Top 20 NFL Quarterback Busts

The Love of Sports recently ranked the top 20 NFL quarterback busts of all-time:

2. Ryan Leaf: (1998 San Diego Chargers 2nd Overall)
He was almost as bad with the media as he was on the field. He didn’t set himself up to become a fan favorite or media darling. After signing, at the time, the largest signing bonus ($11.25 million) for a rookie, his performance didn’t match the compensation. He stated soon after he was drafted that he was looking forward to eventually having a parade through downtown San Diego. Through nine games he threw two touchdowns and thirteen interceptions. In one game that season he was one for fifteen for four yards and three fumbles. In his rookie year he had to be restrained by teammates from going after a reporter. Another time he let a fan that was razzing him get to his head and again had to be restrained by teammates. When his career was finished his statistics were putrid. He had 14 touchdowns against 36 picks. His career passer rating was 50.0. It seemed that he had found some stability recently as a quarterbacks coach for West Texas A&M. However, that was short lived after Leaf was let go for allegedly asking a player for some pain medication.

1. Art Schlichter: (1982 Baltimore Colts 4th overall)
The former Ohio State Buckeye was the last starting quarterback under legendary coach, Woody Hayes. Even though he was a bust from a statistical standpoint his legacy is tarnished for another reason. Like Alex Karras, Paul Hornung, Pete Rose and now Tim Donaghy, he was a sports figure that had a severe gambling problem. By mid-season of his first year, he had blown his whole signing bonus on gambling losses. During the 1982 NFL strike, he amassed at least a $700,000 debt in gambling. He ratted on his bookies to the feds after they threatened to expose his problematic vice. His career passer rating was an embarrassing 42.6. In 1987, he was arrested in a huge sports gambling (multi-million dollar) ring. Pete Rozelle essentially banished him from the league.

Looking at some of these names from this list, it’s no wonder why so many people (myself included) are enamored with what Matt Ryan is doing in his first year. So many quarterbacks that were drafted high not only failed, but were so bad that teams had to cut bait after only two or three years. It’s amazing how bad teams can misjudge quarterbacks’ abilities but it just goes to show you that the draft is an art and not a science.

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