The Biggest Busts In NFL History (page 3)
David Carr was the first pick by the Houston Texans in the 2002 draft. It’s hard to pain Carr as a bust on account of his abilities; the real issue with Carr’s career was historically bad protection. The Texans led the leagues in sacks allowed in three of Carr’s first four years, and by then the damage was done. Carr was never the same. The Texans let Carr go in 2006, and Carr has been a journeyman backup in the years since.
The Cleveland Browns chose the University of Kentucky quarterback with the first pick in the 1999 draft. Another quarterback who showed some early promise, Couch suffered from a ramshackle expansion Browns offensive line and subsequent injuries. A quarterback controversy that was poorly managed by then-coach Butch Davis spelled the end for Tim Couch, and he was finished with football by 2003.
The first overall pick in the 1995 draft, Ki-Jana Carter was considered the savior of the Cincinnati Bengals. Carter was part of an offensive juggernaut at Penn State, setting school rushing records in his three years there. Unfortunately, Carter tore a ligament in his knee in the first preseason game of his rookie year and missed the rest of the season. Injuries would plague the rest of his career and he was finished with pro football by 2002.
The sixth pick of the 1996 draft ended up haunting the St. Louis Rams for years. The Rams were so sure of their selection that they traded away then-started Jerome Bettis to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A talented but troubled player, Phillips spent 23 days in jail during the first two years of his professional career, before leaving St. Louis after multiple dust-ups with then-coach Dick Vermeil. Phillips would serve short stints with the Miami Dolphins and Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe before being courted by the San Francisco 49ers. The most famous play of Phillips’ career was a missed blocking assignment that ultimately ended the career of quarterback Steve Young. Phillips was ultimately cut by the 49ers after numerous issues with the coaching staff. After several run-ins with the law, Phillips is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in California.