Special Report

The 40 Most Disappointing Draft Picks of All Time

After the NFL season ends, teams turn their attention to the new crop of young players that will soon be joining the league via the NFL Draft. Franchises look for players that can address weak points on the team, ideally setting the team up for a deep playoff run. Yet this is not always the case. Even the most highly-touted draft picks can sometimes fail to pan out.

24/7 Tempo reviewed the length and quality of the professional careers of high draft selections in the four major sports, using data from the Sports Reference family of sites to determine the most disappointing draft picks in American sports history. There are very few recent draft picks on this list as it takes years to determine if a player has failed to live up to his perceived potential.

When professional sports franchises get a high draft pick, they hope the athlete could grow into a superstar and bring the team to a championship level — and maybe even one day make it to the Hall of Fame —  these are the teams with the most Hall of Famers.

While players like Sidney Crosby and LeBron James lived up to expectations, other athletes who seemed destined for greatness never did.

Wasting a high pick on a player who doesn’t produce can set a franchise back years. There are many reasons a player’s career can fail to live up to expectations — bad luck, the athlete might struggle with character issues or injuries, or play for a team that doesn’t keep coaches for long — here are the NFL teams that constantly fire their coaches.

Click here to see the most disappointing draft picks of all time.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.