins gave up three first-round picks and a second-round pick to move up and draft Griffin. After a successful rookie season in which he led Washington to the NFC East division title, Griffin has gone 5-15 over the past two seasons. During that span, he has a Total QBR of 39.0, 28th out of 32 qualified quarterbacks, ahead of two Jaguars (Blake Bortles and Chad Henne) and two Raiders (Terrelle Pryor and Derek Carr).
2012: Trent Richardson, No. 3 pick by Cleveland Browns (via Vikings)
The Browns traded three picks to move up one spot and draft Richardson. He averaged 3.6 yards per rush in his rookie season and was traded to Indianapolis after two weeks of the 2013 season. He averaged 2.9 yards per rush for the Colts that season, and after an unsuccessful 2014, he was released by the Colts in March.
Richardson signed with the Raiders in the offseason, but was released Tuesday. Since the start of the 2012 season, among running backs with at least 300 attempts, Richardson averaged the fewest yards before contact (1.76) per rush.
After leading rookies in receptions and receiving yards in 2012, Blackmon was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. He returned to play in four games that season, when he was suspended indefinitely for again violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Blackmon missed the 2014 season and has been denied reinstatement.
2011: Blaine Gabbert, No. 10 pick by Jacksonville Jaguars
In three seasons with Jacksonville, Gabbert compiled a 5-22 record, throwing 22 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. Over that span, he completed 53.3 percent of his passes and had a Total QBR of 22.4, both of which were the worst among qualified quarterbacks. Gabbert was traded to the San Francisco 49ers before the 2014 season for a sixth-round pick.
2009: Jason Smith, No. 2 pick by St. Louis Rams
Though injuries limited his availability, Smith played 29 games in three seasons with the Rams. Drafted as a left tackle, Smith was moved to right tackle. Before the 2012 season, he fell to second on the depth chart and was traded to the New York Jets. Smith did not start a game for New York, was released before the 2013 season and has not played since.
2009: Aaron Curry, No. 4 pick by Seattle Seahawks
Curry signed the largest contract for a non-quarterback rookie in 2009. In two-plus seasons with the Seahawks, Curry recorded 5.5 sacks in 35 games, and he was benched after two games in the 2011 season. He was traded in the middle of the 2011 season to the Oakland Raiders, recording no sacks in 13 games over portions of two seasons with the team. Curry signed with the New York Giants before the 2013 season, but he was released during training camp and has not played in the NFL since.
2008: Vernon Gholston, No. 6 pick by New York Jets
In three seasons with the Jets, Gholston started five games. He recorded a total of 25 tackles and did not have a sack. Over those three seasons, 638 players recorded at least one sack. Among the 665 defensive players to take at least 500 snaps over that span, four players had fewer tackles than Gholston, and they each played in 20 or fewer games, whereas Gholston played in 45. Gholston was released by the Jets before the 2011 season and has not played since.
2007: JaMarcus Russell, No. 1 pick by Oakland Raiders
Arguably the biggest draft bust in recent history, Russell started 25 games for the Raiders from 2007 to 2009 and posted a 7-18 record.
Russell completed 52.1 percent of his passes and had a Total QBR of 18.7, both of which were the worst among qualified players over that span. Russell had a Total QBR of 11.2 in 2009, the second worst by a qualified QB in a season in the existence of the metric (since 2006). Jimmy Clausen had a Total QBR of 10.6 in 2010. Russell was released before the 2010 season.
2006: Matt Leinart, No. 10 pick by Arizona Cardinals
Partly due to injury and partly due to performance, Leinart started 17 games in four seasons for the Cardinals, going 7-10. He threw 14 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions with the Cardinals, completing 57.1 percent of his passes, seventh-worst in the NFL over that span. After Kurt Warner’s retirement, Leinart was expected to be the Cardinals’ starter in 2010, but he lost out to Derek Anderson in training camp and was released. Leinart signed with the Texans and later the Raiders, but he started only one more game and has not played in the NFL since the 2012 season.