NFL Busts


Will Rauss, Staff Writer

   Every year in the NFL there are players who don’t live up to expectations, but what defines a NFL bust? A bust is a player who dominated at the college level but for some reason is terrible in the league. If you take a look at some of the worst busts in NFL history, players like Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, JaMarcus Russell, what went wrong? Arguably the worst of the worst Ryan Leaf, was amazing coming out of Washington State.

   The 1998 NFL draft had 2 prospects that were miles better than anyone that year, quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. The Indianapolis Colts had the first pick and luckily ended up with a Hall of Famer and a Top 5 Quarterback in NFL history Peyton Manning. The Chargers weren’t so lucky with Ryan Leaf, who was out of the league by 2002 and threw just 13 touchdowns to 33 interceptions in his career. 

   The jump from NCAA to the NFL is extremely difficult for anyone, especially for a quarterback. It is the hardest position in sports, you can have all the arm talent in the world but not have what it takes to be successful. JaMarcus Rusell dominated the college football world at LSU, but when he got the league, it was obvious he didn’t have passion. The Raiders would send him home with blank game tape to watch and he would come back saying he spent all night watching the tape and preparing.

   Tom Brady was picked 199th in the 2000 draft, and turned into one of the greatest to ever play. Coming out of Michigan, Brady was getting no recognition from NFL teams. He was slow, unathletic, and didn’t have the greatest arm in the world. Senior Thomas Vik said “ Nobody knew what Tom Brady was going to become, he didn’t have all the talent but he had a winning mentality”.  After Brady’s success, in an interview with former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci, he was asked about how Brady got to where he is and he responded by saying “ We didn’t rip his chest open and look at his heart”. Guys like Leaf and Russell had all the talent in the world but didn’t have heart.