The Worst Draft Picks Of The Past Twenty Years

With the 2008 NFL Draft over and done with, we’re taking a look back at the worst draft picks of the past twenty years. Since it is way too early to judge this year’s draft, we’ll look at 1988 through 2007. We’re going on a pick-by-pick basis here so, who do you think is the worst #1 overall pick in the last twenty years?

The Worst 10th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
2005 Detroit Lions – Mike Williams – WR – USC
After so much hype coming out of the high powered Trojan offense, in 3 years he has been on 3 teams and scored two receiving touchdowns.

The Worst 9th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
2001 Seattle Seahawks – Koren Robinson – WR – NC State
Showed promise early in his career but off field problems later caused on field problems.

The Worst 8th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
1996 Carolina Panthers – Tim Biakabutuka – RB – Michigan
Highly touted, but in a six year career he had three seasons that he played in eight or fewer games.

The Worst 7th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
1990 Detroit Lions – Andre Ware – QB – Houston
In four total seasons, Andre Ware played in 14 total games. He finished his career with five touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

The Worst 6th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
2005 Tennessee Titans – Adam “Pacman” Jones – DB – West Virginia
This was a real no brainer, especially when you consider that also in the running for worst 6th overall pick in the last twenty years was David Klingler and Lawrence Phillips.

The Worst 5th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
1998 Chicago Bears – Curtis Enis – RB – Penn State
Mostly due to injuries, it took three seasons for Enis to rack up less than 1500 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns.

The Worst 4th Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
2000 Cincinnati Bengals – Peter Warrick – WR – Florida State
While not having an overall terrible career, it did last six seasons and was somewhat productive, it did not come near the hype caused by his fantastic college career.

The Worst 3rd Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
1999 Cincinnati Bengals – Akili Smith – QB – Oregon
Smith sunk to the bottom of the 3rd overall picks, despite stiff competition from Bruce Pickens and Heath Shuler. Through 22 career games over four seasons, Smith “amassed” five touchdowns and eighteen interceptions, only throwing for more than one thousand yards in a season one time.

The Worst 2nd Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
1998 San Diego Chargers – Ryan Leaf – QB – Washington State
Hands down the worst number two overall pick in the last twenty years, if not ever. In his entire career (all three seasons), Leaf played in 25 games, threw for 14 touchdowns, and a mind boggling 36 interceptions.

And now, it is time for the unveiling of the worst number one overall draft pick in the last twenty years:

The Worst 1st Overall Draft Pick In The Last 20 Years:
2001 Atlanta Falcons – Michael Vick – QB – Virginia Tech
He probably wouldn’t have made the number one spot without his legal troubles and subsequent incarceration, but when he is sitting behind bars he isn’t helping the team that drafted him.

There you have it, the worst NFL draft picks one through ten in the last twenty years.

A quick analysis:

There are two teams who appear twice in the above list; the Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions. Is it any coincidence that in the past twenty years these are also two of the least successful franchises in the NFL?


  1. Michael says:

    Michael Vick the worst overall #1 pick? Koren Robinson the worst #9 pick? Both of those guys were Pro Bowlers

  2. Mark says:

    Very good points, and I’d agree that in the cases of their pro bowl years they were good picks. But top ten draft picks are expected to perform at that high level, and bring great returns as far as on field talent for years to come and they failed in that department.

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