Buyer Remorse draft pick #6 – Terry Fair
The sixth biggest ‘buyer regret’ draft choice came on April 18th, 1998. The Detroit Lions did what they have so many times over the course of their last 60 years and decided not to take a chance on what may have been the most talented player in the draft. They took the safe route and it backfired on them for years.
The Lions used the 20th pick to select cornerback Terry Fair from the University of Tennessee. Fair lived up to his name as a fair player, but he never blossomed into what they hoped he would become. In only four years with the Lions before they decided to release him, his biggest contributions were as a return man.
Meanwhile, the divisional rival Minnesota Vikings used the very next pick in the 1998 draft, number 21 overall, to select Marshall University receiver, Randy Moss. One could almost say the rest is history.
Moss did have some behavioral concerns coming out of college, but he also had a burning desire to be great and the talent to allow him to achieve that goal. His rookie season, while he was still learning the nuances of running the pro route tree, the Vikings made it simple for Randy and often just had him go deep.
The results were astonishing as his combination of size, speed and hands made it almost impossible for any cornerback to cover him one-on-one. Including Terry Fair who was toasted like every other defensive back Moss came across.
Moss played 14 years in the NFL and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 3, 2018. He was known for speaking his mind as well as spectacular receiving abilities and that was ultimately how he ended up playing for five teams in his career, including Minnesota twice. In 2012 after a year of retirement he returned to play with the San Francisco 49ers at age 35.
Even at an age when most receivers have lost a step and are either retiring or getting by on smarts, Moss averaged 15.5 yards a catch for the 49ers in his final season.
There will be some that think passing on Moss was a good idea, while many others consider it a lost opportunity. Yet when you consider what Moss accomplished as compared to the career of Terry Fair, this is the sixth biggest ‘buyers regret’ since the advent of the common draft.