Mel Kiper Jr. has been producing his annual NFL draft guide since 1978. He, just like the teams making the picks, has been wrong on a number of selections. He took some time over the past two fridays to look back at the biggest draft busts on ESPN.com.
Mel limited his bust list to players selected in the top ten since 1978. His first article was about quarterback busts, of which he highlighted 13, and his second article was for non-quarterbacks. The Lions certainly don’t have the best draft history but where would they come out based on Kiper’s bust list? I totaled it all up and here is how it looks:
No one should be surprised to see the Lions near the top of the list but at least we can take pride in knowing the Bengals have a much worse track record.
So who were the four former Lions draft picks that Mel Kiper labeled as busts? Here they are with Kiper’s analysis:
Andre Ware, No. 7 overall to Detroit, 1990
Again, I really liked Ware. I thought, given the right situation, he could have had a great career in the NFL. It just never came to be. All the accolades at Houston, the Heisman Trophy, the skill set and the persona, it just never added up. He finished his career with just 1,112 career passing yards and was just another of the quarterbacks that came through Detroit during the Wayne Fontes era, none of them ever able to truly complement the guy they handed the ball off to, Barry Sanders.
Joey Harrington, No. 3 overall to Detroit, 2002
I really liked Harrington’s chances. He had a lot of what you want to see — smarts, size, a good arm, a great personality. He was a leader, and I thought he’d be a fit in Detroit. For whatever reason, he could never get comfortable on those Lions teams, which always seemed a little deficient in talent. But he had lots of chances, with 76 career starts. He finished with 14,693 career yards, by no means a disastrous total compared to the company, but part of his inclusion here is based on very high expectations.
Reggie Rogers, DE, No. 7 overall to Detroit in 1987
Involved in a tragic car accident early in his career, he washed out of the league. Problems followed him.
Charles Rogers, WR, No. 2 overall to Detroit in 2003
Just 36 career receptions. What might have happened had he stayed healthy?