Most Overpaid Draft Picks of the Last 15 Years via SN

In this weeks piece for the Sporting News I take a look at some selections for the worst return on investments teams received in the NFL draft. The guys drafted high and paid like stars who made little contrinution to their teams. Feel free to comment here after checking them out. I should have a follow up this week here to cover a bit more ground too…

  • The list of overpaid draft picks almost reads like a list of the worst first-round picks in the last 15 years.

    What may be more interesting is to look back at how highly these 15 players were touted — not all were considered “can’t miss” prospects, but a few were. Aaron Curry might be the perfect example of a player considered by some to be the best player in the draft, and one who was closest to being a “sure thing,” yet never lived up to expectations.

    There is also the debate as to whether or not a team drafting high should focus on its biggest need, or the best player available. That is exactly the case when the Raiders selected JeMarcus Russell — QB was the Raiders’ biggest need. Yet the player considered the best one available was Calvin Johnson. I can remember many people — myself included — thinking the Al Davis thing to do (read: the foolish thing to do) would be to draft Johnson. As it turns out, myself and others who made that remark were wrong, and had Davis drafted Johnson, he would have made the correct decision.

    Finally, it would be interesting to look at teams who were criticized by some for drafting a particular player, yet proved to be correct in doing so. The perfect example: Those who insisted the Texans just had to take either Reggie Bush or Vince Young, and then the Texans drafted Mario Williams. Time has told us that the Texans made the right call, whereas Bush was overdrafted and Young never panned out.

    • Werner

      The Raiders are quite prominently on this list, so the question maybe whether the fault is on the player picked or the Franchise having to make him work as an NFL Top Draft. Seems Raiders are (were) prone to wrong selection AND faulty handling of players drafted heavily.

      • McGeorge

        While not all players work hard, I think the fault is on the team. Or at least the bad luck. I see desperate teams paying too much for players (either drafting them too high or trading too much for them). That’s the teams fault, not the players.

    • McGeorge

      >.There is also the debate as to whether or not a team drafting high should focus on its biggest need, or the best player available.

      Bob,

      I don’t think there is much debate. Don’t the well managed teams take the best player, unless the player they need is rated almost the same, and they are only over drafting them by a pick/slot or two.

      >>Finally, it would be interesting to look at teams who were criticized by some for drafting a particular player,

      As long as you have a good evaluation process you will come out ahead. You wont be 100% but overall will do well. It’s like flipping a loaded can with a 55% chance of winning. You will lose plenty of flips, but in the long run come out ahead.

  • McGeorge

    One thing to point out is look how much playing time Mark Sanchez got with the Jets, and how much damage he did.
    He had negative value for them, and played 4 seasons.
    He amassed a lot of negative value over his tenure.

    The other guys stunk and got little playing time.
    A bust who gets 0 playing time, and earns 18MM (Vernon Gholston) does less damage than a god awful QB who starts for 4 years and makes less.

    So if you calculate the damage Mark Sanchez did plus his salary, he should be worse than #13, more like a top 10 or top 5 in bad. (Jamarcus and Harrington and Carr were worse of course)

    I agree that Bradford was worse in that he cost more, and got hurt on top of it. He’s better than Sanchez, but costs so much, and with his injuries he’s a worse investment.

    I think these 5 QBs should be at the top, then the rest.