JaMarcus Russell has plenty of company over the years
While the Raiders' disastrous No. 1 pick sticks out in everyone's mind, there have been several players who have flamed out despite big expectations. Let's go back over the last decade and find the biggest draft busts during the time.
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QB Matt Leinart, No. 10 pick in 2006, Arizona Cardinals
After a decorated college career spent very much in the spotlight at USC, Leinart chose to come back to school for his senior year and his draft stock slipped. The Cardinals snagged him at No. 10 and gave him immediate chances, but he was 4-7 as a starter as a rookie then lost the starting job to Kurt Warner -- who took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. He started one game in his final two years in Arizona and in four seasons threw 13 touchdowns vs. 20 interceptions. He was out of the NFL last season.
DE Derrick Harvey, No. 8 pick in 2008, Jacksonville Jaguars
Harvey cracked the lineup and recorded 3.5 sacks as a rookie, but his development and production stalled from there. He was a full-time starter in his second year but had just 2 sacks all season, then fell out of favor and eventually out of the lineup during another disappointing Jaguars season in 2010. Harvey then caught on for a short time in Denver and got another shot in Cincinnati, but nothing ever materialized.
WR Troy Williamson, No. 7 pick in 2005, Minnesota Vikings
Williamson only found the end zone three times in three seasons with the Vikings, who thought they were getting a game-breaking receiver when they took Williamson out of South Carolina. He averaged 15.5 yards per catch as a rookie but never got close to that again. He made cameo appearances as a kick returner and a weapon who lined up in different places across formations, but the Vikings never got any kind of real return on their investment.
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DE Aaron Maybin, No. 11 pick in 2009, Buffalo Bills
Maybin started one game in two seasons for the Bills -- and that's one more sack than he had in the 27 games he played for Buffalo. He caught on with the Jets in 2011, playing 13 games as a situational pass-rusher and recorded his only 6 sacks while also recovering 4 fumbles, but he played eight games the following season for the Jets without much production then was very publicly cut in the 2013 preseason by the Cincinnati Bengals as cameras for the HBO special "Hard Knocks" rolled.
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LB Aaron Curry, No. 4 pick in 2009, Seattle Seahawks
Curry was an immediate starter and showed up around the ball in his first two seasons, but his impact plays were minimal and by his third season the Seahawks had multiple players who had passed him by. He was traded to Oakland and didn't do much there, either, before announcing his retirement in 2012. Curry had 5.5 sacks and forced 4 fumbles while in Seattle, also returning a fumble for a touchdown, but was long gone by the time the Seattle defense established itself as one of the league's best.
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QB Blaine Gabbert, No. 10 pick in 2011, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gabbert left Missouri a year earlier than just about anybody thought he would, and after drafting him so high, the Jaguars had him starting before his 22nd birthday. He threw 12 touchdown passes as rookie but never had sustained success and was traded to the 49ers for a late-round pick earlier this offseason after three seasons, a 5-22 record as a starter and a completion percentage of 53.3. Gabbert was sacked 40 times in 15 games a rookie and never really gathered any momentum from which to build upon.
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WR Justin Blackmon, No. 5 pick in 2012, Jacksonville Jaguars
Two years is often too early to declare any pick a bust -- see Trent Richardson, taken two picks before Blackmon and traded last year -- but this is a special case. And a sad one, too. Blackmon was a dominant college player who posted 865 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie, and his talent is evident. But multiple NFL suspensions for substance abuse have derailed his career to the point that he played four games last season and recently Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said the team is not counting on having Blackmon, who's currently suspended indefinitely, for 2014.
OT Jason Smith, No. 2 pick in 2009, St. Louis Rams
Tackles are going higher and higher in drafts as the NFL becomes a passing league and defensive ends get bigger and faster. Smith had all the measurables and enough momentum coming out of Baylor to go No. 2 overall, but he played three seasons at right tackle for the Rams, never made it through a full season and never became a solid starter, let alone the star the team hoped he'd be and needed him to be. He was a backup for the Jets in 2012 and out of the league last season.
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DE Vernon Gholston, No. 6 pick in 2008, New York Jets
Gholston was a feared rusher at the college level and certainly looked the part of NFL stud. But after three seasons, five total starts, no sacks, no forced fumbles and very little impact, the Jets finally cut their losses and Gholston never caught on anywhere else. He participated in 45 games in three seasons but never resurfaced.
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QB JaMarcus Russell, No. 1 pick in 2007, Oakland Raiders
The modern bust of all busts, Russell came on strong late in his junior season at LSU, lit up his pro day and had the Raiders believing he was their long-awaited answer. He lasted just three seasons, only played close to a full season once and was released after posting a 7-18 record as a starter and a 52 percent completion percentage. Russell held out as a rookie and never seemed to recover. In the end, the Raiders got very little, Russell got $40 million and has failed in sporadic comeback attempts since.