Some are entering fifth-year option seasons, but those selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft have reached the conclusion of their original four-year contracts. That means we have substantial samples for 15 21st-century draft classes.

With that in mind, let’s wrap up draft week with a look at the 10 worst first-round selections since 2001.

10. DT Justin Harrell: The 16th overall pick in 2007 started two games as a rookie but was ineffective with the Green Bay Packers. He made even less of an impact the next season and was a goner after his third campaign. Injuries really derailed Harrell’s career from the jump.

9. DE Jamal Reynolds: The 10th pick in 2001 appeared in just 18 games in three seasons with the Packers, recording three sacks and 18 tackles along the way.

8. DE Aaron Maybin: The No. 11 overall pick in 2009 had zero sacks in 27 games with the Buffalo Bills, lingered two more disappointing years with the New York Jets and was out of football before he turned 25.

7. CB Dee Milliner: The 2013 No. 9 overall selection intercepted three passes as a rookie with the Jets, but he was still a mess in coverage and he recorded just six tackles in his next two seasons. He’s long gone from NFL circles.

6. CB Justin Gilbert: The No. 8 overall selection from 2014 recorded an interception in 14 appearances as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns, but he recorded just five tackles in his next two seasons with Cleveland the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been out of the league ever since.

5. DE Vernon Gholston: The sixth pick of the 2008 draft had zero sacks, zero forced fumbles and only 34 total tackles during his three-year run with the Jets.

4. DE Dion Jordan: Hard to believe this man was the third overall selection in 2013. His suspension-marred career has contained just 8.5 sacks and four total starts, only one of which came during his time with the Miami Dolphins.

3. WR Charles Rogers: The No. 2 overall pick of the 2003 draft caught 36 passes in three seasons with the Detroit Lions and was never heard from again at the NFL level.

2. WR Kevin White: The jury’s not totally in yet on the 2015 No. 7 overall selection, but White’s tenure with the Chicago Bears is over and he has just 25 catches and zero touchdowns to show for it.

1. QB JaMarcus Russell: One of the biggest busts in NFL history, the top pick of the 2007 draft won just seven games in three abysmal seasons as a member of the Oakland Raiders.

Dishonorable mentions: Trent Richardson, A.J. Jenkins, Jerome McDougle, Jarvis Moss, David Pollack, Marcus Smith, Jon Baldwin, Larry English, Troy Williamson, Justin Blackmon, Ereck Flowers, Greg Robinson, Aldon Smith, David Terrell, Bobby Carpenter, Jonathan Cooper, Darren McFadden, Matt Kalil, Jeff Otah, Levi Brown, Michael Huff, Tyson Jackson, LaRon Landry and of course Brady Quinn, Johnny Manziel, EJ Manuel, Matt Leinart, Vince Young, Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, Tim Tebow, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Kyle Boller, Joey Harrington and David Carr.

Yeah, that’s 50 in total. So you better believe bad picks will be made tonight.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.

2 thoughts on “The 10 worst first-round draft picks of the 21st century

  1. My picks for the worst picks last night #6 NYG: Daniel Jones, #4 Oakland: and these are the ones that stand out

  2. should be a disclaimer between injury reasons and just plain being bad. Also * by David Carr, like Tim Couch, he never had a chance. when will teams learn,,,,, you have to have an O-Line to project the franchise. Good Luck Kyler Murray.

Comments are closed.