The 10 biggest draft busts in Detroit Lions history

Andre Ware, Detroit Lions (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images)
Andre Ware, Detroit Lions (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Credit: Allen Kee/Getty Images
Credit: Allen Kee/Getty Images /

2. WR Charles Rogers

Millen started the aformentioned run of top-10 wide receivers with Rogers as the second overall pick in 2003, with the added local angle of him being a Michigan State product and a Saginaw native.

Injuries and off the field issues led to Rogers lasting just three seasons and 15 games in the NFL. He was released by the Lions just before the start of the 2006 season.

In November of 2019, after being diagnosed with cancer and in need of a transplant, Rogers died at age-38 due to liver failure.

1. QB Andre Ware

On the heels of winning the Heisman Trophy in 1989, as he set a chunk of NCAA records and piloted a prolific Houston Cougars’ run-and-shoot offense, the Lions took Ware seventh overall in the 1990 NFL Draft. The Lions had their version of a run-and-shoot, coined the “Silver Stretch”, and Ware seemed like an ideal fit.

Not so much. Rodney Peete and Erik Kramer joined Ware on the depth chart, and head coach Wayne Fontes mostly went with them as the Lions’ starting quarterback. Over four seasons Ware appeared in 14 games, with six starts. The landed with the Raiders and the Jaguars before playing some in the CFL, and never played another NFL regular season game.

Ware represents a bit of a chicken-or-the egg scenario about being given a real chance to develop/play or simply not being nearly good enough. In any case, he comes in No. 1 on this list of Detroit Lions all-time draft busts.

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