If in the first round you don’t succeed, cut your losses and move on.
The NFL Draft begins today without my beloved Bears partaking. We were warned “Don’t wait until next year,” but I’m happy with Kahlil Mack. To celebrate the sometimes occasional, sometimes continual draft-day incompetence of various franchises, I compiled a list of the worst first-round picks by every franchise. The one unfair listing is Kevin White of the Bears. He signed with the Cardinals, so he’s still active and could conceivably play for another five or ten years. If White actually carves out a meaningful career, he will rise about the rest of the train wrecks listed below, so things might change. The rest of them are on the outside looking in, and their careers won’t get any better or longer.
For the record, five teams have a quarterback as their single worst first-round pick in the Super Bowl era. The Bears somewhat eliminated themselves because they rarely drafted quarterbacks high, and when they do, it usually someone who can’t play. Like JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders, however, the Bears pushed Cade McNown onto the field often to avoid allowing him to be the worst. Unlike the Raiders, however, the Bears don’t have a backup disaster like Todd Marinovich.
|Y/N||Team||Last Name||First Name||P||College||PTS||AY||DY||AG||DG||SB1||ADCS|
|870||St. Louis||Stegent||Larry||RB||Texas A&M||1||1||1||7||7||0||17|
|2697||San Francisco||Druckenmiller||Jim||QB||Virginia Tech||2||2||2||6||6||0||18|
|668||Boston||Byrd||Dennis||DT||North Carolina State||1||1||1||14||14||0||31|
|2120||Kansas City||Morris||Sylvester||WR||Jackson State||2||1||1||15||15||0||34|
|1691||Seattle||McGwire||Dan||QB||San Diego State||1||5||4||13||12||0||35|
|1684||New York J||Faurot||Ron||DE||Arkansas||1||2||2||20||20||0||45|
|1871||New York||Thompson||Rocky||WR||West Texas A&M||1||3||3||29||29||0||65|
N/Y: The draft pick number and year. Jim Detwiler was the 20th pick taken in 1967 (2067).
PTS: All picks chosen between 1 and 20 gain the team one point if the player makes the team. Every twenty picks add one more point. The Colts earned 0 points because they took Detwiler 20th, but he never played in a single NFL game.
DY: All years played for the team that drafted the player.
AG: All games played in the NFL.
DG: All games played for the team that drafted the player.
SB1: Every time a player wins a Super Bowl ring, the team gets one point for every year of that player’s NFL service. The Colts scored points because Detwiler played in 0 Super Bowls. Since Tom Brady played in nine Super Bowls, his chart goes from SB1 to SB9.
ADCS: The total points a team earned for choosing a given player. If the draft pick never plays in the NFL, the team scores a zero. No other players earned as high or higher scores than Darrell Green, but Tom Brady will pass Green in the 2019 season, or after he gets into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, whichever comes first.
*The actual draft score belongs to the team that drafted the player. Even though Eli Manning won two Super Bowls with the Giants, he was actually drafted by the Chargers, so the Chargers get the credit for drafting him. If Manning achieved his career in a Chargers’ uniform, San Diego/Los Angeles would have gotten a higher score for drafting him.