#26. Cincinnati Bengals, Akili Smith (2000)
It’s no secret that Akili Smith will live infamy as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history. Between playing in college for only two years at the University of Oregon, and allegedly not spending nearly enough time learning the playbook while with the Cincinnati Bengals, Smith simply couldn’t grasp the idea that you had to do more in the NFL than just rely on your athleticism.
In his second season in the NFL, Smith went 2-9 in 11 games, but threw only three touchdowns all year; there was a span between early October and mid-November where he didn’t throw a single touchdown.
#25. Cleveland Browns, Brandon Weeden (2012)
In 2012, NFL scouts and teams were first learning the drawbacks of drafting a quarterback who played in a spread offense in college. But after watching what Brandon Weeden looked like when he got to the NFL, it made front offices downright terrified of taking quarterbacks from those offenses. There were plenty of analysts who cautioned against taking Weeden with an early draft pick, but true to form, Cleveland threw all wisdom to the wind, selecting him with the 22nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
It was clear from the get-go that Weeden wasn’t ready when, in his first game, he finished with a 5.1 passer rating after throwing four interceptions in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. That was the sixth-lowest passer rating in a season opener by any quarterback attempting at least 15 passes since the merger in 1970..