NFL Hype Trains Teams Threw Away Like Yesterday’s Garbage

Darren - September 6, 2023

NFL Hype Trains Teams Threw Away Like Yesterday’s Garbage

Darren - September 6, 2023

CBS Sports

Carson Wentz

The Eagles bet the house on Wentz as they traded multiple picks to secure his services in 2016. They saw him as their future franchise quarterback and believed that the sacrifice was worthwhile. It’s a tough one to gauge because they won the Super Bowl but he was on the injury list. But he did lead them towards the playoffs that season.

Sky Sports

Wentz was on an MVP trajectory and made the Pro Bowl in 2017. But his downward spiral is one of the most notorious ever and finally, Philly dumped him. They opted to start Jalen Hurts instead of the former South Dakota star. Wentz went on a nomadic tour of the NFL as his career spiraled (via NY Post).

Bleacher Report

Dwayne Haskins

The Haskins hype train began in 2017 when he exploded into life at OSU. He won a clutch of awards during his time with the Buckeyes before Washington drafted him. But the late quarterback’s star declined rapidly because of his immaturity and bad attitude (via CBS Sports).


In the end, Washington discarded him after he lost the starting spot. He packed his bags for Pittsburgh and briefly reignited the hype train flames again. But they fizzled out and sadly, he lost his life in 2022 before he could achieve his full potential.

NBC Sports

Jeff Okudah

Some Detroit fans will always call Okudah a bust but that’s not entirely fair. Nonetheless, Detroit gave up on the cornerback after they made him the third overall pick in 2020. It’s not the way they expected things to turn out after his stunning rise with the Buckeyes.

Detroit Lions

Injuries and concussions curtailed Okudah’s game time so the Lions never saw the best of him. Finally, after three aimless seasons, they sent him to Atlanta for a fifth-round pick. That’s a dismal return for a player they thought would be a long-term roster fixture (via Fansided).

New York Post

Josh Gordon

The Gordon hype train was in full effect in 2013 after an outstanding season. He earned an All-Pro selection after he led the league in receiving yards. This seemed to vindicate the Browns’ decision to draft him. Fantasy Football fans licked their lips the following year (via The Cauldron).

Boston Globe

But Gordon’s substance abuse problems changed the narrative. He barely played for the rest of his career because of suspensions. Finally, Cleveland threw him away like yesterday’s garbage. In 2018, he started 18 games with New England as the Pats won the Super Bowl. But there’s no doubt that he seriously underachieved.

NFL Spin Zone

JaMarcus Russell

Al Davis desperately wanted Russell to become the Raiders’ franchise quarterback. He went against Lane Kiffin’s wishes to make the LSU star the first overall pick in 2007. Russell had a good college career at LSU but his attitude concerned NFL scouts (via USA Today).

Sports Illustrated

Nonetheless, the Raiders got their man after they handed him an outrageous contract. He held out and secured a staggering $68 million. Russell threw 18 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions in three seasons. In the end, they let him go and he became one of the NFL’s biggest busts.

Sky Sports

Sam Darnold

The Jets thought that they struck gold when they drafted Darnold in 2018. But the dream turned into a nightmare for the former USC star. He was the youngest starting quarterback of the modern era and this carried a lot of weight. But in the end, they threw him away like an empty takeout container.

Nobody will forget him ‘seeing ghosts’ against the Patriots. Darnold threw many interceptions, but Adam Gase deserves criticism for destroying his confidence. Oddly, Darnold’s hype train exploded again when he joined the Niners in 2023 (via New York Post).

Fox News

Jared Goff

Everyone had massive expectations for Goff in Los Angeles. The Rams made him the first overall pick in 2016 and they immediately red-shirted it. But he became the starter toward the end of the season and held this position for two years. Goff made back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances and played in a Super Bowl.

L.A. Times

But he never convinced Sean McVay that he was the man despite the hype. Goff’s confidence went down after the Super Bowl defeat and his form deteriorated. In the end, they sent him to Detroit where he underwent a remarkable career revival (via The Ringer).

Florida Times-Union

Blake Bortles

In 2015 it looked like Bortles was going to be the future of the Jaguars’ organization. He was part of an exciting attacking trio including Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. Bortles was a transformed player after a 2016 year and helped guide the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game.

Bleacher Report

But everything fell apart the following season after he signed a three-year extension. Cody Kessler ousted him as the Jags’ starter in Week 13 after his form disappeared. Bortles bounced around the NFL for a couple of years as a roster option but played his final games in 2019 (via Fox Sports).

CBS Sports

Lawrence Phillips

Phillips was another brilliant college player who failed to make it in the NFL. The former Huskers star won two national titles and was one of the nation’s top prospects. This convinced the Rams to take him number six overall in the 1996 draft (via Pro Football History).

Omaha World-Herald

But they threw him away like yesterday’s garbage before the end of his sophomore season. He passed out drunk in practice and this was the final straw. Chaos followed him everywhere but they should have seen it coming. His life is a tragedy because he had amazing potential.

New York Post

Johnny Manziel

Manziel almost singlehandedly changed the Aggies’ fortunes on his Heisman run. His stunning college form at Texas A&M persuaded the Browns to draft him in 2014. This wasn’t a given because his attitude and stature put off many other franchises (via AP News).

New York Times

But Cleveland decided that it was a worthwhile gamble. In the end, they threw him away like yesterday’s garbage. Manziel threw seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions in two seasons. His substance abuse problems took control and he fell out of the NFL.

NBC Sports

Nick Foles

The Foles hype train exploded after he stunned the world with his Super Bowl MVP performance in 2017. He wouldn’t have played if Carson Wentz was fit. Suddenly the NFL thought that he was more than a decent backup and the Jaguars signed him as a free agent (via Bleacher Report).


They gave him a ludicrous $88 million four-year contract that exploded in their faces. He only played four games for the franchise before they were done with him. They sent him to Chicago where he didn’t do anything either. Foles had a great moment but not a fantastic career.

NBC Sports

Henry Ruggs III

The Raiders haven’t experienced much joy over the past few decades. Ruggs was a rare glimmer of hope after they moved to Allegiant Stadium because he became their most important weapon. The wideout was on course for the Pro Bowl in his sophomore year before a fatal car collision.

CBS Sports

He killed Tina Tintor in the drunk-driving incident that saw him smash his Corvette into his victim’s vehicle. She died in the ensuing blaze with her dog and the Raiders immediately cut him. His appallingly selfish act means that he’ll spend years in a Nevada jail (via 8 News Now).


Ryan Leaf

San Diego thought that they pulled off a coup when they drafted Leaf in 1998. The former Washington State prospect had exciting raw potential. Peyton Manning was the big name that year but many thought that Leaf also had an amazing long-term ceiling (via Sportskeeda).


But his horrible performances derailed the hype train and they threw him away like yesterday’s garbage. Everybody knows about Leaf’s addiction problems but maturity was also a big issue. He spent a couple of seasons bouncing around the NFL as a backup before retirement.

Essentially Sports

Odell Beckham Jr.

This was one of the NFL’s most dramatic hype trains but Beckham derailed it quickly. Everybody thought that he was going to become a New York icon. This superstar played brilliantly in the nation’s biggest city. It was a match made in heaven on paper.


OBJ became a three-time Pro Bowler before they threw him away like yesterday’s garbage. His off-field behavior was exhausting and this convinced the Giants’ front office to trade him to Cleveland. It came a season after he signed a five-year extension, but they had enough (via SNY).

Trey Lance

Lance has one of the strangest career arcs in recent NFL history. Whenever the Niners draft a quarterback it’s going to attract attention. They made the North Dakota star the second-overall pick in 2021. But they sent him to Dallas in 2023 like spoiled leftovers (via The Ringer).

San Diego Union-Tribune

Some people thought this was a massive risk because he only attempted 318 career passes with the Bisons. Then he had shocking lousy luck in San Francisco with horrible injuries. He failed to inspire confidence when he did play and then “Mr. Irrelevant” Brock Purdy emerged.