There’s a massive list of players who went from being college superstars to NFL draft busts. Names like JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf and Tony Mandarich always seem to pop up in conversations like this. But then again, there are also several players in NFL history who weren’t exactly busts, but didn’t have the careers they were predicted to have.
Current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was drafted second overall in 2017 by the Chicago Bears, is considered a bust by many fans. When you're selected over a legend like Patrick Mahomes, you have to perform or you're definitely going to be judged harshly. It's possible that Trubisky could wind up having a long, solid career, although he'll never be able to lose the "drafted over Patrick Mahomes" label.
Here are three players who were good NFL players, but just not great, larger-than-life-NFL players:
#1 - Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden was amazing during his three-year stay in Arkansas. Known as “Run DMC,” he rushed for over 1,000 yards each season, including a career-best 1,830 yards in 2007.
McFadden was the Heisman runner-up twice, losing to Troy Smith in 2006 and Tim Tebow the following year. He also became the second player in college football history to win the Doak Walker award twice. Texas legend Ricky Williams was the first to do so.
The Oakland Raiders would later use the fourth overall pick on McFadden in the 2008 NFL draft. Unfortunately, his NFL career didn’t turn out to be anywhere close to his college days. He played 10 years with the Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, only managing to surpass 1,000 rushing yards on two occasions.
#2 - Keyshawn Johnson
Keyshawn Johnson recorded at least 1,300 receiving yards in each of his two seasons at USC. The Los Angeles native was then drafted by the New York Jets first overall in the 1996 NFL draft.
It’s extremely rare for a wideout to be selected with the top pick. In fact, only two other players at the position (Dave Parks and Irving Fryar) have ever been drafted that high. Johnson was expected to develop into an NFL superstar, but that never materialized.
He won a Super Bowl in the 2002 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He made the Pro Bowl three times and reached the 1,000- receiving yard mark in four different seasons. However, he never put together the Hall of Fame career that he was supposed to have.
#3 - Reggie Bush
Some people know Reggie Bush as being the guy who dated Kim Kardashian years ago. But more people know him for his unforgettable collegiate football career at USC. Bush is one of the most exciting college football players of all time and not many fans would argue with that statement.
The running back averaged 7.3 yards per carry during his career and won the 2005 Heisman Trophy although it was later vacated for committing NCAA violations.
Considered to be the next Barry Sanders, Bush was selected second overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 draft. He never became the next Sanders, but he did have a decent 11-year career and won the Super Bowl in February 2010 with Drew Brees and the Saints.
Bush also played for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. He rushed for over 1,000 yards only twice.