Sports

A Draft Do-over for Every NFL Team over the Past 5 Years | Bleacher Report

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    Stew Milne/Associated Press

    Plenty of superstars have entered the NFL over the last half-decade, but myriad busts have popped up in that span as well.

    Every team would love to have a do-over on at least one selection it made from the 2016 to 2020 drafts. These clubs all have a handful prospects who did not pan out for a variety of reasons, whether they suffered career-altering injuries, ran into trouble off the field or simply weren’t a system fit.

    While mulligans aren’t a thing in the NFL draft, it won’t stop fans and pundits from speculating on what might have been. With that in mind, here is a look at the one player for each franchise who warrants a re-do from the last five years.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Josh Rosen once claimed that “nine mistakes” were made by the nine teams that picked before he came off the board at No. 10 overall in 2018. However, it turned out that Arizona made one of the biggest missteps in the draft that year by selecting the UCLA product.

    While Rosen isn’t known for being much more than a bust during his short time in the NFL, there was once a time when the QB was considered one of the best prospects out there. The Cardinals believed Rosen was a great fit for the club going into the 2018 draft, bringing him aboard at the start of head coach Steve Wilks’ lone campaign in the desert.

    Rosen never ended up becoming the player Arizona expected when it used that No. 10 pick on him. The Cardinals got just 13 unproductive starts—he completed 55.2 percent of passes for 2,278 yards and 11 touchdowns against 14 interceptions, 45 sacks and 10 fumbles while going 3-10—before moving on and trading him to the Dolphins.

    The Cardinals landed a promising quarterback the following season when they used the No. 1 pick on Kyler Murray. They could have snapped up a good signal-caller prior to that, however, as Lamar Jackson fell to the final pick of the first round in 2018.

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    Takk McKinley was taken in the first round of the 2017 draft to shore up Atlanta’s pass-rushing ability, but never found a way to reliably pressure the quarterback at a rate the club expected. To make matters worse, Atlanta gave third- and seventh-round selections to move up five spots to pick McKinley. The team invested a heavy amount of draft capital to end up with a player that simply did not pan out for it.

    McKinley played three-and-a-half seasons with the Falcons, recording just 17.5 sacks in 49 games. He failed to catch on early as a rookie and only ended up starting 24 total contests for the Falcons, recording a mere seven sacks in games that he started. With guys like Tre’Davious White and T.J. Watt still on the board, the Falcons would benefit heavily from a do-over on their McKinley selection.

    The pass-rusher was ultimately waived midway through the 2020 campaign, but a series of failed physicals kept McKinley off the field for the remainder of the season. He recently signed with the Browns on a one-year deal and that could be one of his last stops in the league if he fails to improve in Cleveland.

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The Ravens were sorely lacking a tight end going into the 2018 draft and decided to pull the trigger on Hayden Hurst when they were on the clock in the first round. While tight end is a notoriously difficult position to find immediate success at when making the jump from college to the pros, Hurst failed to make the transition at a rate that Baltimore was hoping for when it tabbed him with the No. 25 overall pick.

    Hurst only ended up playing in 28 games for the Ravens, starting in just four of them in his two years with the organization. He finished his tenure in Baltimore with 43 receptions for 512 yards and three touchdowns, a stat line that left quite a bit to be desired.

    After it became clear that Hurst wasn’t developing in their run-heavy offense, the Ravens opted to ship Hurst and a fourth-round selection to Atlanta last March in exchange for second- and fifth-round picks. The tight end performed better during his lone campaign with the Falcons last year, hauling in 56 catches for 571 yards and six scores.

    While Hurst may end up being a real asset in the NFL, the Ravens weren’t able to unlock him and would have been better served drafting a player like Calvin Ridley, a star wideout in the making who was taken one pick later in 2018.

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    Shaq Lawson may not be a draft bust, but he didn’t provide much of a return on Buffalo’s initial investment after they picked him midway through the first round back in 2016.

    The edge-rusher got off to a slow start to his career with the Bills, recording just two sacks in 10 games after beginning his rookie campaign on the Reserve/PUP list. Despite being named a starter for 2017, Lawson recorded just four sacks in 11 games before landing on injured reserve.

    Lawson was relegated to a backup in 2018 and again tallied up just four sacks—this time in 14 games with six starts—but did finish the year strong. With Buffalo declining the pass-rushers’ fifth-year option in 2019, Lawson knew he had to improve in his fourth year to avoid being labeled as a bust and having a short career in the NFL.

    2019 was a career year for Lawson, as he accumulated a personal-best 6.5 sacks and 18 QB hits despite not starting one of the 15 games he appeared in.

    That performance earned Lawson a three-year, $30 million deal from the AFC East rival Dolphins while the Bills only received one season of above-average performances from Lawson. Given how his career played out, Buffalo likely would not make the Lawson selection again given the chance.

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Vernon Butler started his career in Carolina with a sack in the first quarter of his first game with the organization, but the No. 30 pick in the 2016 draft didn’t record another until his fourth and final season with the Panthers.

    The defensive tackle failed to catch on as a starter until 2019, appearing in 38 games over his first three seasons and contributed little during that span. He amassed a mere 45 tackles and 10 quarterback hits and never saw the field for more than a third of Carolina’s defensive snaps.

    While Butler did improve in 2019—recording six sacks while playing in 14 games and starting in nine—it was too little, too late for his career with the Panthers. He did cash in with a two-year, $15 million deal with the Bills based on that performance, but Butler played in just nine games and failed to notch a single sack during his first campaign with his new club last year.

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    The Bears believed they had found a franchise quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky after he guided his team to a 11-3 record as a starter and a playoff berth in his second season with the club. That was not the case, however, as Trubisky quickly regressed and never was able to rekindle the form that made him a Pro Bowler in 2018.

    Trubisky went just 14-10 across the 2019-2020 campaigns, averaging a meager 207.7 yards per game in that span. He lost his starting gig to Nick Foles last season and finished the year with a pedestrian 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 10 games. He never delivered in the postseason either, going 0-2 in two career games, including a 19-of-29 passing, 199-yard, one-touchdown outing in a Wild Card loss back in January.

    That defeat against the New Orleans Saints ended up being Trubisky’s last appearance with Chicago, as the signal-caller recently inked a one-year, $2.5 million contract to be the backup to Josh Allen in Buffalo.

    Considering the Bears are going into the 2021 season with Andy Dalton as their projected starter, they would gladly re-do the Trubisky selection and grab a star QB like Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson—who came off the board several picks later—to replace him.

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    John Ross III is one of Cincinnati’s biggest draft whiffs ever, as the wideout was expected to rejuvenate their receiving corps and add a dynamic home-run hitter to an offense that desperately needed a playmaker.

    As the No. 9 overall pick in 2017, Ross was projected to immediately come in and make an impact, but he ended up having one of the worst rookie seasons imaginable. He barely cracked the team’s rotation, starting out the campaign as the No. 6 WR on the depth chart.

    Ross’ first touch was a symbolic one, as he fumbled on the play and finished the entire year with just two targets and zero catches. The following years were equally rocky, including a 2020 season that Ross saw action in just three games during, missing time with both injuries and as a healthy scratch.

    While the 5’11”, 194-pound receiver did show flashes during his time in Cincinnati—he caught 10 touchdowns between 2018 and 2019—he wasn’t consistent or reliable enough to warrant anything near the top-10 pick that the Bengals used to acquire him. He’s getting a chance to rejuvenate his career with the Giants, who signed him in free agency this offseason, but the Bengals would definitely like to have this selection back.

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    As the first wideout off the board in 2016, big things were expected from Corey Coleman in the Cleveland offense. The receiver wouldn’t live up to the hype, however, and the Baylor product lasted just two seasons with the club that picked him No. 15 overall that year.

    Coleman started hot, going off for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first pair of games as a pro, but quickly fell out of favor. He finished his rookie season with 413 yards and three scores on 33 receptions in 10 games. He regressed in his sophomore outing, dropping to 23 catches for 305 yards and a pair of TDs in nine contests.

    Injuries ultimately led to Coleman flaming out in the league, as he suffered a pair of broken hands during his time with the Browns. He grew frustrated with his role in Cleveland’s offense and demanded a trade, landing with Buffalo in exchange for a seventh-round pick.

    Coleman eventually caught on with the Giants and saw the field for Big Blue, but produced only 71 yards on five receptions in eight games with the organization in 2018. He’s been struggling with injury in the years since, missing all of 2019 with a torn ACL and spent 2020 on the team’s practice squad before being released.

    If Coleman does catch back on with another NFL team, he’ll be suspended for the first six games after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. It remains to be seen if that will happen, but regardless the Browns could have done much better than selecting Coleman with such a high draft pick five years ago.

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Taco Charlton once appeared to be a solution to Dallas’ pressure woes, but the edge-rusher only lasted two seasons with the Cowboys before he was released.

    Charlton appeared in 27 games over his first two seasons in the league, but contributed 46 tackles and four sacks while making seven starts. He had a chance to take a leap in 2019 due to a string of injuries to players ahead of him on the depth chart, but started out the year as a healthy scratch in back-to-back games before the Dallas brass elected to cut him.

    The Dolphins decided to take a chance on Charlton when he landed on waivers and they received some respectable production out of the former Michigan Wolverine. He piled up a career-high five sacks in 10 games with Miami before signing with the Chiefs for the 2020 season. Charlton chipped in a pair of sacks in seven games with the defending champions and was recently re-signed by the team for the 2021 campaign.

    Charlton still has a chance to live up to his status as a first-round pick, but the Cowboys missed out on some elite players—T.J. Watt came off the board just two selections later—by taking him so early.

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    During the 2016 draft, the Broncos thought they had zeroed in on the player that would become the franchise’s next great signal-caller. The team had to be hoping Paxton Lynch could follow in the footsteps of Peyton Manning and John Elway to lead Denver to a Super Bowl and traded up to ensure they could select the Memphis quarterback in the first round.

    The Broncos packaged up the No. 31 and No. 94 overall picks in exchange for Seattle’s No. 26 selection that year, bringing in Lynch to compete with Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian for a very winnable starting job. Lynch wasn’t able to beat those QBs out though, getting on the field for just two starts during the 2016 campaign. The rookie put on a miserable showing during those appearances, completing just 49 of 83 passes for two touchdowns and an interception while taking nine sacks and fumbling twice.

    Lynch had a chance to show improvement in 2017, but ultimately saw action in just two more games—throwing for 295 yards and two touchdowns while getting picked three times and fumbling twice—before the Broncos elected to move on from the young quarterback.

    Denver turned to Case Keenum in 2018 and placed Lynch third on the depth chart behind Chad Kelly in the preseason. Lynch didn’t even make the final roster cuts, getting released prior to the start of the season.

    Lynch tried to catch on with Seattle and Pittsburgh in the years since, but didn’t see the field for either team and has been out of the league since he was last cut back in September. Considering Dak Prescott came off the board in the fourth round and a Pro Bowler in Kenny Clark was taken one pick after Lynch in 2016, the Broncos would benefit heavily from a do-over on their Lynch selection.

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Teez Tabor had a respectable collegiate career at Florida and looked to be a first-round talent going into the 2017 draft, but his speed during workouts was a major concern for scouts and GMs at the time.

    It turned out that those reservations were warranted, as Tabor—who ran a 4.62 40-yard at the scouting combine—was simply too slow to continue playing at a high level in the pros. He went into the 2017 campaign deep down on the Lion’s depth chart and was continually burned by faster receivers when he saw the field.

    Tabor only ended up playing 22 games for Detroit, recording zero interceptions or passes defensed in that span. He was released after two unfruitful seasons with the club and has bounced around the league since, currently plying his trade on Chicago’s practice squad.

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Packers have maintained their status as a consistent Super Bowl contender largely due to their ability to draft well and groom in-house talent to replace free-agency losses. The organization has made many shrewd selections over the past five seasons, but has a handful of busts as well.

    Montravius Adams is one of Green Bay’s bigger misses in that span, as the defensive tackle couldn’t crack the starting rotation and hardly saw playing time during his four seasons with the team. He played four years with the Packers, playing in 45 games—with four starts—and did little when he was on the field. He exited Green Bay with just 44 tackles, six QB hits and 1.5 sacks to his name, never playing more than 212 defensive snaps in a single season.

    Adams was often injured, starting his rookie year when he needed foot surgery and missed all of preseason. He had his fourth and final season cut short as well when he landed on injured reserve back in November. The Patriots are kicking the tires on the DT for 2021—signing him to a one-year deal—with the signing representing little more than defensive line depth for the club.

    Considering players like Kenny Golladay and Eddie Jackson were still on the board when Green Bay selected Adams, they could have squeezed quite a bit more production out of this mid-round pick.

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Texans are another organization that have drafted quite well in recent years, especially in the first round. Houston has tabbed stars like J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson within the first 32 picks over the last decade, but the club has stumbled a bit in the second round.

    One major whiff for the Texans on Day 2 of the draft was Max Scharping, the No. 55 overall pick in 2019. The club thrust Scharping into the lineup immediately at left guard during his rookie campaign, getting 14 starts and 16 total games out of the Northern Illinois product.

    While the team did find an offensive line starter with that pick, he certainly wasn’t a very good one. PFF graded Scharping at a 56.7 in 2019, a relatively low grade even though he didn’t allow a sack. The guard regressed in 2020, grading out by the same PFF metrics at a 52.1 and lost his starting gig to Senio Kelemete.

    With impact contributors like Mecole Hardman and DK Metcalf coming off the board later in the second round that year, the Texans would have been better off getting Watson another weapon or an elite special-teamer instead of subpar protection with the Scharping selection.

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Colts drafted Malik Hooker to serve as a playmaking safety, but the 2017 first-rounder failed to pan out as the type of star defender they expected when using the No. 15 pick on him.

    Hooker’s career got off to a rocky start when he tore his ACL just seven games into a promising rookie season. The safety snared three interceptions before going down with the knee ailment—still a career high—and never seemed to rekindle the playmaking form that made him such a lofty draft selection.

    Although he recovered and only missed five games between 2018-19, Hooker recorded just seven passes defensed and four interceptions in 27 starts during that span. The Ohio State product went into 2020 playing for his job after the Colts declined his fifth-year option, but tore his Achilles just two weeks into the campaign.

    Hooker is now on the open market as a free agent, where he represents a huge injury risk for his next team. He’s still young enough at 25 to turn his career around, but two major injuries in four years is a massive red flag. With star corner Marlon Humphrey getting selected one pick later, Indianapolis could have gone that direction and improved their secondary in a much more reliable way.

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Taven Bryan is the latest in a string of bad Jacksonville draft picks since the club entered the NFL in 1995. In the years that followed, the Jaguars managed to miss on a slew of first-round selections, including several signal-callers like Blake Bortles and Blaine Gabbert.

    While Jacksonville’s early defensive picks have tended to work out—Josh Allen and Jalen Ramsey both have Pro Bowl appearances to their names after being picked by the organization within the last half-decade—Bryan simply hasn’t. The defensive tackle came into the league as a highly regarded prospect but hasn’t produced at the pro level despite being given plenty of opportunity over the last three seasons.

    Bryan hasn’t missed a single game since coming into the NFL, but only has 17 starts in 48 contests. He’s recorded a pedestrian 3.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits, but hasn’t performed well enough to get on the field for even half his squad’s defensive snaps during a single season.

    Even with players like DaVon Hamilton and Doug Costin going down with injuries, which gave Bryan more chances to figure things out as he climbed the depth chart, Bryan still hasn’t become the impact player the Jaguars wanted when they picked him.

    Given a future star quarterback in Lamar Jackson was still on the board when Jacksonville selected Bryan, they would re-do this selection in a heartbeat. Locking up a franchise signal-caller instead of getting a mediocre defensive tackle would have changed the Jags’ fortunes for the better.

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    RES/Associated Press

    The Chiefs haven’t had many early draft picks in the last five years, selecting just twice in the first round since 2016. Both picks have been great for the organization, with one being among the best selections of all time in quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the other being up-and-coming running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

    Kansas City has had some mid-round busts in that span though, the most notable being cornerback KeiVarae Russell. The defensive back had a few red flags coming into the 2016 draft. He was suspended from Notre Dame for academic dishonesty and then fractured his tibia after being readmitted for the 2015 season.

    Despite the injury, the Chiefs still felt Russell was worth a gamble in the third round that year. The move did not pan out for either party, as the corner simply struggled to grasp Kansas City’s defensive schemes and failed to show he was worth a spot on the team’s final roster.

    With his release, Russell became the first player selected within the first four rounds of the 2016 draft to be cut. He caught on with Cincinnati that offseason, playing 20 games over three years with the club. He most recently landed in Green Bay, where he has played in just one regular-season contest.

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    The Raiders wanted a huge, disruptive defensive tackle to bolster their defensive line going into the 2019 draft. They decided to invest heavily into getting Clemson star Clelin Ferrell to man that role for the squad, but so far Vegas hasn’t gotten much return on the No. 4 overall pick it used to select him.

    Ferrell hasn’t lived up to his billing as a top-five pick and even though he’s started 26 games since coming into the league, he has accrued only 6.5 sacks and 65 tackles in that span. To make matters worse, the defensive lineman suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the best game of his career—picking up a pair of strip sacks against the Jets in Week 13 last year—and wasn’t able to build on that performance.

    There is still plenty of time for Ferrell to get his career on track and show the type of playmaking ability from the trenches that made the Raiders pick him so early. Regardless, due to the slow start to his career, Las Vegas would likely do this pick over and select someone like Josh Allen, who was taken three picks later and recorded 10.5 sacks in his first season as a pro, to shore up a pass-rush that has been one of the weakest in the league.

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Chargers drafted Jerry Tillery No. 28 in 2019 to plug a big hole in the center of the defensive line. Unfortunately for the Bolts, Tillery hasn’t made a first-round impact.

    The 6’6″, 295-pound defensive tackle struggled as a rookie after coming back from an offseason shoulder injury, failing to progress and even ending up as a healthy scratch for a contest late in the campaign. He played just 36 percent of the defensive snaps that season, and although that number doubled last year, Tillery still didn’t make much of a leap in his sophomore showing.

    While Los Angeles installed Tillery as a starter for 11 of the 16 games he participated in, the defensive lineman only recorded 30 tackles and three sacks. He did see his pressures increase significantly—going from three to 20—but he still has a lot to prove.

    Tillery might still break out in his third year, but the Bolts haven’t yet gotten the type of return they would have liked from such a hefty investment.

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Rams have only made one first-round pick in the last five years, and it’s likely one they wish they could re-do. The team tabbed Jared Goff with the No. 1 selection in 2016 to be its franchise quarterback, but he never developed into the game-changing signal-caller.

    Goff’s first year with the Rams was one of the most miserable for a quarterback in recent memory. He went 0-7 as a starter, completing a paltry 54.6 percent of his passes for 1,089 yards and five touchdowns with seven interceptions and five fumbles. He looked like one of the biggest busts in history, but a coaching change the following year helped revitalize Goff’s career for a time.

    With Sean McVay at the reins, Goff posted respectable numbers in 2017 and 2018, going 24-7 with a 63.6 percent completion rate, 8,492 yards and 60 touchdowns against 19 interceptions. He helped L.A. get to Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 campaign but performed poorly against a smothering Patriots defense in a 13-3 loss.

    Goff and the Rams regressed following that defeat, as he went just 18-13 with 42 touchdowns and 29 interceptions in the last two seasons. The Rams traded him to the Lions along with a haul of draft capital for Matthew Stafford.

    While none of the first-round quarterbacks in 2016 panned out—Carson Wentz, the No. 2 pick that year, was recently traded after losing his starting job, and Paxton Lynch is already out of the league—the Rams could have selected a transcendent defender like Joey Bosa.

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    Brad Penner/Associated Press

    The Miami Dolphins landed pass-rushing prospect Charles Harris with No. 22 pick four years ago, likely hoping he would help pull the team out of its funk.

    His three-year tenure with the Dolphins proved Harris was anything but an impact player, however, as the Missouri product garnered just 3.5 sacks in 41 games for the club. The Dolphins eventually gave up on Harris in May 2020, accepting a seventh-round pick from Atlanta for the once-promising player.

    The Falcons got a career-best season out of Harris last year, but he still only recorded a trio of sacks in 13 games. He’s getting another chance to become more than just a rotational pass-rusher on a rebuilding Lions squad after signing with them in March, but Miami wasted a mid-first round selection on him.

    Given that a Pro Bowl tight end in Evan Engram was tapped one pick later by the Giants in 2017, the team would jump at the chance to re-do this selection.

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    At the back end of the first round in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings picked up Mike Hughes, who could seemingly not only cover well at cornerback but also add plenty of value as a return specialist.

    While Hughes has had his moments, he’s a bust after playing in 24 games and recording just 80 tackles and a pair of interceptions in three years. Injuries have plagued him throughout his career, as he saw action in just six games as a rookie and four contests last year. Even in 2019, when the corner played a career-high 14 games, he managed just three starts, 45 tackles and an interception.

    Add in a pair of neck injuries that have his ability to even return to the field in question, and you are looking at a draft selection that Minnesota likely wishes it could take a mulligan on.

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    It’s hard to call a receiver a bust who has had two different starting quarterbacks during his two years in the league, especially one who went from an offense built around Tom Brady to a run-heavy scheme with Cam Newton under center. Regardless, the New England Patriots’ N’Keal Harry needs to make a leap in 2021 to avoid the label.

    Harry started slowly after injuring his ankle during training camp of his rookie year, getting activated for the latter half of the campaign. He didn’t seem to gain Brady’s trust, though, seeing just 24 targets and catching 12 of them for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns in seven games. With Newton as his quarterback last year, Harry hauled in just 33 passes for 309 yards and two more touchdowns in 14 contests.

    Those numbers leave a lot to be desired, especially given he was the second wideout off the board in 2019. Players like A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf were still available at the time of New England’s selection.

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints made a massive splash during the 2018 draft to trade up from No. 27 to No. 14. There was speculation that the club was moving up to select Lamar Jackson to become Drew Brees’ heir, but the Saints instead shocked everyone by selecting Marcus Davenport.

    In the years since, the defensive end out of UTSA has hardly shown he was worthy of being a first-round pick at all, let alone a selection the Saints had to cough up not only the No. 27 pick and a fifth-rounder in 2018 for, but also a first-rounder in 2019 to acquire from Green Bay. It was a widely criticized move at the time, and history has not been kind to New Orleans for making it.

    Davenport hasn’t even cracked the starting rotation regularly during his three years in the NFL, playing in 37 games but starting just 14 of those contests. He’s accumulated just 12 sacks and 36 quarterback hits, hardly stats worthy of such a massive investment.

    The injury-prone defensive end never played more than 50 percent of New Orleans’ defensive snaps and went down to a career-low 36 percent in 2020, a troubling trend for someone who was supposed to push the Saints over the edge.

    Davenport still has a long way to go before the Saints could even begin to justify the trade. There is still hope, but it is quickly fading after a 1.5-sack campaign in 2020.

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    Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

    The New York Giants gave up fourth- and fifth-round selections in 2019 to jump up seven spots and select Deandre Baker No. 30. He hardly justified that deal with his play as a rookie—starting 15 of 16 games while recording 61 tackles, eight passes defensed and no interceptions.

    After Baker was arrested and charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm in May 2020, the Giants cut ties with him before the season began. However, all charges were later dropped. Regardless, New York basically gave up three picks to acquire a player who lasted just one season on the roster.

    The Chiefs picked him a few months later, and he appeared in just two games before breaking his femur.

    Despite the injury, Baker re-signed with Kansas City on a one-year February.

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    The New York Jets had their choice of every signal-caller in the 2018 class besides Baker Mayfield—who the Browns took No. 1—but settled on USC’s Sam Darnold to take over under center.

    The relationship never worked out, with Darnold suffering through three brutal years in New York before he was traded to Carolina this offseason for a trio of picks. The quarterback went just 13-25 as a starter, throwing nearly as many interceptions (39) as he did touchdowns (45).

    Given how dysfunctional the Jets have been, it’s hard to put all the blame on Darnold. Even if the Jets could get a re-do and take Josh Allen—who went to the Bills a few selections later—or Lamar Jackson, who fell to the end of the first round, there’s no guarantee they would have developed along the same path with the organization.

    It’s possible the Jets were holding back Darnold or vice versa, and we’ll likely find out as the 23-year-old could start for Carolina this year. 

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles offensive line has been among the worst in football over the last two years. The decision to take Andre Dillard No. 22 in 2019 was supposed to help improve that line, but so far the tackle hasn’t done enough to turn things around in the City of Brotherly Love.

    His time in Philadelphia began somewhat promisingly, as he played in all 16 games and started four because of injuries ahead of him on the depth chart. He still only managed to play 29 percent of the team’s offensive snaps that year, however, a relatively low number for such a high pick.

    It appeared Dillard would have a chance to break out in 2020 after he was penciled in as the club’s starting left tackle, but the Washington State product failed to see the field after suffering a torn biceps in the preseason.

    The Eagles may still have something in Dillard if he can return to the form that made him such a lofty draft pick just two years ago, but that is a huge question mark.

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    James Kenney/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers were in dire need of talent in their secondary in 2016 and used their first-round pick on Miami product Artie Burns.

    They appeared to have something after Burns snared three interceptions as a rookie, but he was also caught out of position often and made a handful of head-scratching mistakes. That isn’t unusual for a rookie corner, but Burns showed little improvement despite starting all 16 games in 2017.

    He made just one interception and had the same number of passes defensed (13) in his sophomore campaign as he did his first year. The mistakes continued to pile up and led to his seeing just 30 percent of the Steelers’ defensive snaps in 2018, down from 99 percent the season prior.

    Pittsburgh moved on from Burns after he fell out of favor in 2019, seeing just 66 snaps at cornerback despite being active for 10 contests. He landed with the Bears last August, but he soon suffered a torn ACL.

    While Burns re-upped with Chicago for 2021, his tenure with the Steelers is one fans would like to forget. They could have taken several other defensive backs with the No. 25 pick that year, including Xavien Howard and James Bradberry.

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    The San Francisco 49ers are looking for a franchise quarterback after the Jimmy Garoppolo trade failed to produce a star. The club may not even have needed to make that trade during the 2017 campaign had it gone with a QB instead of a defensive lineman in the 2017 draft.

    San Francisco made a franchise-altering mistake when it selected Solomon Thomas at No. 3 that year, forgoing the chance to select Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, a pair of superstar quarterbacks who came off the board later in the first round.

    To rub salt in the wound, Thomas has been a massive bust, as he has racked up just six sacks in 48 games. Despite being a disruptive playmaker at Stanford, Thomas has failed to make a successful transition to the pro game despite San Francisco giving him ample opportunity to do so in the form of 1,764 snaps over his first three years.

    Thomas finished his career with the club having suffered a torn ACL just two games into the 2020 campaign. He recently signed a deal with the Raiders, ending his tumultuous tenure in the Bay Area.

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Malik McDowell never played a single game for the team that drafted him No. 35 overall four years ago.

    It all started when the defensive tackle was involved in an ATV crash before training camp started during his rookie year. The Seahawks were hoping McDowell could recover and contribute in 2017, but the Michigan State product wound up getting arrested in September for a DUI and had numerous other run-ins with the law in the years following.  

    The team had seen enough by the 2018 offseason, opting to release McDowell in July. The defensive lineman eventually served jail time in 2019, but began attempting to make an NFL comeback last year. He has since worked out for the Dolphins and remains hopeful he’ll get a chance to play in the league at some point in the future.

    There is no more obvious mulligan candidate for Seattle in the last five years, however, and the team would likely take any other player who saw the field for at least a game instead of McDowell if it could do it over again.

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    It’s hard to justify taking any kicker in the second round of the draft, and it’s especially difficult to rationalize trading up to get one that early.

    Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they did exactly that back in 2016 when they flipped the No. 74 and No. 106 overall picks to move up to No. 59 to get Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo. The deal was a head-scratcher at the time and ended up being one of the most ill-fated draft day deals of all time.

    Aguayo lasted just a single season in Tampa after he made 22-of-31 field goals and 32-of-34 extra points. He looked far from the player that set collegiate records for accuracy, especially from longer distances. The Seminoles product made just four of his 11 attempts from 40 or more yards out, including missing his only 50-plus yard kick.

    The Bucs didn’t wait long to move on from Aguayo, cutting him the following preseason after Nick Folk beat him in a positional battle. The kicker never rekindled the form that made Tampa covet him in the 2016 draft, failing to appear in a regular season game in the years since despite tryouts with the Bears, Panthers, Chargers and Patriots.

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Isaiah Wilson is the only player from the 2020 draft class to appear on this list, but after the brutal start to the offensive tackle’s career, it is easy to see why he made the cut.

    Wilson was supposed to be a contender for Tennessee’s starting right tackle job after the team drafted him No. 29 overall last year, but the Georgia product ended up seeing the field for just three snaps in a single game during his rookie campaign.  

    It didn’t help that Wilson got a late start as the last unsigned player from the Titans’ crop of draftees and landed on the COVID-19/reserve list multiple times during the campaign, but his numerous off-field issues are what ultimately lead to him being traded last month.

    The trouble for Wilson began in August when he was warned for trespassing at Tennessee State University and continued in September when he was arrested for a DUI. He was suspended for a violation of team rules in December and was caught recklessly driving and was involved in a high-speed chase in January.

    The Titans were ready to move on after this string of incidents, flipping him to the Dolphins for a seventh-round pick in early March. Wilson lasted just three days in Miami before he was cut by the club and remains a free agent after several weeks on the open market.

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    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    The Washington Football Team made the decision to draft Dwayne Haskins in the middle of the first round two years ago, but a regime change and poor play spelled the end of the quarterback’s tenure with the organization less than two seasons into his pro career.

    Haskins had a rough start in his first season under head coach Jay Gruden, who finally put him on the field in Week 4 after Case Keenum struggled. The rookie kept the job despite a poor showing, going just 2-5 as a starter. Haskins completed only 58.6 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns while also giving up seven interceptions and fumbling six times in that span.

    Things didn’t get any better after Gruden was let go and the Ron Rivera era began in Washington. The new head coach gave Haskins a shot to prove himself, but the second-year signal-caller went just 1-5 as a starter and threw more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (five) while fumbling six more times.

    Haskins was benched multiple times during the 2020 campaign and ended up being released in December just a day after he was replaced by Taylor Heinicke during a contest against the Panthers. Haskins’ time in Washington ended almost as quickly as it began and it’s certainly a pick the club would recoup given the chance.

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