The AFC West division has seen many players come and go such as Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers. Nowadays fans are accustomed to seeing players like Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.
The AFC West has one of the most dominating quarterbacks of the past five years in Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. The AFC West also has one the NFL’s best rising stars in Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers. Finally the AFC West has one of the most promising quarterback and wide receiver duos in Derek Carr and Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders.
In this article we will look at each AFC West team’s biggest draft bust of all time and see why they flopped.
Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch
The Denver Broncos selected quarterback Paxton Lynch with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Memphis. The Broncos were trying to find a replacement for the newly retired Peyton Manning.
Lynch barely had any playing time in the NFL at all. Lynch started just four games and won only one of those four. Following the 2017 season Lynch was cut by the Broncos and never saw the field in the NFL again.
Kansas City Chiefs: Todd Blackledge
The Kansas City Chiefs selected quarterback Todd Blackledge with the seventh overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Todd Black ledge is most known for being wrongly selected before quarterbacks like Dan Marino and Jim Kelly. Marino and Kelly went on to have great careers and Blackledge wound up as a bust.
While Blackledge is not the worst draft bust on this list, he did have the biggest impact for the Chiefs. In five seasons with Kansas City he started 24 games and to his credit he won 13 of those games. Blackledge may not be the worst draft bust of all time, but he was selected over a lot of players who turned out to have better careers than he did.
Los Angeles Chargers: Ryan Leaf
The former San Diego Chargers selected quarterback Ryan Leaf with the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft out of Washington State. Ryan Leaf might be the worst draft pick of all time, he is certainly the Chargers worst draft pick.
Ahead of the 1998 NFL draft it was a debate between two quarterbacks Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning and which would be selected with the first overall pick. The Colts held the first pick and wound up choosing Peyton Manning and so Leaf fell to the Chargers at the second pick.
When the season started Leaf won his first two starts, then disaster struck Leaf threw 15 interceptions to just two touchdowns for the rest of the season and the Chargers lost the rest of the games he started that year.
Throughout his career Leaf had drug problems and this frustrated veteran Chargers players like Junior Seau. Leaf’s most famous moment has to be when he yelled at a reporter then gave a half hearted apology written on a piece of paper.
Las Vegas Raiders: JaMarcus Russell
The former Oakland Raiders selected quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of LSU. If Ryan Leaf is the biggest bust in NFL history JaMarcus Russell is right there with him.
Russell was selected first overall for being a physical freak of a quarterback. At 6,6 265 pounds Russell could throw a ball over 50 yards on one knee. The Raiders saw this and quickly drafted Russell out of LSU.
Russell held out before training camp, so the Raiders signed him to the highest rookie contract in NFL history. This turned out to be a huge mistake for the Raiders. Russell only started 25 games and won only seven of those games. Russell completed a measly 52 percent of his passes and finished his career with a 20 percent QBR.