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Published: April 4, 2017 at 04:29 p.m.
Updated: April 12, 2017 at 01:16 p.m.

First-round NFL draft fantasy busts

Did you select Todd Gurley in the first round of your fantasy football draft last season? Or maybe you went with Adrian Peterson or DeAndre Hopkins? If you did, then you know what it feels like to draft a bust. Don't feel too bad, because NFL teams have been battling the bust barrage for decades. For every Andrew Luck there are five EJ Manuels. For every Ezekiel Elliott, there are far more Trent Richardsons. Want proof? Well, let's go down (bad) memory lane and look at the biggest first-round (fantasy) busts since 2000. You might want to cover your eyes for some of these though, because like the NFL teams that picked them ... we drafted some of them too.

17 Photos Total

  • The fourth overall selection in 2000, Warrick was considered the most explosive wide receiver in the rookie class. In fact, he had a 65.3 ADP (average draft position) in seasonal 10-team leagues on <a href="http://www03.myfantasyleague.com/2000/adp" target="_new">MFL.com.</a> The Florida State product would go on to record one top-20 finish among wideouts based on fantasy points in what was a disappointing five-year career. Warrick's lack of success was a killer for dynasty leaguers. 17

    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Peter Warrick, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (2000)

    The fourth overall selection in 2000, Warrick was considered the most explosive wide receiver in the rookie class. In fact, he had a 65.3 ADP (average draft position) in seasonal 10-team leagues on MFL.com. The Florida State product would go on to record one top-20 finish among wideouts based on fantasy points in what was a disappointing five-year career. Warrick's lack of success was a killer for dynasty leaguers.

  • The first round of the 2001 NFL Draft was best known for the selection of LaDainian Tomlinson, who went on to become one of the greatest fantasy running backs of all time. It also included Terrell, who came off the board at No. 8 overall and was a disastrous bust. Terrell's best fantasy finish among wide receivers came in 2004, when he ranked 52nd. He finished his career with just 128 receptions in four pro seasons. 16

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    David Terrell, WR, Chicago Bears (2001)

    The first round of the 2001 NFL Draft was best known for the selection of LaDainian Tomlinson, who went on to become one of the greatest fantasy running backs of all time. It also included Terrell, who came off the board at No. 8 overall and was a disastrous bust. Terrell's best fantasy finish among wide receivers came in 2004, when he ranked 52nd. He finished his career with just 128 receptions in four pro seasons.

  • The first round of this draft had no lack of fantasy busts, including David Carr, Joey Harrington, Ashley Lelie and Patrick Ramsey. Green was arguably the biggest of the bunch though, as he had a sixth-round ADP as a rookie and was widely considered a potential long-term asset for fantasy owners. Green would go on to play in 46 games (four seasons) and finished no better than 28th in fantasy points among runners. 15

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    William Green, RB, Cleveland Browns (2002)

    The first round of this draft had no lack of fantasy busts, including David Carr, Joey Harrington, Ashley Lelie and Patrick Ramsey. Green was arguably the biggest of the bunch though, as he had a sixth-round ADP as a rookie and was widely considered a potential long-term asset for fantasy owners. Green would go on to play in 46 games (four seasons) and finished no better than 28th in fantasy points among runners.

  • The second overall selection in the 2003 draft, Rogers oozed upside for both the Lions and fantasy fans alike. In fact, some scouts compared his skills to Randy Moss coming out of college. Rogers would go on to play in a combined 15 games in three NFL seasons, as he missed time due to a combination of injuries and suspensions. The Michigan State bust finished his career with 36 catches, 440 yards and four touchdowns. 14

    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    Charles Rogers, WR, Detroit Lions (2003)

    The second overall selection in the 2003 draft, Rogers oozed upside for both the Lions and fantasy fans alike. In fact, some scouts compared his skills to Randy Moss coming out of college. Rogers would go on to play in a combined 15 games in three NFL seasons, as he missed time due to a combination of injuries and suspensions. The Michigan State bust finished his career with 36 catches, 440 yards and four touchdowns.

  • The Jaguars landed Williams with the ninth overall selection in the 2004 draft, but he was the third wideout off the board behind Larry Fitzgerald (No. 3) and Roy Williams (No. 7). Aside from a 2007 campaign that saw him score 10 touchdowns (and still finish an unimpressive 29th among wideouts), Williams was a non-factor for the Jaguars and in fantasy leagues. He never had more than 629 receiving yards in a single season. 13

    Phil Coale/Associated Press

    Reggie Williams, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (2004)

    The Jaguars landed Williams with the ninth overall selection in the 2004 draft, but he was the third wideout off the board behind Larry Fitzgerald (No. 3) and Roy Williams (No. 7). Aside from a 2007 campaign that saw him score 10 touchdowns (and still finish an unimpressive 29th among wideouts), Williams was a non-factor for the Jaguars and in fantasy leagues. He never had more than 629 receiving yards in a single season.

  • Williamson was the second wide receiver picked (No. 7) in the 2005 draft behind Braylon Edwards (No. 3) and ahead of the likes of Roddy White (No. 27) and Vincent Jackson (No. 61). He would go on to record 1,067 combined yards with just three touchdowns in his first three years before finishing his career in Jacksonville. Williamson would never rank better than 77th in fantasy points among wideouts in a single season. 12

    David Stluka/Associated Press

    Troy Williamson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (2005)

    Williamson was the second wide receiver picked (No. 7) in the 2005 draft behind Braylon Edwards (No. 3) and ahead of the likes of Roddy White (No. 27) and Vincent Jackson (No. 61). He would go on to record 1,067 combined yards with just three touchdowns in his first three years before finishing his career in Jacksonville. Williamson would never rank better than 77th in fantasy points among wideouts in a single season.

  • The first round of the 2006 draft included some huge names like Reggie Bush and Vince Young, and Leinart was part of that mix. He failed to meet expectations, however, as the USC product lost his starting job in Arizona to Kurt Warner and was an afterthought in fantasy leagues after his second NFL season. Leinart finished his career with more interceptions (21) than touchdown passes (15) with three different NFL teams. 11

    David Stluka/Associated Press

    Matt Leinart, QB, Arizona Cardinals (2006)

    The first round of the 2006 draft included some huge names like Reggie Bush and Vince Young, and Leinart was part of that mix. He failed to meet expectations, however, as the USC product lost his starting job in Arizona to Kurt Warner and was an afterthought in fantasy leagues after his second NFL season. Leinart finished his career with more interceptions (21) than touchdown passes (15) with three different NFL teams.

  • Imagine how many dynasty leaguers sunk a first-round draft pick on Russell based on all the potential he possessed? Selected ahead of the likes of Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch (to name a few), Russell lasted just three seasons in the NFL. He would finish his career with 4,083 yards, 18 touchdown passes, 23 interceptions and a 65.2 passer rating. He's considered the biggest draft bust ever. 10

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    JaMarcus Russell, QB, Oakland Raiders (2007)

    Imagine how many dynasty leaguers sunk a first-round draft pick on Russell based on all the potential he possessed? Selected ahead of the likes of Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch (to name a few), Russell lasted just three seasons in the NFL. He would finish his career with 4,083 yards, 18 touchdown passes, 23 interceptions and a 65.2 passer rating. He's considered the biggest draft bust ever.

  • The first round of the 2008 draft birthed good fantasy players like Matt Ryan (No. 2), Darren McFadden (No. 4), Jonathan Stewart (No. 13) and Chris Johnson (No. 24), but Jones (No. 22) failed to meet his high expectations. He would be forced to split the workload with Marion Barber and DeMarco Murray before ending his career in Pittsburgh (2013). Jones would never finish better than 25th in fantasy points among backs. 9

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys (2008)

    The first round of the 2008 draft birthed good fantasy players like Matt Ryan (No. 2), Darren McFadden (No. 4), Jonathan Stewart (No. 13) and Chris Johnson (No. 24), but Jones (No. 22) failed to meet his high expectations. He would be forced to split the workload with Marion Barber and DeMarco Murray before ending his career in Pittsburgh (2013). Jones would never finish better than 25th in fantasy points among backs.

  • It was a major surprise to see Heyward-Bey (No. 7) picked ahead of Michael Crabtree (No. 10) in the 2009 draft, but the Raiders have always loved fast wide receivers. It didn't turn out well for Oakland or fantasy owners though, as DHB would never finish better than 25th in fantasy points at the position. He would average just 35 catches for 518 yards with 11 combined touchdowns in four seasons in Silver & Black. 8

    Bill Nichols/Associated Press

    Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oakland Raiders (2009)

    It was a major surprise to see Heyward-Bey (No. 7) picked ahead of Michael Crabtree (No. 10) in the 2009 draft, but the Raiders have always loved fast wide receivers. It didn't turn out well for Oakland or fantasy owners though, as DHB would never finish better than 25th in fantasy points at the position. He would average just 35 catches for 518 yards with 11 combined touchdowns in four seasons in Silver & Black.

  • Spiller had so much fantasy potential coming out of Clemson that he had a seventh-round ADP as a rookie despite being in a backfield with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. While he did have a huge 2012 campaign that saw him finish seventh among running backs, Spiller never made the monster impact that was expected of him overall. Tim Tebow, drafted 25th overall, came a close second in the 2010 class. 7

    Mike Groll/Associated Press

    C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills (2010)

    Spiller had so much fantasy potential coming out of Clemson that he had a seventh-round ADP as a rookie despite being in a backfield with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. While he did have a huge 2012 campaign that saw him finish seventh among running backs, Spiller never made the monster impact that was expected of him overall. Tim Tebow, drafted 25th overall, came a close second in the 2010 class.

  • The first round of the 2011 class was loaded with future fantasy studs like Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and J.J. Watt (IDP). There were a few busts as well, though, and Locker was the biggest of the bunch. The eighth overall selection, Locker couldn't stay on the field due to injuries and would finish with a mere 23 starts over four NFL seasons. Jonathan Baldwin, the 26th overall pick, was also a forgettable choice. 6

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans (2011)

    The first round of the 2011 class was loaded with future fantasy studs like Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and J.J. Watt (IDP). There were a few busts as well, though, and Locker was the biggest of the bunch. The eighth overall selection, Locker couldn't stay on the field due to injuries and would finish with a mere 23 starts over four NFL seasons. Jonathan Baldwin, the 26th overall pick, was also a forgettable choice.

  • Blackmon was touted as a potential NFL and fantasy superstar coming out of Oklahoma State, so he was a high first-round pick in dynasty leagues and a 10th-rounder in seasonal formats. He would show potential as a rookie with 865 yards and five scores, but his off-field troubles resulted in multiple suspensions and the eventual end of his career. Blackmon is now nothing more than a sad football tale of wasted talent. 5

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (2012)

    Blackmon was touted as a potential NFL and fantasy superstar coming out of Oklahoma State, so he was a high first-round pick in dynasty leagues and a 10th-rounder in seasonal formats. He would show potential as a rookie with 865 yards and five scores, but his off-field troubles resulted in multiple suspensions and the eventual end of his career. Blackmon is now nothing more than a sad football tale of wasted talent.

  • The hype surrounding Austin was massive coming out of college, and the Rams bit on him with the No. 8 overall selection. Unfortunately, the West Virginia product has never met those heightened expectations. He's had one decent fantasy season (2015), when he finished 23rd in fantasy points ... but that was due to his 473 <i>rushing</i> yards and five <i>rushing</i> touchdowns. He's now worth little more than a late-round selection. 4

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams (2013)

    The hype surrounding Austin was massive coming out of college, and the Rams bit on him with the No. 8 overall selection. Unfortunately, the West Virginia product has never met those heightened expectations. He's had one decent fantasy season (2015), when he finished 23rd in fantasy points ... but that was due to his 473 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. He's now worth little more than a late-round selection.

  • The first round of this draft was loaded with offensive talent, as the likes of Sammy Watkins (No. 4), Mike Evans (No. 7), Odell Beckham Jr. (No. 12) and Brandin Cooks (No. 20) were all selected. Unfortunately for Manziel, who went at No. 22, his time in the NFL wasn't so successful. Despite his college accomplishments, he would attempt 258 passes at the pro level before his off-field troubles landed him out of the league. 3

    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland Browns (2014)

    The first round of this draft was loaded with offensive talent, as the likes of Sammy Watkins (No. 4), Mike Evans (No. 7), Odell Beckham Jr. (No. 12) and Brandin Cooks (No. 20) were all selected. Unfortunately for Manziel, who went at No. 22, his time in the NFL wasn't so successful. Despite his college accomplishments, he would attempt 258 passes at the pro level before his off-field troubles landed him out of the league.

  • White was considered one of the two best wideout prospects in his class. In fact, some experts had him ranked ahead of Amari Cooper. The Bears would take him with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, hoping to pair him with Alshon Jeffery. That never materialized though, as injuries cost White his entire rookie season and all but four games of 2016. He still has potential for the future, but so far he's been a bust. 2

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears (2015)

    White was considered one of the two best wideout prospects in his class. In fact, some experts had him ranked ahead of Amari Cooper. The Bears would take him with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, hoping to pair him with Alshon Jeffery. That never materialized though, as injuries cost White his entire rookie season and all but four games of 2016. He still has potential for the future, but so far he's been a bust.

  • Countless analysts believed Treadwell was the best wideout in the 2016 class, though he would ultimately be the fourth player drafted at his position in Round 1. The Ole Miss product would have a very forgettable rookie campaign however, as he saw a meager 17 percent of the team's offensive snaps. That included <i>one</i> target (not a misprint). Treadwell still has plenty of time to shine, but his first season was a disaster. 1

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings (2016)

    Countless analysts believed Treadwell was the best wideout in the 2016 class, though he would ultimately be the fourth player drafted at his position in Round 1. The Ole Miss product would have a very forgettable rookie campaign however, as he saw a meager 17 percent of the team's offensive snaps. That included one target (not a misprint). Treadwell still has plenty of time to shine, but his first season was a disaster.

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