The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting times of the year for football fans. They can’t wait to see who their franchise selects in the first round. Based on that positioning, we expect these players to be brilliant, but the reality is many of these draft picks become busts. They arrive with a ton of hype but they simply can’t sustain it at the pro level.
Today we’ll look at some of the most high-profile players who tried and failed in the NFL. These draft picks had massive reputations in college but they struggled when they made the step up. Remember, the average length of an NFL career is only four years. Fans expect more when their team stakes a first-round pick on a player. But the draft is an inexact science, to say the least, so check out the biggest first-round flops right here.
In 2018, the Jets decided that Darnold was the quarterback to lead their franchise forward. Instead, he joined the long ranks of draft picks who flopped at the highest level. The former USC star arrived with a lot of hype but failed to live up to it. He was the youngest starting quarterback since the merger and that billing came too soon for him.
It didn’t help that his head coach Adam Gase was one of the worst NFL coaches ever. Peyton Manning recommended him to the Jets because of his expertise with quarterbacks. In the end, however, he destroyed Darnold’s confidence and the young man left after three seasons to join the Panthers. To rub salt into their wounds, the Jets missed out on future star Josh Allen and future MVP Lamar Jackson in the 2018 draft (via ESPN).