It’s crazy how fast time moves, isn’t it? One second you’re on top of the world, and in a blink of an eye, you’re doing whatever it takes to get by. The world has gotten so old; we now have kids born in the 2000’s playing in the NBA.
Yeah, try not to feel old after that.
With the next wave of draft picks entering the NFL, we say goodbye to the 2010s of the NFL Draft. This time next year, the new draft faces will be the start of the 2020s and a new decade of either promise or disappointment.
While a majority of first-round picks never live up to their hype, there are a few in every class that stand out as total failures. With day one picks expected to become franchise stars, pressure is on them to succeed right away. When they don’t, they typically find themselves ridiculed by fans and eventually out of the league.
With it being a slow week in the NFL, here’s our list of the top 50 worst first-round draft picks of this past decade.
50. OLB Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears, 2016
While the Chicago Bears defense is considered by many one of the league’s best, they still could use a solid pass rusher to pair with Khalil Mack. Drafted out of Georgia, Leonard Floyd was expected to be a double-digit sack artist in the Windy City. He’s never had more than seven in a season. While he’s a solid player for the 3-4 defense, his production doesn’t match his draft position.
49. WR John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals, 2017
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted John Ross for his speed. After setting the 40-time record, the Washington product saw his stock skyrocket overnight. In his first season, Ross made one play for 17 yards that ended with him fumbling the ball. While he did catch seven touchdowns last season, he’ll need to prove he’s a vertical threat if he doesn’t want to be considered a bust.
48. WR Laquon Treadwell, Minnesota Vikings, 2016
Laquon Treadwell is a massive bust no matter how you look at it. Selected 23rd overall, the Ole Miss product was projected to become the Minnesota Vikings go-to target. He’s made 56 receptions and scored one touchdown in three seasons. On the bright side, at least the Vikings found the league’s best duo in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
47. DE Datone Jones, Green Bay Packers, 2013
Datone Jones is the product of a bad scheme fit and lack of production. Early on with the Green Bay Packers, the UCLA product made strides at defensive end, collecting 3.5 sacks as a rookie. After a quick suspension, Jones was moved to outside linebacker, which highlighted his massive pass rush weaknesses. He’s now on his sixth team and hasn’t registered a sack since 2017.
46. LB Shea McClellin, Chicago Bears, 2012
Shea McClellin seemed like a lost cause from the start. Drafted with the 20th selection, Chicago Bears never found a proper home for him. After a career-high four sacks in 2013, the Bears moved him to linebacker where he digressed. At least he won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2016 before retiring due to multiple concussions.
45. DE Solomon Thomas, San Francisco 49ers, 2017
While there’s time for him to turn around his career, Solomon Thomas has by far disappointed as a top-three draft pick. The San Francisco 49ers believed the Stanford product could become an elite pass rusher. He’s collected four sacks in two seasons. Now in a crowded locker room, Thomas could be losing snaps to veterans if he can’t figure it out by the end of 2019.
44. QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2014
Blake Bortles might be a fan favorite meme quarterback, but his tenure at the Jacksonville Jaguars will be a forgettable one. Drafted with the third selection, Jaguars fans figured the hometown kid had all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. By the end, fans were begging for Cody Kessler to play. Bortles finished with a 24-29 record and threw 75 interceptions. Yes, the Jaguars went to the AFC Championship game, but that was because of their defense.
43. LB Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders, 2010
Rolando McClain is on this list for his off the field concerns. Drafted out of Alabama, he was expected to become a vital piece of the Oakland Raiders defense. Add in lack of play and multiple runs ins with the law; he was released in 2013. While trying to make a rather impressive comeback with the Dallas Cowboys, McClain would be suspended indefinitely by the NFL due to his substance abuse policy. He last played in 2016.
42. CB Kyle Wilson, New York Jets, 2010
Kyle Wilson had four years to figure out his kinks with the New York Jets. His time there is best left with mixed reviews. While finding success in the slot, the Boise State product started just one full season. By the end of his time in the Big Apple, Wilson collected 21 pass deflections and four interceptions. He last played in 2015 with the Saints.
41. DT Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns, 2011
Phil Taylor appeared in 44 games for the Cleveland Browns after being drafted 21st overall. He’d make just over 100 tackles and seven sacks during his four seasons there. The former Baylor star signed with the Broncos and Redskins in the 2016 offseason and never took another snap.