2020 is almost here. But before we close out a wild decade in America’s most popular sports league, we’re looking back at some of the best (and worst) of the 2010s in the NFL.
Here’s a breakdown of the 12 biggest draft busts from the last 10 seasons (first-round picks only).
12. QB Christian Ponder
He did have one decent year as a sophomore in 2012, but the 2011 No. 12 overall pick lost 21 of 35 starts during a painful four-year run with the Minnesota Vikings. Nobody gave him another shot.
11. QB Jake Locker
Same story, really, except Locker was the No. 8 overall selection in the same draft. Expectations were thus a little higher, and he started just 23 games in four years with the Tennessee Titans before his career came to an end.
10. WR Justin Blackmon
The No. 5 overall pick of the 2012 draft caught five touchdown passes as a rookie with the Jaguars, but then he registered just 29 receptions as a sophomore, and then his career was over as a result of off-field issues.
9. QB Blaine Gabbert
The No. 10 overall pick of the 2011 draft won just five of 27 games in three abysmal seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He did earn some redemption by becoming a half-decent backup journeyman after that, but a top-10 pick can’t fall on his face that hard and avoid being known as a mega-bust.
8. QB Johnny Manziel
At least he wasn’t a top-10 pick in 2014, but the hype surrounding “Johnny Football” magnified his NFL failures. The No. 22 overall pick lasted just eight games in two seasons with the Cleveland Browns and never got another job in this league.
7. QB EJ Manuel
The Buffalo Bills gave up on Manuel nearly as quickly as the Browns lost faith in Manziel. The 2013 No. 16 overall selection had a 5.9 yards-per-attempt average in four failed seasons there and was out of the league a year later.
6. QB Paxton Lynch
The expectations were at least slightly lower for the No. 26 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft, but Lynch was so bad that he never even really got a chance with the Denver Broncos or anyone else. He couldn’t even get off the sideline. He started four games in two years and hasn’t been heard from since.
5. RB Trent Richardson
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 draft nearly rushed for 1,000 yards while scoring 11 touchdowns as a rookie, but he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. It wasn’t long before the Browns gave up and traded him to the Indianapolis Colts, who got even less out of him for a year and a half. He finished his career at the age of 24, with a 3.3 average and three terrible seasons under his belt.
4. CB Dee Milliner
The No. 9 overall selection in 2013 was drafted to be a shutdown corner. He intercepted three passes while otherwise struggling as a rookie, and then started just two games over the next two seasons and disappeared after that.
3. CB Justin Gilbert
The No. 8 overall pick in 2014 started just three games in two years with the Browns, barely saw the field the next year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and never got another NFL job.
2. WR Kevin White
The No. 7 overall pick of the 2015 draft caught zero touchdown passes in three injury-plagued seasons with the Chicago Bears, and failed to make the Arizona Cardinals roster this past offseason. He might finish his career with just 25 catches.
1. DE Dion Jordan
The 2013 No. 3 overall pick somehow remains in the league, but his suspension-marred career has contained just 9.5 sacks and four total starts, only one of which came during his time with the Miami Dolphins. He’s never been remotely relevant at the professional level.
Dishonorable mentions: Luke Joeckel, Tim Tebow, Josh Rosen, Greg Robinson, Ereck Flowers, DeForest Buckner, Morris Claiborne, Tavon Austin, Rolando McClain, Aldon Smith, Chance Warmack, John Ross, Eli Apple.