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What makes a draft pick a bust?

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I've had this conversation over the years with a few different people and it seems the term "bust" is thrown around for a wide variety of players, including some who have varying degrees of success in the NFL.  Is a guy a bust because he fails to meet expectations?  If so, whose expectations?  What if he falls short of expecdtations but still has a long/solid NFL career?

Best example I can think of with this question is somebody like Bryan Thomas.  When he was drafted, he was expected to be a guy who put up big sack numbers.  Based on those expectations, he'd be a bust because that never happene.  But is it fair (or even sensible) to refer to a 10-year starter as a bust?  Shouldn't that be reserved for guys like Vernon Gholston?  

Just curious to see what people are looking at when they say a guy is a bust.

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8 minutes ago, GreenFish said:

Everyone has their own view of what makes a bust.

For me, it depends on the round. Probably something like this:

1st round, anything less than an average long term starter is a bust.

2nd round, anything less than a starter

3rd round, anything less than a role player

4-7th round, bust if the player doesn’t make the team year 1.

To me, Leo is not a bust. He’s a disappointment. Maybe semantics, but there’s a difference in my view.

This is basically where I’m at.  I think far too many fans have unrealistic expectations of tons of players who then “suck” when they’re not all-pro.  I blame fantasy football.

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2 hours ago, Beerfish said:

There is a difference between a disappointment and a bust.

A guy like Quinton Coples was a disappointment but he had 16.5 career sacks, Gholston was a bust.

Ducasse is for sure not a bust, he has been in the league for like a decade.

And that adds another layer to the discussion IMO.  How do you classify somebody like James Farrior, who was a first round pick for the Jets but did nothing for them?  He was great as a Steeler, but is he a bust as far as the Jets are concerned?  Do we call that a wasted pick instead?  Nothing wrong with the player, but if I'm an owner I'm not going to be thrilled when my GM says, "look at my track record, I drafted a bunch of dudes who played great once they left us".  I'm firing that GM and trying to find one who uses picks on players who play well for my team.

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