Warrick, Klingler fell way short in Cincy
But for every player who comes in, makes an immediate impact and becomes a perennial Pro Bowler, there are those who struggle to find their way and are out of the league in no time.
Here is ESPN.com's ranking of the top 50 busts in NFL draft history. These lists reflect players selected since the NFL and the old American Football League merged drafts in 1967.
Warrick posted decent numbers in his five seasons with the Bengals but never lived up his potential after being one of the all-time great offensive players in college football history at Florida State. Warrick would spend one season with the Seahawks.
Klingler was supposed to be the heir apparent to QB Boomer Esiason, but he may have picked up too many bad habits running the Cougars' version of the run 'n' shoot offense in college. In his first three NFL seasons, Klingler went 4-20 as a starter, throwing 15 TD passes, 20 interceptions and getting sacked 82 times.
New York Giants. Tight end. Notre Dame. Unfortunately for Brown, he had the tools but was no Mark Bavaro. In three seasons, Brown played in 45 games and caught 11 passes for one TD before bouncing around the league the next few seasons.
The Browns re-entered the NFL in 1999 hoping Couch would be their franchise quarterback for years to come. And while his 22-37 record as a starter can't be blamed completely on him, his failure to endear himself to the home fans and subsequent injury problems made him a big disappointment.
Enis dominated the Big Ten while at Penn State, scoring 36 touchdowns in three seasons. Unfortunately for the Bears, that's also how long his NFL career lasted. His longest run in three seasons in the windy city was 29 yards.
Similar to their expansion brethren, the Buccaneers, that year with DE Lee Roy Selmon, the expansion Hawks had the right idea trying to build in the trenches. But Selmon wound up in the Hall of Fame while this former Golden Domer started just 20 games in three years in Seattle before ending his career with the Vikings in 1979.
The former Nittany Lion lasted four seasons with the Jets and never reached 1,000 yards rushing. After being let go by New York in 1993, Thomas made brief appearances with the Patriots, Cowboys and Panthers. He rushed for 2,236 yards and seven touchdowns in his disappointing career.
After he was drafted by the Cardinals, Stouffer and the team could not agree on a contract and he held out the entire season. In 1988, the Cardinals traded his rights to the Seahawks, where Stouffer started 16 games over four years before being let go in 1992. He briefly reappeared with the Carolina Panthers in 1996 but never played in a game.
This former Nittany Lion played in just two NFL games (never starting) and would eventually find his way to the World League of American Football (the original version of NFL Europe), where he saw action with the now-defunct Barcelona Dragons.
After a so-so start, Worley got hot late in his rookie season, led the team in rushing and helped the surprising Steelers rally from a horrible start to make the playoffs as a wild card. But his numbers decreased each year with Pittsburgh and he was eventually dealt to the Bears midway through the '93 season.
In five-plus seasons with the Bengals and Buccaneers, the "Throwin' Samoan" was never really able to unseat veteran QB Ken Anderson, and when he played, he put up mediocre numbers at best. He was eventually dealt to Tampa Bay.
You would expect a lot more from a first overall selection, but this former Golden Dome standout never delivered in four seasons with the Bills. He was dealt to St. Louis in 1976 (and missed that season with a knee injury) and would end his career after the '77 campaign after a year with the Cardinals&
Dubbed "The Incredible Bulk" by Sports Illustrated, this man-mountain was expected to be the next great offensive tackle. But he appeared to be more hype than anything else and soon became a punch line for draft busts (especially since RB Barry Sanders was picked No. 3 that year). To his credit, Mandarich revived his career in the late '90s at guard with the Indianapolis Colts.
The biggest disappointment of the fabled quarterback class of 1983, Blackledge led the Nittany Lions to a national title in 1982. But he never started a full season with the Chiefs, was dealt to the Steelers in 1988 (where his father was a longtime assistant) and unspectacularly finished his career the following season.
It didn't take long for the Lions to realize they missed on the 6-foot-6, 375-pound offensive tackle. After he appeared in only 11 games over three seasons, the Lions parted ways with Gibson. He would play briefly for the Cowboys and Bears before taking his game to the AFL, where he now plays for the Austin Wranglers.
Russell S. Baxter, Ryan McCrystal, Jon D. Kramer, Jon T. Stewart, Chris Fallica and Paul Kinney of ESPN research contributed to this report.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Report: Hernandez questioned on homicide
- Pats' Gronkowski undergoes back surgery
- Gleason accepts fired radio DJs' apologies
- Johnson: 'I've learned my lesson' from jail
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
RANKING NFL DRAFT BUSTS
Ryan Leaf, selected No. 2 overall in the 1998 draft, never measured up to the hype. In the first of a special two-part Hot Read, ESPN.com's ranks the top 50 busts in NFL draft history. In Part 2, ESPN.com ranked the top 50 draft steals.
• Top 50 draft busts: 1-15 | 16-30 | 31-50
• Kiper: 10 guys I can't believe failed
• Walker: Shuler enjoying second stint in D.C.
• Mosley: Leaf now at peace with NFL failure
• Yasinskas: No room for football for Westbrook
• Zoom Gallery: Notable busts
• SportsNation: Rank the top 10 busts
• Watch: Marcellus Wiley analysis
FROM LEAF TO WESTBROOK
1. Ryan Leaf, Chargers (1998)
2. Lawrence Phillips, Rams (1996)
3. Art Schlichter, Colts (1982)
4. Heath Shuler, Redskins (1994)
5. Charles Rogers, Lions (2003)
6. Keith McCants, Buccaneers (1990)
7. Johnny "Lam" Jones, Jets (1980)
8. Mike Junkin, Browns (1987)
9. Bo Matthews, Chargers (1974)
10. Jerry Tagge, Packers (1972)
11. Jim Drukenmiller, 49ers (1997)
12. Andre Ware, Lions (1990)
13. Reggie Rogers, Lions (1987)
14. Joe Profit, Falcons (1971)
15. Huey Richardson, Steelers (1991)
16. Peter Warrick, Bengals (2000)
17. David Klingler, Bengals (1992)
18. Derek Brown, Giants (1992)
19. Tim Couch, Browns (1999)
20. Curtis Enis, Bears (1998)
21. Steve Niehaus, Seahawks (1976)
22. Blair Thomas, Jets (1990)
23. Kelly Stouffer, Cardinals (1987)
24. Tony Sacca, Cardinals (1992)
25. Tim Worley, Steelers (1989)
26. Jack Thompson, Bengals (1979)
27. Walt Patulski, Bills (1972)
28. Tony Mandarich, Packers (1989)
29. Todd Blackledge, Chiefs (1983)
30. Aaron Gibson, Lions (1999)
31. Todd Marinovich, Raiders (1991)
32. Andre Johnson, Redskins (1996)
33. Leeland McElroy, Cardinals (1996)
34. Craig Powell, Browns (1995)
35. Mike Elkins, Chiefs (1999)
36. Russell Erxleben, Saints (1979)
37. Patrick Bates, Raiders (1993)
38. Dan McGwire, Seahawks (1991)
39. Trezelle Jenkins, Chiefs (1995)
40. Cade McNown, Bears (1999)
41. Reggie Rembert, Jets (1990)
42. Akili Smith, Bengals (1999)
43. Mike Mamula, Eagles (1995)
44. Jonathan Sullivan, Saints (2003)
45. John Clay, Raiders (1987)
46. Alex Van Dyke, Jets (1996)
47. Maurice Clarett, Broncos (2005)
48. David LaFleur, Cowboys (1997)
49. Jon Harris, Eagles (1997)
50. Michael Westbrook, Redskins (1995)
RANKING DRAFT STEALS
In the second of a two-part special report on the draft, ESPN.com ranked the top 50 draft steals.
• Top 50 draft steals: 1-15 | 16-30 | 31-50
• Kiper: 10 guys who surprised me
• Williamson: Waiting was hard for Sharpe
• Walker: Byner use 'Fumble' as coaching tool
• Mosley: Wright a respected ex-player, voice
• Sando: Houston keeps football, life in perspective
• Zoom Gallery: Notable steals
• SportsNation: Rank the top 10 steals
• Watch: Marcellus Wiley analysis