Not every first-round pick is created equal.

When a team invests in a player in the first round, they envision that player being a staple of their franchise for the next decade-plus. It doesn’t always work out that way though.

Here are the least productive players drafted in the first round since 2000 (other than kicker and punter). Eleven offensive, eleven defensive, and two special teasers were included as well as a bunch of notables because each year, there are plenty that don’t truly pan out. Where in the first round they were drafted matters meaning if a player who was drafted second overall was about as productive as one drafted 11th overall, the one taken second would make the team.

Listed after each player’s name is the selection they were taken with, the year they were drafted, and the team that drafted them.


Known as one of the most epic draft busts in NFL history, Russell played just three seasons going 7-18 as a starter. He threw 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, and was sacked 70 times.

Notables - David Carr (first, 2002 - Texans), Joey Harrington (third, 2002 - Lions), Kyle Boller (19th, 2003 - Ravens), J.P. Losman (24th, 2004 - Bills), Vince Young (third, 2006 - Titans), Matt Leinart (10th, 2006 - Cardinals), Brady Quinn (22nd, 2007 - Browns), Mark Sanchez (fifth, 2009 - Jets), Sam Bradford (first, 2010 - Rams), Tim Tebow (25th, 2010 - Broncos), Jake Locker (eighth, 2011 - Titans), Blaine Gabbert (10th, 2011 - Jaguars), Christian Ponder (12th, 2011 - Vikings), Robert Griffin III (second, 2012 - Redskins), Brandon Weeden (22nd, 2012 - Browns), EJ Manuel (16th, 2013 - Bills), Blake Bortles (third, 2014 - Jaguars), Johnny Manziel (22nd, 2014 - Browns), Paxton Lynch (26th, 2016 - Broncos), Josh Rosen (10th, 2018 - Cardinals)

  • Running back - Trent Richardson (third, 2012 - Browns)

The Browns traded Richardson just two games into his second season who ended up lasting just three years in the NFL.

He averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

  • Running back - Chris Perry (26th, 2004 - Bengals)

A star in college while at Michigan, Perry only totaled 606 rushing yards and two scores on the ground over 35 NFL games.

Notables - Ron Dayne (11th, 2000 - Giants), Trung Canidate (31st, 2000 - Rams), William Green (16th, 2002 - Browns), Jahvid Best (30th, 2010 - Lions), David Wilson (32nd, 2012 - Giants)

  • Wide receiver - Charles Rogers (second, 2003 - Lions)

A broken clavicle sustained in each of his first two seasons led to abbreviated years for Rogers.

He also had off-the-field issues which led to him being suspended for failing the wellness policy. In 15 career games, he caught 36 balls for 440 yards.

  • Wide receiver - Kevin White (seventh, 2015 - Bears)

White missed his entire rookie season with injury and went on to play in only 14 games while catching 25 passes over the next three years.

He was cut by the Cardinals before last season and still remains a free agent.

Notables - Peter Warrick (fourth, 2000 - Bengals), Sylvester Morris (21st, 2000 - Chiefs), R. Jay Soward (29th, 2000 - Jaguars), David Terrell (eighth, 2001 - Bears), Freddie Mitchell (25th, 2001 - Eagles), Reggie Williams (ninth, 2004 - Jaguars), Michael Clayton (15th, 2004 - Buccaneers), Rashaun Woods (31st, 2004 - 49ers), Troy Williamson (seventh, 2005 - Vikings), Mike Williams (10th, 2005 - Lions), Craig Davis (30th, 2007 - Chargers), Anthony Gonzalez (32nd, 2007 - Colts), Jonathan Baldwin (26th, 2011 - Chiefs), Justin Blackmon (fifth, 2012 - Jaguars), A.J. Jenkins (30th, 2012 - 49ers), Tavon Austin (eighth, 2013 - Rams), Corey Coleman (15th, 2016 - Browns), Josh Doctson (22nd, 2016 - Redskins), Laquon Treadwell (23rd, 2016 - Vikings)

  • Tight end - Anthony Becht (27th, 2000 - Jets)

While he had a lengthy NFL career that spanned 167 games, Becht wasn’t very productive.

His best season was in 2003 when he finished with 40 receptions for 356 yards.

Notables - Jerramy Stevens (28th, 2002 - Seahawks)

  • Tackle - Jason Smith (second, 2009 - Rams)

Smith went on to play just four seasons (45 games) in the NFL. After three years with the Rams, he ended up being traded to the Jets and was a reserve for one year before being cut.

  • Tackle - Luke Joeckel (second, 2013 - Jaguars)

After his first three years, Joeckel was switched from left tackle to left guard, and it was announced that his fifth-year option would not be picked up. He last played in 2017 with the Seahawks.

Notables - Stockar McDougle (20th, 2000 - Lions), Chris McIntosh (22nd, 2000 - Seahawks), Mike Williams (fourth, 2002 - Bills), Jeff Otah (19th, 2008 - Panthers), Gabe Carimi (29th, 2011 - Bears), Derek Sherrod (32nd, 2011 - Packers), Greg Robinson (second, 2014 - Rams), Ereck Flowers (ninth, 2015 - Giants)

  • Guard - Jonathan Cooper (seventh, 2013 - Cardinals)

Cooper missed his entire rookie season after breaking his fibula and hasn’t really made his mark since.

He didn’t play last season and has made just 31 career starts.

  • Guard - Danny Watkins (23rd, 2011 - Eagles)

According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, former Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd considers Watkins to be his biggest failure as a coach. He played just 24 games in the NFL.

Notables - Chance Warmack (10th, 2013 - Titans)

  • Center - Billy Price (21st, 2018 - Bengals)

There haven’t been many centers drafted in the first round, so, for now, Price gets the nod although he’s obviously early into his career. He was benched by the Bengals midway through last season.

Notables - None


  • Defensive end - Vernon Gholston (sixth, 2008 - Jets)

Imagine the player the Jets thought they were getting in Gholston with the sixth overall selection after he recorded 14 sacks with Ohio State his senior session.

Well, that’s 14 more sacks than he had as a pro. He was included in Bleacher Report’s 20 most spectacular busts article in 2011.

  • Defensive end - Jamal Reynolds (10th, 2001 - Packers)

Despite being a 10th overall selection, Reynolds never started a game in his NFL career. He played just 18 games and had counting numbers of 18 tackles and three sacks.

Notables - Courtney Brown (first, 2000 - Browns), Erik Flowers (26th, 2000 - Bills), Michael Haynes (14th, 2003 - Saints), Jerome McDougle (15th, 2003 - Eagles), Kenechi Udeze (20th, 2004 - Vikings), Erasmus James (18th, 2005 -Vikings), Jamaal Anderson (eighth, 2007 - Falcons), Adam Carriker (13th, 2007 - Rams), Derrick Harvey (eighth, 2008 - Jaguars), Aaron Maybin (11th, 2009 - Bills), Quinton Coples (16th, 2012 - Jets), Shea McLellin (19th, 2012 - Bears), Dion Jordan (third, 2013 - Dolphins), Bjoern Werner (24th, 2013 - Colts), Datone Jones (26th, 2013 - Packers)

  • Defensive tackle - Johnathan Sullivan (sixth, 2003 - Saints)

It was a very uneventful career for Sullivan, something the Saints surely didn’t expect when taking him sixth overall.

He lasted just three seasons and 36 games (16 starts).

  • Defensive tackle - Wendell Bryant (12th, 2002 - Cardinals)

After three unproductive years with the Cardinals, Bryant was suspended for the 2005 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He would never play in the NFL again.

Notables - Ryan Sims (sixth, 2002 - Chiefs), Jimmy Kennedy (12th, 2003 - Rams), William Joseph (25th, 2003 - Giants), Marcus Tubbs (23rd, 2004 - Seahawks), Travis Johnson (16th, 2005 - Texans), John McCargo (26th, 2006 - Bills), Amobi Okoye (10th, Texans - 2007), Justin Harrell (16th, 2007 - Packers), Kentwan Balmer (29th, 2008 - 49ers), Peria Jerry (24th, 2009 - Falcons), Sharrif Floyd (23rd, 2013 - Vikings), Dominique Easley (29th, 2014 - Patriots)

  • Linebacker - Aaron Curry (fourth, 2009 - Seahawks)

Curry was benched by the Seahawks two games into the 2011 season and was subsequently traded to the Raiders for a fifth and seventh-round pick.

He was cut by the Giants in 2013 and retired shortly after.

  • Linebacker - Marcus Smith (26th, 2014 - Eagles)

Just like Jamal Reynolds listed earlier, Smith has never started a game in the NFL despite being a first-round selection. He was cut by the Redskins just before the 2019 regular season and has yet to latch on to another team.

Notables - David Pollack (17th, 2005 - Bengals), Bobby Carpenter (18th, 2006 - Cowboys), Keith Rivers (ninth, 2008 - Bengals), Larry English (16th, 2009 - Chargers), Rolando McClain (eighth, 2010 - Raiders), Barkevious Mingo (sixth, 2013 - Browns), Jarvis Jones (17th, 2013 - Steelers)

  • Cornerback - Justin Gilbert (eighth, 2014 - Browns)

Two years into his Cleveland tenure, Gilbert was shipped to the Steelers for a future sixth-round pick.

He was suspended for the 2017 season, hasn’t played since, and has career totals of just 42 tackles and one interception.

  • Cornerback - Dee Milliner (ninth, 2013 - Jets)

Being inserted into the starting lineup 12 times as a rookie, Milliner only made two starts in his career after that. He played in just 21 games and picked off three passes.

Notables - Rashard Anderson (23rd, 2000 - Panthers), Willie Middlebrooks (24th, 2001 - Broncos), Jamar Fletcher (26th, 2001 - Dolphins), Mike Rumph (27th, 2002 - 49ers), Sammy Davis (30th, 2003 - Chargers), Ahmad Carroll (25th, 2004 - Packers), Tye Hill (15th, 2006 - Rams)

  • Safety - Calvin Pryor (18th, 2014 - Jets)

Pryor had his fifth-year option declined by the Jets and was traded to the Browns prior to the 2017 season.

He was released by Cleveland for getting into a fight and last appeared in two games for the Jaguars in 2017.

  • Safety - Matt Elam (32nd, 2013 - Ravens)

Currently playing in the XFL, Elam last played in the NFL in 2016. In 41 career games (26 starts), he has intercepted only one pass.

Notables - Derrick Gibson (28th, 2001 - Raiders)

Special teams

  • Kicker - Robert Aguayo (59th, 2016 - Buccaneers)

The Buccaneers thought so highly of Aguayo coming out of Florida State that they took a kicker in the second round. He had the worst field goal percentage in the NFL his rookie year (22-31, 71%). He was cut before the following season and has yet to kick in another regular-season game.

Notables - Bill Gramatica (98th, 2001 - Cardinals), Jeff Chandler (102nd, 2002 - 49ers), Travis Dorsch (109th, 2002 - Bengals), Alex Henery (120th, 2011 - Eagles)

  • Punter - B.J. Sander (87th, 2004 - Packers)

Taken in the third round, Sander only punted in the NFL during the 2005 season. On 64 punts, he averaged a lowly 39.2 yards.

Notables - Daniel Sepulveda (112th, 2007 - Steelers)