The 2017 NFL Draft started Thursday in Philadelphia and is sure to feature many Big Ten stars finding out where their professional careers will begin. Programs such as Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State are among the top schools in the nation at producing NFL talent.
Not all of them become NFL stars.
Whether it is injuries, a miss by scouts on their evaluation or other matters, not all college stars and high draft picks find success in the NFL. Which players have been the worst NFL draft picks from their school, based on a combination of when in the draft they were selected and how productive they were?
Here’s a list of the biggest draft busts in NFL history from Ohio State. Enjoy, Wolverines fans.
10. Andy Katzenmoyer, New England Patriots (No. 28, 1999)
Andy Katzenmoyer was one of the best linebackers in the country, and one of the most infamous college athletes of the late 20th century. A Sports Illustrated story told the country of the nefarious ways Katzenmoyer remained eligible to play football for Ohio State.
He was a much-debated NFL draft prospect who fell to the bottom of the first round. If he hadn’t dropped, he’d be much higher on this list. A neck injury quickly derailed his NFL career, and he played in only two seasons.
9. Archie Griffin, Cincinnati Bengals (No. 24, 1976)
Archie Griffin is the only player in the history of college football to win the Heisman Trophy twice. His NFL career was not quite as illustrious.
He played seven seasons but never reached 700 rushing yards in a season. When the Bengals played in the Super Bowl in 1982, Griffin was a reserve and carried the ball twice in three playoff games.
8. Craig Powell, Cleveland Browns (No. 30, 1995)
A linebacker, Craig Powell spent two seasons with the Browns/Baltimore Ravens and one with the New York Jets. Three years after being done in the NFL, Powell resurfaced with the San Francisco Demons of the XFL.
He played in 15 NFL games, and according to a website dedicated to the Demons (seriously), Powell had 26 tackles and a sack in the lone season of the XFL.
7. Rick Middleton, New Orleans Saints (No. 13, 1974)
Rick Middleton, a linebacker, started all 14 games in his second NFL season, and then was out of the league after five years. He spent the final three with the Chargers, where he started two games.
6. Howard Cassady, Detroit Lions (No. 3, 1956)
Howard “Hopalong” Cassady won the Heisman Trophy in 1955, and then spent eight underwhelming seasons as an NFL running back. He had 604 yards from scrimmage and 7 touchdowns in 1958, which was his best statistical season. He was fifth in the NFL in touchdown catches that season.
5. Rickey Dudley, Oakland Raiders (No. 9, 1996)
Rickey Dudley was a huge tight end prospect, but was just OK for a few years with the Raiders before his career fizzled out. He did finish ninth in the league in touchdown catches one year, and he managed to hang on in the NFL for nine seasons, playing for three teams.
Michigan tight end Jay Riemersma finished with 221 catches in his NFL career — the same total as Dudley — and was also selected in the 1996 draft. He went 235 picks later, in the seventh round.
4. Eric Kumerow, Miami Dolphins (No. 16, 1988)
Eric Kumerow played three seasons in the NFL after being a first-round pick. He never became a starter, and had five sacks in three seasons as a reserve linebacker. He has a pair of nephews, Joey and Nick Bosa, who should spend a little more time in the NFL than he did.
3. Vernon Gholston, New York Jets (No. 6, 2008)
Defensive end Vernon Gholston was a big recruiting win for Ohio State from Cass Tech in Detroit. He had 14.5 sacks as a redshirt sophomore in 2007 and declared for the draft.
Three seasons after being the No. 6 pick, the Jets were done with him. He signed contracts with two other teams and had a tryout with a third, but never played in the NFL again. He finished his career without sacking an NFL quarterback.
2. Tom Cousineau, Buffalo Bills (No. 1, 1979)
Tom Cousineau became the answer to a lot of trivia answers in a relatively anonymous NFL career. The Bills received the No. 1 pick as part of a package in a trade for O.J. Simpson. Cousineau spurned the Bills and signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL instead.
When Couisneau, a linebacker, decided he was ready for the NFL, the Bills traded him to the Cleveland Browns for a package of picks that included a 1983 first-round choice. That pick became Jim Kelly.
Cousineau spent four years as a starter in Cleveland, then two years not playing much for the San Francisco 49ers. He also hit a police car and was charged with drunk driving, though he was found not guilty.
1. Art Schlichter, Baltimore Colts (No. 4, 1982)
Art Schlichter’s gambling problems are well documented, and they ruined not only his NFL career but his life. He started six NFL games, threw 3 touchdown passes and was intercepted 11 times. More importantly, his story has been told over and over again to young football players about gambling and addiction. He is now serving a 127-month sentence in a federal prison in Indiana for wire fraud, bank fraud and filing false income tax returns.