Not So Great Moments in Regional NFL Draft History
Busted pick. Something every NFL fan hopes their team avoids.
The rule of thumb on an NFL first rounder is that, in an ideal world he is a ten year starter/regular. That doesn’t always work out despite all the research. Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams know this all too well. Those of us who remember the St. Louis football Cardinals have additional tales of draft day horrors.
The above pictured Jon Baldwin is the most recent draft day mistake. The Kansas City Chiefs took Baldwin on the 26th overall pick of the 2011 draft. Former Chiefs coach Todd Haley and former Chiefs general manager each indicated that Baldwin was the choice of the other. (I suspect that Baldwin was Pioli’s idea given the overall mess he made of the roster before he was dismissed.) When Baldwin was on the field, he didn’t show much—although that wasn’t entirely his fault. This is a team game and there were problems across the board with the Chiefs offense in those days. It seems like Baldwin got hurt in a scrap with a teammate in training camp as a rookie. Baldwin also didn’t last long when Andy Reid came in—and that is on Baldwin.
Other noted Chiefs first round busts—OT Trezelle Jenkins in 1995, OT Brian Joswiak in 1986 and tight end Elmore Stephens in 1975. Joswiak had health problems that went undetected until he was with the Chiefs. Stephens was enough of a mess as a rookie that he was traded to the Giants during training camp in ’75. He wound up in prison on a murder charge by the time the 1976 season came around.
The St. Louis Rams have had their problems in round 1 too, but it’s been a while since they botched a pick. The most recent bust was cornerback Tye Hill in 2006. Hill was a small cornerback taken just as the bigger receivers were coming into the league. Hill had injury problems and was gone from the Rams by the end of 2008.
Other Rams first round busts.. LB Robert Thomas in 2002. Lasted in the NFL somehow until 2008. He finished his career with Oakland. RB Trung Canidate in 2000. He was supposed to be a replacement/supplement for Marshall Faulk. Ran for a total of just over a thousand yards in the NFL. Over 600 of those yards came in Washington in Candidate’s last year. RB Lawrence Phillips in 1996. Had well known off field and attitude issues at Nebraska. That didn’t change when he got to the NFL. The Rams also took Eddie Kennison in the first round in 1996. But, he managed to shed the bust label once he got to Kansas City in 2001 when Dick Vermeil gave him one last chance in the league.
The St. Louis football Cardinals made me aware of what a busted draft choice meant in 1970. Running back Larry Stegent was their first round pick. Solid running back out of Texas A&M. Knee problems kept him off the field in ’70. He played a total of seven games with the Cardinals in 1971.
Other Big Red busts-- Quarterback Steve Pisarkiewicz in 1977, kicker Steve Little in ’78, wide receiver Clyde Duncan in 1986 and quarterback Kelly Stouffer in 1987.