NFL Draft: 10 Biggest Defensive Back Busts in the Last 20 Years

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 6 years ago '11        #1
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X_WunderKind_X 909 heat pts909
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NFL Draft: 10 Biggest Defensive Back Busts in the Last 20 Years
 

 
Honorable Mention: Mike Rumph (SF), Brandon Meriweather (NE), Leodis McKelvin (BUF), Antonio Langham (CLE), Michael Booker (ATL)

10. Andre Woolfolk - 2003 - 28th to Tennessee

Former Oklahoma University standout, Andre Woolfolk, might have been a late first-round pick in 2003 (28th overall), but his career accomplishments were nevertheless subpar. Woolfolk never adjusted to the professional game, and with a 6-foot-2 frame and stiff hips, was constantly burned by opponents. In addition, Woolfolk managed to start only 12 games in four seasons with the Titans; injuries kept him out of action for large sums of time.

By his fifth year in the league, Woolfolk was released by the Titans and then signed with the New York Jets, only to be cut in training camp. After four and a half years in the NFL, Woolfolk registered just three measly interceptions. What's more: Three selections after Woolfolk, the Oakland Raiders selected one of the game's best cornerbacks, Nnamdi Asomugha.

9. Ahmad Carroll - 2004 - 25th to Green Bay

Former 25th overall pick, ex-Arkansas Razorback Ahmad Carroll, also finished his career with three interceptions. In his rookie season, Carroll was consistently targeted by opposing quarterbacks because of his tendency to receive illegal contact penalties. In his third season, in which he entered the year as a marginal starter, Carroll sealed his fate in the NFL when he was benched for the remainder of the year following an atrocious game in Week 4; he was burned by Philadelphia Eagles WR Greg Lewis twice for touchdowns, and also accumulated three major penalties down the stretch. Consequently, Carroll was cut soon after, and then signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Before training camp begun, however, Carroll was arrested on gun and drug charges, including carrying a concealed weapon and possession of MDMA. As a result, the Jaguars released Carroll before the start of the 2007 season. Carroll would soon hook-up with the New York Jets, only to be cut once again. In the past few years, Carroll has played for various AFL and UFL teams. His career in the NFL, however, is 100% over. Chris Gamble, the reliable cornerback for the Carolina Panthers, was selected just three picks after Carroll.

8. Willie Middlebrooks - 2001 - 24th to Denver

It's too bad that former 24th overall pick, Willie Middlebrooks, didn't make it in the NFL - he has such a cool name. Middlebrooks, out of the University of Minnesota, possessed all the necessary tools for a starting-caliber NFL cornerback. Standing long and tall at 6-foot-2, Middlebrooks was supposed to make an immediate impact in the Broncos secondary.

However, injuries and terrible play kept Middlebrooks out of the starting line-up for almost every game in his lame five-year career; he didn't start until his fourth season, and that was only two games. After the Broncos cut Middlebrooks following the 2004 season, the San Francisco 49ers picked him up in the off-season, but it didn't matter: Middlebrooks played in just five games, and ended his NFL career with NO interceptions...wow. I think Drew Brees, Reggie Wayne, and Chad Ochocinco would have something to say about that; they were all picked after this dud.

7. Rashard Anderson - 2000 - 23rd to Carolina

Kids, don't do drugs. The Carolina Panthers regrettably selected former D1-AA cornerback, Rashard Anderson, out of Jackson State in 2000. Another 6-foot-2, lanky cornerback, Anderson lasted only two years in the NFL. His rookie season was completely unproductive, as he registered just 13 tackles in 12 games. In his second and final season, the pot-smoking Anderson recorded 41 tackles and one interception in nine starts. But that was it.

In the off-season, Anderson was suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy (weed). He was forced to sit-out the entire 2002 season, and as a result, his career diminished rapidly. Anderson failed to meet the requirements for his reinstatement the following season, and therefore, never returned to the NFL again. Naturally, he was released by the Panthers. This was also the same draft that Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round - not that it matters or anything.

6. Tom Knight - 1997 - 9th to Arizona

Tom Knight, an ex-Iowa Hawkeye, is the first top-10 bust on this list - and rightfully so. Knight was selected 9th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals; he was supposed to start immediately at cornerback. As a matter of fact, Knight did start right away: In his rookie season, however, he struggled immensely. In 15 games (14 starts), Knight recorded ZERO interceptions. His next four seasons with the Cardinals were injury-riddled and unproductive. He intercepted only three passes in five years before being released.

In the next three years, Knight appeared in only 10 games for the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams. His career dwindled until he was released in 2004. He never returned to the NFL again, and ended his campaign with the aforementioned three total interceptions. Perennial Pro Bowlers Darren Sharper and Ronde Barber were both selected well past this major bust.

5. Tye Hill - 2006 - 15th to St. Louis

Speed might k!ll, but only if it's used properly. CB Tye Hill is a perfect example of this. At the 2006 NFL Combine, the former Clemson Tiger ran a blistering 4.31 forty-yard dash - the fastest in his draft class. Hill's stock climbed drastically over the next few weeks prior to the Draft, and eventually, the St. Louis Rams made him the 15th overall pick. What the Rams didn't know, somehow, was that Hill had an tendency to get injured.

Following a decent rookie campaign in which Hill started 10 of 16 games and recorded three interceptions, injuries soon got the best of him. He was placed on the injured reserve list during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, appearing in only 12 games in that span. His knee was so torn-up that the Rams released him after his third NFL season, signaling a premature end to his career. Hill tried to make a comeback with the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, but both attempts failed miserably. Hill was out of the NFL by 2010, and still is to this day. Pro Bowl cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Jonathan Joseph were both selected after Hill in the first round. Oops.



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 NFL Draft: 10 Biggest Defensive Back Busts in the Last 20 Years | Football Nation

56 comments for "NFL Draft: 10 Biggest Defensive Back Busts in the Last 20 Years"

 6 years ago '11        #2
X_WunderKind_X 909 heat pts909 OP
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4. Patrick Bates - 1993 - 12th to Oakland

The Oakland Raiders may have salvaged some criticism by selecting two perennial Pro Bowlers, Charles Woodson and Nnamdi Asomugha, in later Drafts, but the 1993 selection of defensive back Patrick Bates still stings. The first and only safety on this list, Bates was a member of Texas A&M's famous "Wrecking Crew" of the early 1990's (typical Raiders, I know). Unfortunately, the only wreck for Bates in the NFL was himself. The hard-hitting free safety simply never reached his full potential.

Numerous off-field controversies and on-field inconsistencies plagued Bates right from the get-go. Bates started just nine games in his first two seasons in the league, and all he had to show for it was one single interception. Furthermore, Bates didn't play at all in 1995, and was shipped to the Atlanta Falcons in the off-season, where he was a starter for nine games before becoming a permanent free-agent; that is, Bates never played another down in the NFL. Pro Bowl safety Darrien Gordon was selected 10 picks later - to division-rival Denver. Did you really think that a Raider wouldn't be on this list? C'mon man.

3. Bryant Westbrook - 1997 - 5th to Detroit

Bryant Westbrook wasn't a total bust - he had one excellent season. However, one great year doesn't warrant the 5th overall pick. At the University of Texas, Westbrook was known for severe hits and powerful tackles from the cornerback position, many times on national television against big-time opponents. The Detroit Lions were hoping for the same thing at the NFL level, but Westbrook couldn't seem to handle the glam and glitter of superstardom.

Westbrook's first three seasons in the league were nothing special, but his fourth season saw him record a career-high six interceptions in only 13 games. The following season, however (and just as he seemed to be getting on track), Westbrook fell victim to the injury bug, starting only three games. He was cut after the season, and played just two more brief years in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. Injuries and inconsistent play eventually got the best of Westbrook, and he was out of the league by 2003. Clearly, there was a multitude of impact players selected after him.

2. Bruce Pickens - 1991 - 3rd to Atlanta

The later-selections of Pro Bowlers Todd Lyght and Aeneas Williams make this pick look even worse - and rightfully so. CB Bruce Pickens played college ball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and looked like a future Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, the Falcons were led astray with this 3rd overall pick. Pickens played four seasons with four different teams, and ultimately recorded a whopping two interceptions in that span. Injuries k!lled Pickens, but he never looked like a Top 3 pick to begin with.

Pickens simply couldn't stay on the field. Yet, even with Deion Sanders ("Primetime" himself) manning one sideline and covering opposing No. 1 wide receivers, Pickens still couldn't step up his game. He latched onto the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders following his brief stint with the Falcons, but couldn't get anything going. As the No. 3 overall pick, there needs to be elite production. Pickens, however, produced the complete opposite. As a result, the Falcons swung and missed on a Top 3 selection, and also lost "Neion Deion" in the process. Double ouch.

1. Adam "Pac-Man" Jones - 2005 - 6th to Tennessee

Womp, womp, womp. It appears as if Adam Jones is the ghost and the NFL is Pac-Man, considering the league has taken large bites out of his bank account. The full description of Jones' downfall is too lengthy and complex for this list, but there are some things that merit consideration. First, the West Virginia product had a history of off-field problems and violence. Before even coming into the league, Jones was on probation for a bar f!ght in Morgantown. He was also facing felony charges of a.ssault and vandalism stemming from a nightclub altercation in Nashville, TN. Long story short, Jones was constantly in trouble with the law. However, his first two seasons in the league were exceptional: He started all but one game at cornerback, and also made his mark returning kicks and punts. His second-team AP All-Pro selection in 2006 was mostly for his special teams play, but he excelled at cornerback as well.

Then things went downhill for the worst. Prior to his third full NFL season (2007), Jones was involved in a Las Vegas club shooting during NBA All-Star Weekend. This incident, combined with previous, well-documented legal problems, forced the NFL to suspend Pac-Man for the entire 2007 season. Jones attempted to make a comeback with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, but appeared in just nine games before being cut. Jones then had a brief stint in 2009 as a TNA wrestler, but returned to the NFL again in 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he has a.ssumed the role of a nickel and dime cornerback in their young, promising defense. As a result, Jones has resurrected his career to a certain extent, but his off-field issues have overshadowed any on-field accomplishments. As of today, Jones is still the 3rd or 4th cornerback on the Bengals' roster, but the 6th overall pick should be much more than that - a perennial Pro Bowler, perhaps? In addition, Jones has made a mockery of the league, and has set a bad example for youth everywhere. As such, Jones gets the nod for No. 1 here.
 6 years ago '06        #3
Kjizzle03 37 heat pts37
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I knew my n*gga Westbrook was gonna be on this list wasn't the same player he was when he left the 40




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 6 years ago '05        #4
FalconBuddha 16 heat pts16
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Sammy davis should of at least received honorable mention

1st round pick, traded after 3 years after he lost starting job to a 2nd round pick drafted the same year, out of the league after 5 years in which he played on 3 teams. Also, the chargers had the 15th pick that year and could of taken Troy P (which was a huge need at the time and the player the GM wanted, but head coach marty didnt want him) but traded down and took davis
 6 years ago '05        #5
Danger Zone 58 heat pts58
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Smfh Ten A Key
 6 years ago '06        #6
layzie8171 42 heat pts42
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knew hill was going to be on there. dude was pretty good his rookie season, then just could never stay healthy, like ever. he was fast but he was an undersized corner
 6 years ago '06        #7
layzie8171 42 heat pts42
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 ThaReapa420 said:
I don't agree with Pac-Man...he's been productive one the field and he's still playing...he's a fu*king idiot yes...but that doesn't mean he isn't a good damn player
no he should be on here. esp for being the 6th pick overall and only having 4 picks in his career. then you add his off the field troubles, then yes he deserves to be on here
 6 years ago '07        #8
Dotel 30 heat pts30
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The Chargers didn't select any other corners besides Cromartie did they? They've had some of the worst drafts the past few years.
 6 years ago '06        #9
Trap$tar 8 heat pts
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Mike Rumph drafted by my Niners with the 27th pick in 2002 was a huge bust as well.

And damn I remember that Ahmad Carrol game against the Eagles too.
 6 years ago '08        #10
Sowhat 1 heat pts
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 ThaReapa420 said:
I don't agree with Pac-Man...he's been productive one the field and he's still playing...he's a fu*king idiot yes...but that doesn't mean he isn't a good damn player
Same thing I was thinking. Pac just dumb as hell. He still does his thing. He's not a bust at all.
 6 years ago '07        #11
N.O.4Life 45 heat pts45
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Damn Tennessee sho know how to pick em
 6 years ago '06        #12
eLLz 1 heat pts
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 Billdotel said:
The Chargers didn't select any other corners besides Cromartie did they? They've had some of the worst drafts the past few years.
Quentin Jammer
 6 years ago '06        #13
SBMcDunk 
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what about vernon gholston? # 6 pick. in 3 years he has like 40 tackles total. no sacks. no int's. no forced fumbles. and he hasnt even suffered any major injuries.

after him in that pick was matt forte, chris johnson, jamaal charles jerod mayo, rodgers-cromartie, jordy nelson, and ray rice to name a few
 6 years ago '06        #14
ThaShark316 86 heat pts86
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 SBMcDunk said:
what about vernon gholston? # 6 pick. in 3 years he has like 40 tackles total. no sacks. no int's. no forced fumbles. and he hasnt even suffered any major injuries.

after him in that pick was matt forte, chris johnson, jamaal charles jerod mayo, rodgers-cromartie, jordy nelson, and ray rice to name a few
 6 years ago '09        #15
ReggieA 196 heat pts196
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Kareem Jackson?
 6 years ago '10        #16
USC 79 heat pts79
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No Trojans Or Cowboys


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 6 years ago '06        #17
hooligun 12 heat pts12
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 USC said:
No Trojans Or Cowboys


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taylor mays bout to be on the list
 6 years ago '09        #18
ReggieA 196 heat pts196
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 hooligun said:
taylor mays bout to be on the list
He might get a shot on the Bengals this year.

He should have came out his Jr. year, would have been a sure 1st rounder.
 6 years ago '06        #19
ThaShark316 86 heat pts86
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 ReggieA said:
Kareem Jackson?
Not after 2 seasons.
 6 years ago '10        #20
USC 79 heat pts79
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 hooligun said:
taylor mays bout to be on the list

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