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Top 10 NFL Draft Busts- Wide Receiver

Updated on March 10, 2015

They were brought in to be the playmakers of the offense, bur they did nothing but disappoint. Today, I rank the top 10 wide receiver draft busts of all time.

10. Sylvester Morris

Injuries limited him to only 15 games played.

An FCS school product, Sylvester Morris was a productive and dominant player at Jackson State.

Morris was the 21st overall pick in 2000 by Kansas City. Although raw like many small school alumni, he was a big target with loads of potential. The Chiefs hoped he'd turn into a number one wide receiver. Unfortunately, his fate was at the hands of the injury bug. After a decent rookie season in which he recorded 48 receptions for 678 yards, and 3 touchdowns, Morris never played another down in the NFL. Constant, severe knee injuries forced him out of action for the next three years. In 2004, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Once again, a nasty knee injury ended his career. he played just one year in the NFL, but unlike many busts, it wasn't due to off field problems or character issues.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Plaxico Buress, Laveranues Coles, Darrell Jackson


9. R. Jay Soward

He let his personal issues affect his promising career.

As a freshman at USC, R. Jay Soward burst onto the college football scene with a four touchdown game vs. UCLA. Despite his superior skills, he never reached his potential in his USC career, ending his tenure with 32 touchdowns in four seasons.

Soward was drafted 29th overall in 2000 by Jacksonville. The Jaguars saw his pure talent as too much to ignore and had to take a risk on him. Soward had a history of off field controversies and substance abuse problems. At USC, he admitted to smoking marijuana everyday. He lasted only a year in the NFL before more off field issues forced him to play in the CFL, recording a measly 14 receptions for 108 yards with no touchdowns. His demise stemmed from the personal problems in his life. Seriously, even head coach Tom Coughlin, paid for a limo to pick him up from practice in case he didn't show.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Plaxico Buress, Laveranues Coles, Darrell Jackson

8. Yatil Green

He couldn't stay healthy long enough to get on the field.

Yatil Green was drafted 15th overall in 1997 by Miami. The prototype of a wide receiver was brought in to help bring youth to the Dolphins receiving corps. On the very first day of training camp, he tore both his quadriceps muscles, ACL, and cartilage in his right knee. Green came back the next year and again tore the same ACL in training camp. In his third and only season playing, he played in nine games catching 18 receptions for 234 yards and no touchdowns. After three years and a total of 10 surgeries on his right knee, he was cut by the Dolphins after the 1999 season.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Ike Hilliard, Derrick Mason

7. Rae Carruth

His career came to a halt due to his off field law breaking.

At Colorado, Rae Carruth played four seasons for the Buffaloes and was named a first-team All-America in 1996. His quarterbacks at CU were future pros Koy Detmer and Kordell Stewart.

Carruth was the 27th overall pick in 1997 by Carolina. In his rookie year, he caught 44 passes for 545 yards and four touchdown passes which tied for first among rookie receivers. He broke his right foot in the opening game of 1998, and did not catch another pass that season due to the injury. He ended the year with four catches for 59 yards. He played in the first six games of the 1999 season, with 14 catches for 200 yards. His career came to a halt when he was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. It was discovered he hired a man to kill his girlfriend after she refused to get an abortion.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Ike Hilliard, Derrick Mason


6. Mike Williams

If he would have stayed in school, he could have been great.

As a freshman at USC, Mike Williams he had 81 receptions for 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his final season, as a sophomore, he started all 13 games at wide receiver, and led the Trojans in receiving yards and touchdowns which resulted in 95 catches leading to 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns. After only two years in college, he decided to declare for the NFL Draft. The US Supreme Court ruled that Williams was not eligible for the Draft, and therefore was also ineligible for NCAA reinstatement so he had to sit out a season before going pro.

Williams was the 10th overall pick in 2005 by Detroit. The Lions, like Carlos Rogers two years before, took a chance on the immature player with the 10th overall pick. Weight issues, injuries, and inconsistency limited him to just 30 games in 3 seasons with little statistics to show for it. Williams was out of the NFL by his fourth year in the league and did not return until his former college coach, Pete Carroll, extended him an invitation to try out for his newly appointed 2010 Seattle Seahawks squad. Williams made the team and proved doubters wrong with a career best 65 receptions, 751 yards, and two touchdowns in 14 games. He was released during the 2012 offseason.

Notable wide receivers in the draft- Braylon Edwards, Mark Clayton, Roddy White, Vincent Jackson

5. Reggie Williams

He was seen as a can't miss prospect at wide receiver.

At Washington. Reggie Williams was a stud possessing prototypical size, above average speed, and exceptional leaping ability.

Williams was the ninth overall pick in 2004 by Jacksonville. In 2006, he was charged with possession of marijuana. 2009 was the same story, but also included a DWI and possession of cocaine. These downfall inducing addictions, combined with on-field inconsistency, ushered out another Jacksonville bust. His best season, the only one that he missed a game, came in 2007 when he set career highs in yards and touchdowns. Aside from that minor achievement, Williams found himself broke and jobless by the age of 26 in the primmest of years.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams, Michael Jenkins, Lee Evans Michael Clayton, Devery Henderson, Jericho Cotchery

Devery Henderson

4. David Terrell

He had the skill set but couldn't make it happen at the pro level.

While at Michigan, David Terrell played in 37 games and made 21 starts. He became the first player in Michigan history to have multiple 1000 yard receiving seasons. He decided to forego his senior season and declare for the draft.

Terrell was the eight overall pick in 2001 by Chicago. With no off field issues or severe injuries, it's hard to pinpoint exactly why he flared out in the NFL. Maybe it's because he didn't love the game, or maybe it's because of some other malignant personal reason, but in any case, Terrell was a major bust. He recorded just 128 receptions, 1,602 yards, and 9 touchdowns in four pathetic seasons. Not one season stood out statistically. With that being said, this player is a mystery.

Notable wide receivers in the draft- Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, Santana Moss, Steve Smith, Chris Chambers, T.J. Houshmandzadeh

3. Troy Williamson

His speed couldn't overcome his poor hands.

Unlike some of the other busts on this list, Troy Williamson didn't have much success at the college level.

Williamson was the seventh overall pick in 2005 by Minnesota. What the Vikings forgot to incorporate in their evaluation was a little attribute we like to call "catching" or "hands." Williamson did not possess either ability and it was blatantly obvious. He led the NFL in drops his rookie season, claiming his depth perception and therefore hand-eye coordination was poor due to vision problems. Un three mediocre seasons in Minnesota, he caught solely 85 passes for 1,131 yards, and four touchdowns.

Notable wide receivers in the draft- Braylon Edwards, Mark Clayton, Roddy White, Vincent Jackson

2. Peter Warrick

He surrounded himself with so much hype, he never lived up to.

Peter Warrick primarily played wide receiver and returned punts, leading Florida State to back to back National Championship Game appearances in 1998 and 1999. During the 1999 season, Florida State was the first team in college football history to rank first in the polls throughout the season and end with the number one ranking in the country. He was arrested for a shoplifting incident along with some teammates during his senior season. The grand theft and larceny charges forced the Seminoles to suspend Warrick for two games.

Warrick was the fourth overall pick in 2000 by Cincinnati. He was expected to contribute immediately to a porous Bengals offense. However, Warrick couldn't adjust to the speed and complexities of the professional game, and never found his groove. His best season was in 2003 when he recorded 79 receptions, 819 yards, and seven touchdowns in 15 games. But as a whole, Warrick never lived up to his potential. After five seasons with the Bengals and one with the Seahawks, he was out of the NFL.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Plaxico Buress, Laveranues Coles, Darrell Jackson

1. Charles Rogers

He is without a doubt the biggest wide receiver bust in league history.

While at Michigan State, Charles Rogers was a spectacular wide receiver. He still holds the school records for most touchdowns in a career with 27 and the school record for most receiving yards in a single game with 270. He broke Randy Moss's NCAA record of 13 consecutive games with a touchdown catch as a junior.

Rogers was the second overall pick in 2003 by Detroit. At the moment, this seemed like an ideal pick. However, it proved to be failure at its finest. With the physical attributes, talent, and hometown status all in alignment with utopia, there seems to have been a miscommunication, if not ignorance, of the common background check. The Lions didn't realize that Rogers had character issues and substance abuse problems. He admitted to smoking large amounts of marijuana while at Michigan State, and was considered immature by some of those who knew him well. Rogers even disclosed that his downfall in the NFL was due to his weed smoking. In conjunction with his various cannabis involving arrests, Rogers has faced numerous other charges, including assault and battery, DUI, and possession of prescription pills to name just a few. The man simply couldn't handle the fame and spotlight. He lasted only three disgraceful seasons in the NFL. As if the off field and personal issues weren't enough for a downfall of this epic height, Rogers also was hurt on a consistent basis, appearing in only 15 games and only recording 36 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns.

Notable wide receivers in draft- Andre Johnson, Anquan Boldin, Nate Burleson

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