It happens every year around the league and every team and fan base has at least one name pop into their heads immediately upon hearing the word, bust.
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With the draft being an inexact science it is inevitable to keep happening. From players like quarterback Brady Quinn, who was highly regarded out of Notre Dame but flamed out in the league, to running back Trent Richardson who looked dominant out of Alabama, but became a punchline in the NFL.
Sometimes it takes a couple of seasons to decide if the player is just adjusting to the league or simply not cut out for the professional level. For instance, is Dallas Cowboys second round pick tight end Gavin Escobar a bust for catches only 18 passes in two years, or simply learning the league while playing behind future Hall of Fame starter Jason Witten?
Other times it is clear as day that the player is in over their heads. Other guys like quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf were selected high, but now they battle for another high ranking, the title of biggest bust of all-time.
The Houston Texans seem to have a couple of guys who have fallen on both sides, quarterback David Carr was a bust, whereas players like outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and nose tackle Louis Nix III may still have bright futures despite slow starts.
Forgetting about the guys from last year that were highly regarded, let’s look at the top three picks this year that were also thought of as being solid selections.
First Round: Kevin Johnson, Cornerback, Wake Forest
Second Round: Benardrick McKineey, Linebacker, Mississippi State
Third Round: Jaelen Strong, Wide Receiver, Arizona State.
While there is a belief that McKinney and Strong are talented enough to start immediately for Houston, this was the same thought process of every rookie that bottomed out and was labeled a bust. Johnson is also similarly highly regarded, and if it wasn’t for a crowded group at cornerback, he too would be considered a potential immediate starter in his first NFL season.
That being said, there is a high probability that one of the three players that look to make a difference will fall short of expectations. While I personally like each of the three picks, I would still like to know what the consensus is about any of these three not living up to their draft status.
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