Few things can ruin a pro football team like a bust at quarterback, and there are plenty of them who have been busts. A bust is a player drafted in the first round (usually top 10 picks) who for whatever reason does not become a good pro football player. This article about the biggest quarterback busts in NFL history will discuss those. All the stats and draft information used in the biggest quarterback busts come from Profootballreference.com. Please leave a comment whether you like this article or not and I am sure you may know of somebody I missed.
1 Andre Ware is the biggest quarterback bust in NFL history. Ware had it all at the University of Houston, big arm and quick feet in the run and shoot offense. Drafted with the 7th pick in the 1990 draft by the Detroit Lions, he looked like a perfect fit. The Lions ran a similar offense to what Andre Ware did in college. In his 4 seasons Ware ran the run and shoot into the ground. His career stats are the following, 161 pass attempts with 83 completions for 1,112 yards. He threw five touchdown passes and eight interceptions in 14 games with 6 starts.
2 Ryan Leaf earns the title of bust because he was labeled “Cant Miss” and turned out that he couldn’t hit. It is one thing to not make it in pro football, another to not make it and be an ass the whole time you try. Ryan Leaf was the 2nd pick in the 1998 draft and was selected by the San Diego Chargers. In his three year career with the Chargers and Cowboys, Leaf played in 25 games with 21 starts. He did throw for 3,666 yards and 14 touchdowns but had 36 passes intercepted. He recently got in trouble as an assistant college football coach for trying to get pain pills from his players.
3 Terry Baker was a Heisman Trophy winner in college and the number one pick of the 1963 draft. The then Los Angeles Rams selected Baker and often made him play running back. Baker completed 12 of 21 attempts for 154 yards with no scores and four picks in his NFL career. He did go to Canada to play in the CFL, after playing three seasons with the Rams.
4 Akili Smith was the 3rd overall selection in 1999 and was picked by the Bengals. Smith had size and arm strength but never panned out. In four years Smith started 17 of 22 games played. Akili Smith completed 215 of 461 NFL pass attempts for only 2,212 yards. Smith’s five touchdown passes versus 13 interceptions helps him onto the biggest quarterback bust list of all time.
5 Rick Mirer was the second draft pick of the 1993 draft and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks. Experts could not agree on whether Mirer was better than Drew Bledsoe who was picked first by New England. Well now we know Mirer was a quarterback bust, though he has a long career as a backup. Mirer started 68 of 80 games for the Seahawks, Bears, 49ers, and Raiders in his NFL career. He completed 1,068 of 2,043 passes for 11,969 yards. He did throw 50 touchdown passes but had 76 interceptions thrown. This concludes my list of the biggest quarterback busts of all time. .