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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Cincinnati Bengals

Updated on May 5, 2015

These guys were brought in to help the team win, but couldn't accomplish anything on the field. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the Cincinnati Bengals

5. Jack Thompson

"The Throwin' Samoan" only threw interceptions in Cincinnati.

At Washington State, Jack Thompson set numerous school, PAC-10 and NCAA records. He concluded his college career in 1978 as the most prolific passer in NCAA history, throwing for 7,818 yards and set PAC-10 records for attempts, completions and touchdown passes.

Thompson was selected third overall in 1979. Cincinnati drafted him with the hope he would replace Ken Anderson as their franchise quarterback. But Anderson wouldn't go so quietly. Thompson went 1-4 as a starter between 1979 and 1980 and played in eight games backing up Anderson in 1981 during the run to the AFC Championship. He was traded to Tampa Bay in 1983.

4. David Klingler

He broke all of Andre Ware's records and had the same level of pro success as Ware.

The quarterback rewrote numerous college passing records for the University of Houston Cougars from 1988-1991. In a game against Eastern Washington in 1990, Klingler threw 11 touchdown passes and later that season, he set the Division I record for most passing yards gained in a single game with 716. In his four seasons at Houston, he completed 726 of 1,262 passes for 9,430 yards and 91 touchdowns, all of which were school records at the time.

Klingler was the sixth overall pick in 1992 by Cincinnati. He was brought in to be the successor to Boomer Esiason, but all the Bengals got was disappointment. Constantly battered due to a poor offensive line, he was continually sacked and bad to have reconstructive shoulder surgery by his third season. Because of this, he lost nearly all his arm strength and never could throw the same way again. He spent his final years as a backup in Oakland before retiring in 1998 throwing 16 touchdowns to 22 interceptions.

3. 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.

2. Ki-Jana Carter

Injuries set back his promising career.

While at Penn State, Ki-Jana Carter was a standout player on the explosive offense that propelled the 1994 Penn State team to a 12-0 undefeated season. Despite playing only three seasons, he is still in the top ten among Penn State running backs, having compiled 2,829 yards rushing on 395 attempts and scoring 34 touchdowns.

Carter was the first overall pick in 1995 by Cincinnati. His career was plagued by numerous injuries including a torn ACL, torn rotator cuff, broken wrist, and dislocated kneecap. In seven NFL seasons, he played in 59 games, started 14 of them, and compiled 1,144 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on 319 attempts, and 66 receptions for 469 yards and a touchdown.

1. Akili Smith

He was a one year wonder in college and his time in the pros was a waste.

A one year starter at Oregon, Akili Smith came to the foreground of draft discussions because of his performance in his senior season throwing 32 touchdown passes in only 11 starts in college.

Despite his low football IQ with a wonderlic score of nine out of 50, Cincinnati took a chance on Smith and selected him with the third overall pick in 1999. He missed large periods of 1999 training camp due to contract disputes and his absence from this part of training camp hurt him in the seasons to come. Despite showing athleticism in his early games, he failed to grasp the Bengals playbook fully, and never established himself with the team. During the four years he was with the Bengals, he would start in only 17 games and throw just five touchdown passes next to 13 interceptions.

People's Poll

Which Bengal was the worst draft pick?

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    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      Smith was so hyped before the draft and then could not live up to the hype.

    • Ty Tayzlor profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Anywhere

      You could call almost every pick in the 90's as a bust

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      These are all undisputed busts, with the recurring theme of poor luck with QBs.


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