For weeks last year it looked like Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 Draft, might be the biggest non-factor. He languished on the sideline while the Rams struggled with Case Keenum before finally getting a chance to start.
Goff didn't light the world on fire, or win a game, but he still was a key player for his team last season. That's more than some fellow first-round picks could say. Here are the five biggest non-factors from last year's first-round draft picks.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins (No. 22 overall)
Doctson suffered an Achilles injury in the preseason and aggravated it in Week 3, sending him to injured reserve with just two catches for 66 yards. It was a rough season for receivers taken in the first round. Corey Coleman missed six games with a broken hand and Laquon Treadwell was a non-factor (keep scrolling for more). Will Fuller was the best of the bunch with 47 catches for 635 yards.
William Jackson III, CB, Bengals (No. 24)
Jackson also was bit by the injury bug, tearing a pectoral muscle in August and going on IR. He was ready to return in November, but Cincy chose to activate RB Cedric Peerman from IR following Giovani Bernard's season-ending injury instead. That means Jackson's first season was over before it ever began.
Vernon Butler, DT, Panthers (No. 30)
Another chapter in Carolina's disappointing season was the slow development of Butler, who had 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 10 games (no starts). Butler missed 5 games with an ankle injury and apparently got back to 100 percent. “Is he back to the guy we saw at the beginning? No, not yet. He’s not going to be until we stop playing,” Ron Rivera said in November.
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Vikings (No. 23)
The former Ole Miss star had just one catch for 15 yards in 9 games (1 start). Treadwell was overshadowed by solid seasons from Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson; he played 34 of 58 snaps in Week 12 at Detroit and wasn't targeted once. Treadwell's struggles led fans to call on Randy Moss to tutor the rookie — Moss replied "tried (that) already," but Treadwell told reporters he hasn't met Moss. Despite the struggles, GM Rick Spielman recently expressed confidence in Treadwell, calling him "maybe the hardest-working kid I’ve ever seen."
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Cardinals (No. 29)
What is it with these Ole Miss guys? Nkemdiche's character was a question on draft day, and it proved to be a problem. He was inactive for several games and finished with 1 tackle in 5 games (no starts). “Talent [is] not an issue,” Bruce Arians told the team's website in November. “Maturity is.” Asked if Nkemdiche's rookie season is comparable to that of 2015 first-rounder D.J. Humphries, Arians replied "No ... D.J. worked harder." By the end of the season, however, the head coach said Nkemdiche had improved and "learned what professional football is all about."