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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Detroit Lions

Updated on May 6, 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 Detroit Lions.

5. Reggie Rogers

He had too many demons keeping him from being successful.

At Washington, Reggie Rogers was a monster of a defensive end.

Rogers was selected seventh overall in 1987. However, he never stayed on the field in two seasons with Detroit. He played just six games in his rookie season due to an assortment of emotional problems caused by the death of his brother, who died of cocaine poisoning the previous year. Then in 1988 while driving drunk he slammed into a car, killing three teenagers. The Lions released him prior to his spending a year in prison for vehicular manslaughter because he also broke his neck in the accident.

4. Andre Ware

He was a record setting quarterback in college, but couldn't do anything at the pro level.

At the University of Houston, Andre Ware was the first black quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy in 1989. In his junior year, he threw for 4,699 yards, 44 touchdowns, and set 26 NCAA records. Many of the records were thanks to the innovative use of the Run & Shoot offense. The Cougars ended the season ranked the #14 team in the nation and he decided to forego his senior year and enter the NFL Draft.

Ware was the seventh overall pick in 1990 by Detroit. He spent four years with Detroit, playing in only 14 games and starting only six. Head coach Wayne Fontes generally only played Ware when the Lions were out of the playoffs or already losing a game by a wide margin. He spent offseasons with the Raiders and Jaguars but never made the roster. He spent his final years in the CFL and NFL Europe before retiring in 1999. In his four year career, he threw only five touchdowns compared to eight interceptions.

3. Joey Harrington

He was drafted to be the future of the rebuilding Lions, but never lived up to expectations.

A three year starter at Oregon, Joey Harrington threw for 2,415 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season and finished his college career with a 25-3 record. His best collegiate game was arguably the 2002 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl when he threw for 350 yards and 4 touchdowns and led the Ducks to a 38-16 victory over Colorado and was named the Pac-10 offensive player of the year.

Harrington was the third overall pick in 2002 by Detroit. His four year career in Detroit was largely unsuccessful. Front office mismanagement, woeful offensive line protection, lack of talent at other skill positions, and an erratic philosophical change in the team's identity to a conservative West Coast Offense oriented attack may have played a factor in Harrington not realizing his potential professionally. He spent his final seasons in Miami, Atlanta, and New Orleans before retiring after 2008. In his seven seasons, he threw 79 touchdowns and 85 interceptions.

2. 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.

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.

People's Poll

Which Lion was the worst draft pick?

See results


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    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      You cant just pick one they were all terrible players and draft picks.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Another player you might have included is Steve Owens, a heismam winner that had just one big season in the pros.


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