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
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.
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