Welcome to the 1st & 10 series where I’ll be going through every position on both offence and defence, naming my top 4 busts. In this edition, we look at the running back position and discover why every NFL GM should almost never pick a running back in the first round, let alone the top 10 because of the value you can find in the later rounds of the draft.
Take a look at the 2017 NFL Draft for example, five running backs drafted in the 2nd round or later have made at least one pro bowl in their first four years in the league (Dalvin Cook 2nd Round, Alvin Kamara 3rd Round, Kareem Hunt 3rd Round, James Connor 3rd Round, Tarik Cohen 4th Round).
Alright enough said lets rip into these four bastards that gave the GM that drafted them bigger blue balls than papa Smurf.
1st Down: Trent Richardson
What’s the difference between Stevie wonder and Trent Richardson? Stevie wonder knows how to hit the hole …. (No seriously he does, dude has 8 kids).
After a dominant Junior year at Alabama in 2011, Where Richardson finished 3rd in Heisman voting after rushing for 1,679 yards and 21 Touchdowns, he skyrocketed up the draft boards and eventually landed in the shithole that was the Cleveland browns organisation being the 3rd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Cleveland blew this pick with three of the next nine players drafted being First-team All-Pro Calibre players in their careers (Luke Kuechly drafted 9th overall & 5x first team all-pro, Stephon Gilmore drafted 10th Overall & 2 x First team all-pro & Fletcher Cox Drafted 12th Overall and 1x First-team all-pro).
Trent Richardson never lived up to the hype in Cleveland and was traded to the Indianapolis colts for a first-round pick in 2013 (Seriously what was colts GM at the time Ryan Grigson smoking when he gave up a first round pick). His stay in Indy was as short-lived before having a cup of coffee with the ravens and raiders, to which he never started nor played a regular season game with either franchise. He tried to see if his mediocrity would work in the CFL and AAF but both didn't work out.
2nd Down: Ki-Jana Carter
When you’re the number 1 overall pick in the draft, you’re expected to change the future of your franchise, not shit all over them. Coming out of Penn State, Ki-Jana Carter was touted as a can’t miss prospect showing dominance on the football field. In his junior year alone, he averaged 7.8 yards per carry, rushing for 1,539 yards and 23 touchdowns. His tackle-breaking ability and sheer strength is what propelled him to be the first overall pick in the 1995 NFL draft.
But the Bengals stuffed up by doing the most Bengals thing, using the first overall pick on a position where the hits and wear and tear make a running backs prime so short in the NFL. Now numerous injuries can be to blame for Ki-Jana Carter’s depressing career and we’ll never know what he truly could’ve achieved if he didn't blow his knee out in the preseason of his rookie year but he can at least be proud of being a tampon for his whole career.
3rd Down: Rocky Thompson
As a New York giants fan, it pains me to have to include a former player on this list. Drafted 18th overall in 1971 NFL draft, Rocky Thompson finished his career with 84 total touches for 302 yards and 3 TDs. Thompson was such an attractive prospect due to his 10.1 second 100 metre sprint time, in which he finished 6th in the 1970 British Commonwealth games, representing Bermuda. All I can assume is that the giants front office in 1971 must’ve had a big stiffy from Thompson’s speed that he displayed but ultimately forgot he wasn't actually a football player. Oops.
Now the reason this draft pick looks ludicrous some 49 years later is because Jack Youngblood, the Hall of Fame Defensive end of the Los Angeles Rams was drafted 2 picks later. Coming out of college as a First-team all American in 1970, Youngblood went on to be a defensive nightmare in his 202 game career and deservingly got a gold jacket in Canton.
4th Down: Lawrence Philips
Ah yes, the most controversial one till last, this is because Philips had more success with criminal activity than he ever did on a football field at the professional level. Philips was Drafted 6th overall by the St Louis rams in the 1996 draft. In his short NFL career he only rushed for 1,453 yards and 13 touchdowns in 4 ‘seasons’ (2 with Rams, 1 with Miami and 1 with San Fran).
Now Philips did win a Championship in the CFL in 2002 with the Montreal Alouettes, but let’s be real, winning a Grey Cup is like hooking up with an ugly girl or guy at 3am on a Saturday night, sure it happened but you don't want to brag about it.
Who are your top 4 Busts at the Running Back position?
Tune into Inside Feed for more 1st and 10 content, next up, the defensive backs.
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