Despite possessing the superb arm strength and prototypical size of a budding NFL superstar, JaMarcus Russell fizzled in Oakland after three seasons, over which the LSU product threw for 23 interceptions and only 18 touchdowns. After Russell was reported to have shown up to training camp in March 2010 weighing close to 300 pounds, the Raiders traded for veteran QB Jason Campbell and cut Russell the first week of May. He joins a woeful group of high-draft pick gunslingers who never turned potential into production.
2 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
The 6-foot-3, 215 pound, laser-armed prodigy out of Fresno State was all set to lead the Texans as the first draft pick in franchise history. In his rookie season, he started all 16 games and posted a miserable 62.8 quarterback rating while being sacked an NFL record 76 times. He spent much of the next four seasons on his back, and eventually was released in 2006 because no team would trade for him.
3 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
With the No. 1 pick, the Browns had their choice of two of what would become the biggest quarterback busts of all time, Tim Couch and Akili Smith. While Heisman trophy finalist Couch made 62 starts with the Browns in comparison to Smith's 17 with the Bengals, his numbers were entirely mediocre. Couch threw for a miserable 11,571 yards, 64 touchdowns, and 67 interceptions in five injury-plagued seasons. After being released at the end of the 2003 season, he attempted several comebacks but failed in each of them. His decline culminated when he tested positive for steroids and HGH in August 2007.
4 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Smith emerged after one good season at Oregon and almost went No. 1 over Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb. But Smith was destined to be a bust from the beginning. Not only was he selected by the Bengals -- a reliable indicator of future flops -- but also he was coached by QB guru Jeff Tedford in college. Tedford-coached quarterbacks -- Trent Dilfer, Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller -- haven't had much NFL success.
5 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
This southpaw posted huge numbers at UCLA and was supposed to be the Bears' answer at QB. But in two years he started 15 games, throwing 16 TDs and 19 interceptions. His lack of accuracy, poor decision-making and an attitude that reminded many of Ryan Leaf limited his career in Chicago.
6 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
The one-time Washington State star redefined the term "bust" in his brief NFL career. He wasn't a No. 1 overall -- the Colts chose Peyton Manning -- but his spectacular decline destroyed the Chargers, who traded up with Arizona to select Leaf. In 18 starts, Leaf finished 4-14 with a 48.8 passer rating. His misadventures on the field were relatively pleasant compared to his locker-room tirades. Leaf alienated the media, teammates, water boys ... anyone unlucky enough to get in his path before he retired in 2002.
7 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Shuler displayed all the tools at Tennessee, but he never understood the nuances of an NFL offense while in Washington. Shuler played 19 lackluster games in three seasons with Washington before being displaced by Gus Frerotte. Shuler was traded to the Saints, where he lasted one year.
8 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
After observing Mirer at Notre Dame, Bill Walsh called him the second-coming of Joe Montana. Mirer wasn't even the second coming of Joe Pisarcik. The Seahawks took Mirer after Drew Bledsoe, and in four seasons Mirer tossed 41 TDs and 56 INTs. Mirer has the distinction of being a huge bust for two teams. The Bears traded a first-round pick to Seattle for Mirer in 1997. He never won Chicago's starting job.
9 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
At the University of Houston, Klingler threw 54 TDs in a season and six TDs in a quarter. He threw 16 TDs in four whole seasons with the Bengals -- compared with 21 interceptions. Klingler replaced the very popular Boomer Esiason, and after getting sacked 10 times by the Steelers in his first start, he spent most of his Cincy career on the turf.
10 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Ware rewrote the college record books at Houston and won the Heisman Trophy, but he barely got off the bench in the NFL. Like many other busts, he held out before his rookie season and never was able to get it going with the Lions. In four seasons he completed just 83 passes for five TDs. Ware has the unique distinction of also being a major flop in the CFL, where he won a championship backing up Doug Flutie.
11 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
The Cardinals made Stouffer a top-10 pick in 1987, but Stouffer and the team couldn't agree on a contract, so the rookie QB held out the entire season, before his rights were traded to the Seahawks. But for all the hassle, Stouffer never delivered. In four years with Seattle, he never started more than seven games in a season, and totaled just seven touchdowns and 19 interceptions in his short-lived career.
12 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Consider this: in the 1983 NFL Draft, Blackledge was the second quarterback selected, behind only the No. 1 pick, John Elway. After Blackledge went to the Chiefs at No. 7, four other quarterbacks were drafted in the first round: Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O'Brien and Dan Marino. Three of those first-rounders went on to have Hall of Fame careers, and four reached at least one Super Bowl. Blackledge, however, never started more than eight games in a season for the Chiefs before ending his career as a backup with the Steelers.
13 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Schlichter started just six games over three seasons with the Colts, finishing his career with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions. But what really derailed his career was his gambling addiction. Schlichter was said to have blown his signing bonus midway through his rookie season, and even bet on NFL games. A series of suspensions, coupled with growing gambling debt, pushed the former top-five pick out of pro football.
14 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Nicknamed "The Throwin' Samoan" in his college days at Washington State, Thompson went third overall to the Bengals but played sparingly behind starter Ken Anderson. In four seasons with Cincinnati, Thompson started just five games, but threw 19 interceptions. Even when he was given the starting job after a trade to Tampa Bay in 1983, Thompson struggled to make an impact. He finished his career with a 4-17 record as a starter.
15 of 15Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Tagge played on national championship Nebraska teams in 1970 and 1971 before joining the Packers. But Tagge was no match for NFL defenses, as he passed for just three touchdowns (and 17 interceptions) over three seasons. Years later, Tagge was named an all-star of the Canadian Football League, but he could never shed the "bust" label.
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