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What makes a draft pick a bust?

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It's obviously a sliding scale.  The higher you're drafted, the higher the expectations.  And rightfully so.  Since the 1977 draft (when the draft was reduced to 12 rounds), 46 of 72 (64 %) Hall of Famers in that span came from the 1st round of the draft:

 

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2nd rounders and even some 3rd rounders can qualify as "busts", but for the most part that's the domain of 1st rounders, and especially EARLY 1st rounders.

I think there's a distinction that needs to be made though.  I think busts are generally pretty obvious.  But some players are disappointments, not busts.  

In Jets drafting history (since 1977), I would l list these as busts:

  • DT Tank Marshall (1977 - 3rd round)
  • LB Mark Merrill (1978 - 2nd round)
  • WR Lam Jones (1980 - 1st round, # 2 overall)
  • WR Ralph Clayton (1980 - 2nd round)
  • RB Marion Barber (1981 - 2nd round)
  • LB Bob Crable (1982 - 1st round, # 23)
  • DB Russell Carter (1984 - 1st round, #  10)
  • DE Ron Faurot (1984 - 1st round, # 15)
  • TE Glenn Dennison (1984 - 2nd round)
  • OT Doug Williams (1986 - 2nd round)
  • LB Tim Crawford (1986 - 3rd round)
  • RB Roger Vick (1987 - 1st round, # 21)
  • DB Terry Williams (1988 - 2nd round)
  • RB Blair Thomas (1990 - 1st round, # 2)
  • WR Reggie Rembert (1990 - 2nd round)
  • QB Browning Nagle (1991 - 2nd round)
  • TE Johnny Mitchell (1992 - 1st round, # 15)
  • LB Kurt Barber (1992 - 2nd round)
  • DE Coleman Rudolph (1993 - 2nd round)
  • WR Ryan Yarborough (1994 - 2nd round)
  • DT Lou Benfatti (1994 - 3rd round)
  • TE Kyle Brady (1995 - 1st round, # 9)
  • WR Alex Van Dyke (1996 - 2nd round)
  • DT Rick Terry (1997 - 2nd round)
  • DE Dorian Boose (1998 - 2nd round)
  • TE Anthony Becht (2000 - 1st round, # 27)
  • DT Dewayne Robertson (2003 - 1st round, # 4)
  • DB Derrick Strait (2003 - 3rd round)
  • LB Anthony Schlegel (2006 - 3rd round)
  • DE Vernon Gholston (2008 - 1st round, # 6)
  • CB Kyle Wilson (2010 - 1st round, # 29)
  • DE Quinton Coples (2012 - 1st round, # 16)
  • WR Stephen Hill (2012 - 2nd round)
  • CB Dee Milliner (2013 - 1st round, # 9)
  • S Calvin Pryor (2014 - 1st round, # 18)
  • TE Jace Amaro (2014 - 2nd round)
  • CB Dexter McDougle (2014 - 3rd round)
  • WR Devin Smith (2015 - 2nd round)
  • LB Lorenzo Mauldin (2015 - 3rd round)
  • LB Darron Lee (2016 - 1st round, # 20)
  • QB Christian Hackenberg (2016 - 2nd round)
  • WR ArDarius Stewart (2017 - 3rd round)
  • LB Jachai Polite (2019 - 3rd round)

 

And these guys as disappointments:

  • OT Chris Ward (1978 - 1st round, # 4)
  • DL Marty Lyons (1979 - 1st round, # 14)
  • G Dave Cadigan (1988 - 1st round, # 8 )
  • DE Jeff Lageman (1989 - 1st round, # 14)
  • LB Marvin Jones (1993 - 1st round, # 4)
  • QB Chad Pennington (2000 - 1st round, # 18)
  • DE Bryan Thomas (2002 - 1st round, # 22)
  • LB Jonathan Vilma (2004 - 1st round, # 12)
  • TE Dustin Keller (2008 - 1st round, # 30)
  • QB Mark Sanchez (2009 - 1st round, # 5)
  • DT Leonard Williams (2015 - 1st round, # 6)

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2 minutes ago, JiF said:

I think it should be reserved because people say it so loosely but what can you do?  For example; Lorenzo Mauldin being called a bust.  Is a 3rd pick a bust in the NFL?  When 80% of 3rd picks have a similar career to Mauldin or worse? 

idk, cant control it.  Just too easy to throw it out there. 

 

80 % of 3rd round picks are out of the league after 2 seasons?

Nope.  

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34 minutes ago, JiF said:

I think it should be reserved because people say it so loosely but what can you do?  For example; Lorenzo Mauldin being called a bust.  Is a 3rd pick a bust in the NFL?  When 80% of 3rd picks have a similar career to Mauldin or worse? 

idk, cant control it.  Just too easy to throw it out there. 

 

31 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

 

80 % of 3rd round picks are out of the league after 2 seasons?

Nope.  

  

28 minutes ago, JiF said:

What is it then?  75%? 

 

You're not even in the ballpark.

I just looked at the same 2015 draft Mauldin was taken in.  

The following 3rd rounders from that draft are still in the league.  The ones in bold are projected starters in 2020:

  • G A.J. Cann 
  • TE Clive Walford 
  • WR Tyler Lockett (1x Pro Bowler, 1x First Team All-Pro)
  • C Hroniss Grasu
  • G Jamon Brown
  • RB Tevin Coleman
  • WR Chris Conley
  • RB Duke Johnson
  • CB P.J. Williams
  • G Jamon Brown
  • G John Miller
  • LB Jordan Hicks
  • TE Tyler Kroft
  • RB David Johnson (1x Pro Bowler, 1x First Team All-Pro)
  • DE Danielle Hunter (2x Pro Bowler)
  • QB Sean Mannion
  • DT Carl Davis
  • TE Jeff Heuerman
  • DE Henry Anderson
  • RB Ty Montgomery
  • CB Steven Nelson

 

So out of 34 third round picks from that class, 21 (62 %) are still in the league, and 9 (26 %) have been multi-year starters/projected 2020 starters.  

Only 4 (CB D'Joun Smith, G Jeremiah Poutasi, DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa) including Mauldin were out of the league after 2 seasons.  Less than 9 %.  

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And yes, the 2015 draft was a good example to compare Mauldin to, because it wasn't a strong draft class.  

2016 had 3rd rounders that included Kevin Byard, Yannick Ngakoue, Joe Thuney, Justin Simmons, Kenyan Drake, Austin Hooper, Kendall Fuller, Jordan Jenkins, Javon Hargrave, Jacoby Brissett, Graham Glasgow and Maliek Collins.  

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3 minutes ago, JiF said:

 

Bah, sorry, I was thinking of the starter percentages from our draft conversations.  It's like in the high teens or low 20's for starters from the 3rd round.  My bad.  I knew those didnt feel right after hitting send.  lol

Gotcha.  In that case, 26 % of the 2015 3rd rounders and 35 % of the 2016 3rd rounders are still starters in the league in 2020.  

To not even be in the league by year 3 of their careers make 3rd rounders Mauldin, ArDarius Stewart and Polite recent busts.  Without a doubt.  

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16 hours ago, Sonny Werblin said:

Totally agree but there is one curious aspect to guys like Gholston. If when you’re picked everyone agrees you are a boom or bust player, are you a bust?  After all, you were forecasted as likely possible bust.

On the other hand, a guy like Leaf was not thought of as boom or bust. Some even had him ahead of Manning.

I still maintain that the hate on the Gholston pick went too far.  He's not even in the top 10 of worst picks in Jets history.  

We needed a pass rusher (and still have ever since 2005).  We went after one with elite measurables, which you absolutely have to have to become an effective NFL pass rusher:

vernon-gholston-ras-8384.png?w=1100&ssl=

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4 hours ago, rangerous said:

that third round pick mangini made from ohio state.  i forget his name but he played linebacker.  i think it was schlagel.

That would be the Boar Hunter.

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2 minutes ago, Jetscode1 said:

Gholston was a bust!  The historical blundering of previous Jets drafts does not change this fact.  

Never said he wasn't a bust, lol.  

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3 minutes ago, Jetscode1 said:

Then "the hate" was justified.  lol

Not all busts are equal.  There are people here who call the Gholston pick the worst in franchise history.  That's simply not true.  If there's solid logic behind the pick, I'm willing to give more of a benefit of the doubt. 

The Mangini-Tannenbaum duo brought the franchise Brick, Mangold, Revis and David Harris.  The Gholston slip-up wasn't too bad in that light.  

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8 minutes ago, Jetscode1 said:

Fair point but the criticisms of Ghoston the player was earned.  The dude got paid and then just flat out sucked.  As far as the front office, I get it, they made a logical, but poor choice but there should have been a serious lesson learned in the debrief.  

Oh for sure.  F**k Gholston.  

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10 minutes ago, OCCH23 said:

In all honesty I can't think of a "bust" bigger than Gholston -- he checked EVERY box.  Can you name a bigger one?

In NFL history?  Ryan Leaf and Tony Mandarich are the top 2 busts of all-time, I'd say.  

In Jet history?  Probably the biggest bust, but not the worst PICK, if that matters.  Dewayne Robertson, Christian Hackenberg, Roger Vick, Kyle Brady, Alex Van Dyke, Johnny Mitchell and Lam Jones were all worse picks.

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9 minutes ago, rangerous said:

i stand corrected.  i remember the story where this guy would hide in a tree with a knife and then drop down and get the unsuspecting arnold ziffel.

Hunting athleticism:  Elite.

Football athleticism:  Non-existent.

anthony-schlegel-ras-7332.png?resize=806

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49 minutes ago, roscoeword said:

it's a good question. Everyone considers DRob an unbelievable bust. But didn't he play for us a couple of good years. That's a big difference between him and Gholston

Context matters.  The fact that we traded UP to get Robertson is what truly made it such an awful decision and pick, arguably the worse in franchise history.

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3 minutes ago, Alka said:

DRob was not a bust.  He played extremely well for a couple of seasons, but unfortunately had a very short career due to injuries.  

"Extremely well"?  No.  He was "useful" for a couple of seasons.  When you're a # 4 overall pick, that's not good enough. 

Bust.  

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13 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

I sympathize with the feeling, but that's a bit too far. By your measurement, Jamal Adams is one of the 2 biggest busts the Jets ever drafted, if not the biggest.

Being a dumb/regrettable pick in hindsight doesn't make the player a bust. Kyle Brady wasn't a bust, but given the other options he was a dumb/regrettable pick to make there. Adams was one of the worst Jets draft picks ever, considering the QB-needy Jets passed on two star QBs (one of whom is on pace to be the best QB in history) but that doesn't make Adams a bust.

I hear what you’re saying, that there was no Mahomes (let alone Mahomes and Watson) available when we took Gholston. But Gholston was not a bigger bust than Adams, even if the wrong hindsight move of drafting Gholston hurt less than the wrong hindsight move of drafting Adams. 

 

tl;dr version:  There's a difference between a bust and a bad pick.  

And some guys are both a bust AND a bad pick.  The posterboy for that category would be Christian Hackenberg.

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17 hours ago, OCCH23 said:

I appreciate the time you put into the response, but respectfully agree to disagree.

Gholston did NOTHING and cost us more draft capital than pretty much anyone up there.  I suppose you could argue Robertson (since we actually traded up to get him) but he at least lasted 5 years and was playing with an arthritic condition.  Hack was by far the "worst" but cost us a late second as opposed to an early first.

Like you said, it depends on the definition of "bust" -- I see Gholston's picture next to the word in the dictionary.  Some of the posts above me talk about who could have been picked instead, and to me that has NOTHING to do with the "bust" label.

I just pray I live long enough to have a debate about the BEST Jet draft pick one day, instead of always being stuck with the WORST . . . 

 

Again.  I think Gholston was the biggest BUST, but not the worst PICK.  There's a distinction there.  There was logic behind the pick.  Gholston just failed.  I blame the player far more than I do Tannenbaum/Mangini. 

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