No matter what, virtually every NFL fanbase believes that every draft pick their team makes will work out. Of course, we know that doesn’t happen and that it’s going to be that way forever. Even in the last decade or so, teams have made some truly horrible draft picks that felt like the right selection at the time. Obviously, we know some of the all-time worst draft picks like Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell. But let’s check out more recent history and the worst NFL draft picks of the 2010s.
Justin Blackmon, 5th Overall, Jaguars
Talent-wise, Blackmon looked like a sure thing. He was an absolute beast at Oklahoma State, amassing over 2,300 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. To his credit, he put up decent numbers as a rookie. But Blackmon was a nightmare off the field thanks to multiple arrests for DUI and marijuana possession.
After playing four games in 2013, his second NFL, he was suspended indefinitely and has never returned to the NFL. Despite 93 catches for 1,280 yards and six touchdowns over 20 games, Blackmon is one of the biggest wastes every.
Justin Gilbert, 8th Overall, Browns
The Browns have made a lot of bad draft picks over the years, but Gilbert is among the worse. He contributed almost nothing in two years before the Browns had the foresight to trade him to the Steelers. He spent one year in Pittsburgh, playing mostly on special teams. Before the 2017 season, Gilbert was suspended for a year for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He was never heard from again.
Dee Milliner, 9th Overall, Jets
Coming out of Alabama, Milliner looked like a can’t-miss prospect. But he had to be benched three times as a rookie because his play was so poor. From there, injuries started to get the best of him.
After playing 13 games as a rookie, Milliner only played eight games over the next three seasons. His confidence was so shot after his rookie year that he was never able to make much of an impact and no team took a chance on him after his rookie contract with the Jets ran out.
AJ Jenkins, 30th Overall, 49ers
Jenkins can’t blame injuries or anything else for his failure in the NFL. Frankly, he just wasn’t that good, which was apparent from the start. He was only active for three games as a rookie even though he was healthy.
The 49ers recognized that they completely whiffed on him, trading him to the Chiefs after one season. It was only then that he made his first career reception. When all was said and done, Jenkins caught just 17 passes in the NFL for a total of 223 yards and no touchdowns.
Johnny Manziel, 22nd Overall, Browns
Drafting Manziel, in a way, sums up why the Browns have been utterly dreadful for most of the 21st century. It should have been obvious to everyone that Johnny Football had character and maturity issues that would hinder his ability to be a quarterback in the NFL.
Even during the preseason of his rookie year, we saw that play out. Drafting Manziel ultimately blew up in Cleveland’s face in spectacular fashion. Even for a franchise that has missed on quarterbacks before, taking Manziel was a complete disaster.