Draft’s Top 50 Busts: Where Are They Now? - Lost Lettermen


Draft’s Top 50 Busts: Where Are They Now?


The draft is just one day away and names like Ryan Leaf, Tony Mandarich and Akili Smith are being unearthed once again. Using ESPN.com’s list of 50 Biggest NFL Drafts Busts, we tracked them all down to see what they are doing now.

Note: This is ESPN’s list, not ours, and it was compiled in 2008

Note #2: Current whereabouts as of April 2010 with updates as of April 2011 in parentheses

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50. Michael Westbrook, Colorado, WR (No. 4 overall, 1995): After a big rookie season, injuries and issues with teammates led to a mediocre career. Today he lives in Mesa, AZ, and is a mixed martial artist.

49. Jon Harris, Virginia, DE (No. 25 overall, 1997): Started just eight games in two seasons with the Eagles with two sacks and a fumble recovery. He now resides in Swedesboro, NJ.

48. David LaFleur, LSU, TE (No. 22 overall, 1997): As a tight end he caught just 85 passes and 12 touchdowns in four seasons with Dallas. Now resides in Sulphur, LA.

47. Maurice Clarett, Ohio State, RB (No. 101 overall, 2005): Cut by Denver before the season began, he never played a game after the 2002 national championship. Currently serving a prison term on concealed weapon and robbery charges and will be released within six months. [UPDATE: Clarett is now a member of the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks.]


46. Alex Van Dyke , Nevada, WR (No. 31 overall, 1996): Caught just 25 passes and three touchdowns in three seasons with the Jets. Currently owns Going Vertical, a training facility in Sacramento for athletes to improve speed, agility and power.

45. John Clay, Missouri, OT (No. 15 overall, 1987): Played in just 12 games over two seasons before being done. Whereabouts unknown.

44. Johnathan Sullivan, Georgia, DT (No. 6 overall, 2003): Played just three seasons in Buffalo before calling it a career [Correction: Sullivan played with the New Orleans Saints]. Most recently in 2006, Sullivan was pulled over in Griffin, GA, for running two red lights and charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

43. Mike Mamula, Boston College, DE/LB (No. 7 overall, 1995): Played six seasons in the NFL but was just not big enough to last or be terribly effective. He currently works with Comprehensive Screening Services in Voorhees, NJ.


42. Akili Smith, Oregon, QB (No. 3 overall, 1995): Started just 17 games over four seasons with the Bengals and three 13 picks to just five touchdowns. He’s now an assistant coach at Cal under his old offensive coordinator, Jeff Tedford. [UPDATE: Smith is no longer on Tedford’s staff and is now an assistant at his old high school in San Diego.]


41. Reggie Rembert, West Virginia, WR (No. 28 overall, 1990): Never signed with the team who drafted him (Jets) and went to Cincinnati for a mediocre three seasons. His whereabouts are unknown.

40. Cade McNown, UCLA, QB (No. 12 overall, 1999): Off-the-field issues made his on-field mediocrity worse and he was traded after just two seasons. Most recently was the senior VP of investor development with Thompson National Properties, LLC in Southern California.

39. Trezelle Jenkins, Michigan, OT (No. 31 overall, 1995): He couldn’t stick in the league after three years and just nine games under his belt. He now owns a Harold’s Chicken Shack in Ferndale, MI.

38. Dan McGwire, San Diego State, QB (No. 16 overall, 1991): Better known as Mark’s little brother, in two years he didn’t have a start or a touchdown pass. Today he’s the president of Vita H2O Inc., a vitamin water company in Reno, NV.

37. Patrick Bates, Texas A&M, S (No. 12 overall, 1993): The safety had just one interception in 44 NFL games. Current whereabouts unknown.

36. Russell Erxleben, Texas, P/PK (No. 11 overall, 1979): In his first NFL appearance Erxleben threw a pick-6 in overtime after a bad snap. After just five NFL seasons Erxleben eventually becoming a currency investor who served time in prison until 2005 for fraud.

35. Mike Elkins, Wake Forest, QB (No. 32 overall, 1989): Played one game and attempted two passes before never playing again. Today he fronts a country music band, “The Mike Elkins Band,” with another former Demon Deacon, Chip Rives.

34. Craig Powell, Ohio State, LB (No. 30 overall, 1995): Played just 12 games with Cleveland/Baltimore with little impact. Joined the Army after career. He resides in Youngstown, OH, and works for the nutritional company Unicity.

33. Leeland McElroy, Texas A&M, RB (No. 32 overall, 1996): Ran for just 729 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons. He currently resides in Garland, TX.

32. Andre Johnson, Penn State, OT (No. 30 overall, 1996): Never appeared in a game with the Redskins and played just three games his whole career. He’s currently a business owner in Leesburg, VA.

31. Todd Marinovich, USC, QB (No. 24 overall, 1991): Made just eight regular season starts in two seasons with the Raiders. Had been arrested last year for failing to show up in court for a drug rehab review. He now works at the Sports Science Lab in Southern California with his infamous father, Marv. [UPDATE: He also runs the Todd Marinovich Art Gallery.]

30. Aaron Gibson, Wisconsin, OT (No. 27 overall, 1999): Played in just 11 games over three seasons before being cut. Last seen with the af2’s Austin Wranglers in 2007.

29. Todd Blackledge, Penn State, QB (No. 7 overall, 1983): Never started a full season with the Chiefs before being dealt and was dealt after five seasons. Today he’s a television analyst for college football on ESPN. He resides in North Canton, OH.

28. Tony Mandarich, Michigan State, OT (No. 2 overall, 1989): Was a bust in Green Bay but turned his life around in Indianapolis. Wrote a book detailing his hard times with the Packers and owns a modeling photography studio and media company in Scottsdale, AZ.


27. Walt Patulski, Notre Dame, DE (No. 1 overall, 1972): Had a decent rookie season but put up poor numbers the rest of his career (just four years). He currently resides in Syracuse, NY, and even has a key to the city.

26. Jack Thompson, Washington State, QB (No. 3 overall, 1979): The “Throwin’ Samoan” could never unseat Ken Anderson, the starter at Cincinnati. He recently helped Washington State and World Vision to help raise money for the tsunami in American Samoa.

25. Tim Worley, Georgia, RB (No. 7 overall, 1989): Injuries and off-the-field issues cut short a career with a promising start. Worley has turned his life around and launched Worley Enterprises, a business based on Christian motivation speaking. He resides in Atlanta.


24. Tony Sacca, Penn State, QB (No. 46 overall, 1992): Played in just two games and never started in the NFL. He owns Sacca’s Pourhouse Pub in Pennsauken, NJ, and resides in Delran, NJ.

23. Kelly Stouffer, Colorado State, QB (No. 6 overall, 1987): Sat out his entire rookie season and then started just 16 games over four years. He currently resides on a farm in Rushville, NE.

22. Blair Thomas, Penn State, RB (No. 2 overall, 1990): Never rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He currently resides in Prussia, PA, is an instructor with Football University, volunteering in Alaska.

21. Steve Niehaus, Notre Dame, DT/DE (No. 2 overall, 1976): Started just 20 games in three seasons with Seattle and now resides in Fairfield, OH.

20. Curtis Enis, Penn State, RB (No. 5 overall, 1998): In three NFL seasons, his longest run was 29 yards. He’s now a junior high track coach in Ohio.


19. Tim Couch, Kentucky, QB (No. 1 overall, 1999): Went 22-37 as a starter and never connected with the fans in Cleveland. He resides in Lexington, KY, and is now a Kentucky football analyst with the Big Blue Sports Network.


18. Derek Brown, Notre Dame, TE (No. 14 overall, 1992): Caught just 11 passes in 45 NFL games. Runs three Quiznos Sub Shops and resides in upstate Rexford, NY.

17. David Klingler, Houston, QB (No. 6 overall, 1992): Went 4-20 as a starter with 20 interceptions to 15 touchdowns. Now has a master’s in theology and helps with Sunday school at Katy First Baptist Church in Katy, TX.


16. Peter Warrick, Florida State, WR (No. 4 overall, 2000): Had five mediocre years in the NFL then bounced around other pro leagues, most recently cut in the UFL last fall. Now lives in Atlanta, GA, and owns an Applebee’s in Sarasota, FL. He hasn’t ruled out another comeback attempt. [UPDATE: Warrick is now an assistant at his old high school in Bradenton, FL.]


15. Huey Richardson, Florida, LB (No. 15 overall, 1991): Kicked to the curb after just one season in Pittsburgh, now a VP U.S. Institutional Sales with the Permal Group in New York.

14. Joe Profit, Louisiana Monroe, RB (No. 7 overall, 1971): Ran just 197 yards in two seasons and retired after his third. Profit earned his doctorate and is in the business of building information technology firms.

13. Reggie Rogers, Washington, DT (No. 7, 1987): Lasted just two seasons in Detroit, recording one sack, and then returned briefly before retiring in 1992. Now serving two years in prison for two DUI incidents.

12. Andre Ware, Houston, QB (No. 7 overall, 1990): Just six starts in four seasons with eight interceptions. He now works on Houston Texans radio broadcasts and ESPN regional college football.

11. Jim Druckenmiller, Virginia Tech, QB (No. 26 overall, 1997): Notched just one start in two seasons and was gone. Now works as a sales manager with Cross Markets WPS in the Memphis area.


10. Jerry Tagge, Nebraska, QB (No. 11 overall, 1972): Threw 17 interceptions in 18 games in just three seasons with Green Bay. Works as a financial advisor in Omaha, NE, and recently discovered he had prostate cancer.


9. Bo Matthews, Colorado, RB (No. 2 overall, 1974): He ran for 1,372 yards and 11 touchdowns in six seasons. He resides in Denver, CO, and runs The Matthews Center, LLC, a non-profit community development center.

8. Mike Junkin, Duke, LB (No. 5 overall, 1987): Lasted just three seasons in the NFL and effectively dropped off the face of the Earth. He now resides in Doylestown, PA.

7. Johnny “Lam” Jones, Texas, WR (No. 2 overall, 1980): Had blazing speed but stone hands, Jones is now residing in Austin, TX, where he’s battling cancer and is an avid photographer.


6. Keith McCants, Alabama, DE (No. 4 overall, 1990): Tallied just 13.5 sacks in six NFL seasons and is now unemployed and residing in Mobile, AL. He was arrested in December on drug charges. [UPDATE: McCants was most recently arrested in December 2010.]

5. Charles Rogers, Michigan State, WR (No. 2 overall, 2003): Rogers played just two seasons in the NFL and currently has been ordered by a court to pay the Lions back $6.1 million of his rookie signing bonus. He recently served 93 days in jail for violating his probation. [UPDATE: Rogers is now facing a foreclosure on his Michigan home]


4. Heath Shuler, Tennessee, QB (No. 3 overall, 1994): After throwing 21 picks to just five touchdowns over three seasons, Shuler eventually left the league and became a Democratic congressman from North Carolina.


3. Art Schlichter, Ohio State, QB (No. 4 overall, 1982): After gambling away most of his contract money and playing in just 13 games, Schlichter was in and out of prisons until he turned his life around and founded the non-profit Gambling Prevention Awareness in Washington Court House, OH. [UPDATE: Schlichter is currently in jail and accused of scamming an Ohio woman out of over $1 million to feed his gambling addiction.]


2. Lawrence Phillips, Nebraska, RB (No 6. overall, 1996): After a shortened career due to major character issues, Phillips was arrested and eventually sentenced to 31 years in prison for domestic violence and assault with his car in a bizarre incident in which he tried to run over kids with his car after a pickup football game in Los Angeles.


1. Ryan Leaf (No. 2 overall, 1998): Tossing 36 picks in four disastrous NFL seasons, Leaf recently settled a drug charge against him and now works at a Vancouver fishing resort. He was recently in the news for calling himself a “punk” as a player. [UPDATE: Leaf has moved back to his native Montana and was arrested twice in the span of four days in March 2012.]



Note: This is ESPN’s list, not ours, and it was compiled in 2008

Note #2: Current whereabouts as of April 2010 with updates as of April 2011 in parentheses

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