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NFL: Which team had the worst NFL draft class of all time? 

Not every first-round pick is guaranteed to be a success...
Not every first-round pick is guaranteed to be a success...
ANALYST
Modified 23 Apr 2021
Feature

Astute fans know that for every Peyton Manning in the NFL draft, there's a Ryan Leaf. Holding a handful of picks in the top 100 is by no means a guarantee of success.

Things can -- and have -- gone drastically wrong in the draft for many franchises over the years. Not only with regards to the first pick, but teams have also wasted their entire draft class picking up a whole host of duds, often setting their roster back years in the process.

A few that spring to mind include the Minnesota Vikings' dreadful 2005 class, which was spearheaded by wide receiver Troy Williamson. Drafted at No. 7 overall, in five years in the NFL, the South Carolina product never once chalked up a campaign with over 500 receiving yards.

The dreadful stat was made to seem even worse by the fact that the pick the Vikings splurged on Williamson was the one they received from the Raiders in a trade deal for the legendary Randy Moss.

The 2008 Jaguars draft class was also a trainwreck. The team picked the likes of defensive end Derrick Harvey and defensive back Trae Williams, and the duo barely made any impact in the NFL.

Of course, there are numerous other examples of teams drafting terribly, but which NFL franchise has had the worst draft class in history?

Which NFL team had the worst draft class of all time?

JaMarcus Russell Feature
JaMarcus Russell Feature

The Oakland Raiders' 2007 draft class is easily the worst in NFL history.

With the notable exception of TE Zach Miller, who enjoyed a decent NFL career and won a Super Bowl as a veteran with the Seahawks in 2014, the rest of the class was way below par, especially given the Raiders had six picks in the top 110.

Here is a complete list of Oakland's picks that year:

  • Round 1, Pick no. 1: QB JaMarcus Russell
  • Round 2, Pick no. 38: TE Zach Miller
  • Round 3, Pick no. 65: DE Quentin Moses
  • Round 3, Pick no. 91: DT Mario Henderson
  • Round 3, Pick no. 99: WR Johnnie Lee Higgins
  • Round 4, Pick no. 100: RB Michael Bush
  • Round 4, Pick no. 110: DB John Bowie
  • Round 5, Pick no. 138: DE Jay Richardson
  • Round 5, Pick no. 165: DB Eric Frampton
  • Round 6, Pick no. 175: FB Oren O'Neal
  • Round 7, Pick no. 254: WR Jonathan Holland

Quentin Moses might not have reached the heights expected of him in the NFL but he will always be remembered as a hero. The former DE lost his life whilst trying to save people from a house fire in 2017.

Which player was Oakland's worst pick in the 2007 NFL Draft?

NFL Players Rookie Premiere
NFL Players Rookie Premiere

The Raiders passed on Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson to draft quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Russell's own LSU coaches had tried to warn the Raiders of Russell's behavioral issues. His lack of effort in the classroom and disdain for fitness, in particular, were common knowledge heading into the 2007 draft.

The Raiders didn't pay heed to those warnings and drafted him anyway.

Predictably, things could not have gotten off to a worse start.

Russell refused to attend the Raiders' preseason training camp over a contract dispute. He finally agreed to a six-year, $68 million deal with the team in September but didn't make it out onto the turf until the Raiders' final game of the season. He played just two series and completed four of seven pass attempts for 56 yards.

During his next three campaigns in the famed black and gray, Russell went 7-18.

The final straw for the Raiders was when Russell returned to the 2010 preseason training camp 20 lbs overweight. He was cut from the roster and hasn't featured in the NFL since.

Published 23 Apr 2021
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