Biggest All-Time Draft Busts of the AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Ryan Sims was drafted sixth overall out of UNC in 2002. Too bad they weren’t fortunate enough to land his Tar Heel teammate second that year; Julius Peppers. Sims never lived up to the hype or expectations like his former defensive line partner, as he lasted just five seasons in Kansas City. At least he was consistent, giving the Chiefs an average of one sack per year. It’s a shame he never performed as a Top-10 choice because Dick Vermeil had the offense to hoist the Vince Lombardi during Sims’ stay at Arrowhead. John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth would have been better alternatives.

Russ Loede – Columnist

Oakland Raiders

In 2007, the Oakland Raiders drafted with the first pick of the draft, out of Louisiana State University, QB JaMarcus Russell. Touted by many due to his arm strength and size, Russell was drafted as the Raider’s future QB. Things turned ugly quickly between Oakland and Russell.. After failing to reach a contract agreement with the Raiders, Russell held out through training camp and into the first week of the 07 season, until September 12, when he signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed.

His play with the Raiders his rookie season was not what the Raiders expected from their#1 pick. Russell finished with 36 completed passes on 66 attempts, 373 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. At the end of the 07 season, Oakland Coach Lane Kiffin named Russell the started for the 2008 season. His play was erratic at best, finishing that season playing 15 games, completing 198 of 368 passes for 2423 yards. Russell threw for 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He was sacked 31 times and lost 7 of 12 fumbles.. Still, at the end of the 08 season, Russell was again named starter for the 09 season.

Following a loss to the Chiefs on November 15, Russell was benched indefinitely by coach Tom Cable due to mediocre play in favor of Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski led two fourth quarter comebacks and upset the Bengals and Steelers in the following two weeks, throwing 5 touchdown passes . After Gradkoswki was injured against the Redskins, Russell finished the game for the Raiders, which resulted in a loss. After the game, coach Cable decided to start backup Charlie Frye rather than Russell, which moved Russell down to #3 on the depth chart. When Frye was injured against the Broncos, Russell played near the end of the game. The game resulted in a win, however, this was Russell’s final game as a Raider. For his millions of dollars, Russell finished his career withOakland as 7-18 as a starter in his 3 seasons with 18 TD’s, 23 INT’s for 4083 yards.

Mike Loede – Co-Editor

San Diego Chargers

Ryan Leaf is possibly the most notable NFL draft bust of all-time. If there was a bracket, undoubtedly, he would be seeded #1. Surely, Leaf would end up in the Final Four. He will infamously be remembered for post-game outrages, effortless interceptions, and being the guy drafted after Peyton Manning. San Diego would’ve been better off selecting Leaf’s counterpart in the Rose Bowl that year, Brian Griese, who was drafted late in the 3rd round in ’98. Matt Hasselbeck was picked late in the 6th round, too.

Either way, the Chargers and Leaf are a home run, an absolute no-brainer. Maybe the scouting department should have been paying closer attention to that Rose Bowl game between Washington State and Michigan in Pasadena; as Charles Woodson (4th overall) was making his name known in that contest along with Griese. Ryan Leaf’s career NFL stats include a QB rating of 50, a completion percentage under 50, and a TD:INT ratio of 14:36. Peyton threw for more yards in his rookie season than Leaf did during his tenure at the professional level.

Russ Loede – Columnist

Denver Broncos

Jarvis Moss was a guy who took advantage of a great showing in the National Championship Game playing for Florida, which caused his stock in the 2007 NFL Draft to skyrocket. The Broncos fell into the hype, picking him with the 17th overall pick that year, and needless to say, he was terrible. Moss was a tweener in the NFL, as he wasn’t strong enough to play the DE spot, but not fast enough to go at outside LB.

The Broncos also killed themselves with the pick as they gave up two additional picks to trade with the Jaguars, moving up from #21 to #17. The Broncos gave the Jags the #86(3rd Round) and #198(5th Round) to move up, giving the Broncos just 4 picks in the 2007 Draft. Moss played in 34 games for the Broncos during his four seasons, but put up just 23 tackles and 3.5 sacks, and was known for walking out on the team in training camp in 2009.

He was released in November 2010 before being picked up by the Raiders.

Matt Loede – Columnist

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