With the April 25 NFL draft approaching, fans and front-office types are eagerly anticipating what talent their teams will land. The higher the pick, the greater the anticipation—and, sometimes, the greater the disappointment. In that sobering vein, here are the biggest draft busts of all time.
8 Russell Erxleben
P-K Saints (No. 11 in 1979)
A three-time All-America at Texas, Erxleben set the NCAA record with a 67-yard field goal. In four seasons with New Orleans he made four field goals.
7 Rick Mirer
QB Seahawks (No. 2 in 1993)
Bill Walsh called the Notre Dame product the "second coming of Joe Montana." Alas, Mirer wasn't even your average Joe: He threw 41 touchdowns and 56 picks in four seasons in Seattle. The Bears dealt a first-round choice for Mirer in '97, but he started just three games for Chicago.
6 Art Schlichter
QB Colts (No. 4 in 1982)
The Ohio State star could run and throw, but he also gambled: His betting habits caused the league to suspend him for the '83 season. Two years later his career ended; he passed for just 1,006 yards and three touchdowns.
5 Tom Cousineau
LB Bills (No. 1 in 1979)
After holding out for a bigger payday, Cousineau played two years in the CFL. When he joined the NFL, Buffalo promptly moved him to Cleveland for a future draft pick—which at least didn't turn out badly. The Bills used it to select QB Jim Kelly.
4 Lawrence Phillips
RB Rams (No. 6 in 1996)