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Top 5 NFL Draft Busts Since 2008

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Top 5 NFL Draft Busts Since 2008

Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is a difficult challenge to undertake. If it were an easy, predictable task that people perfected, then the Oakland Raiders would have taken Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson instead of JaMarcus Russell.

Moreover, if it was a perfected art, then Tom Brady would have been selected by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. Instead, the Browns selected Courtney Brown — a defensive end from Penn State-- and they resumed their draft woes that continued after they drafted Tim Couch.

When assessing the top 10 picks of 2011, which is arguably the best first round of recent memory, 6 out of 10 players selected have been to the Pro Bowl. And, J.J. Watt — another Pro Bowler — was selected with the 11th overall pick.

Then, in the 2009 NFL Draft, only six players out of the first 32 selected have gone to the Pro Bowl. Moreover, another seven — Jason Smith, Aaron Curry, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Aaron Maybin, Vontae Davis, Percy Harvin and Beanie Wells — players selected in the first round are no longer with the original team that drafted them.

It is the intent of this slideshow to analyze the biggest draft blunders ever committed since the 2008 NFL Draft. Some selections had “bust” labeled on them upon selection, while others came as a surprise.

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5. Vernon Gholston

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Vernon Gholston never materialized into the defensive force that was envisioned by the New York Jets.

Gholston was an athlete who impressed at the combine — running a 4.58 forty-yard dash at a weight of 266 lbs. Also, his strength was made present when he bench-pressed 225 pounds for 37 repetitions.

Despite his athleticism, Gholston never developed and has yet to register a sack at the professional level. Moreover, he only has 42 career tackles over the span of three seasons with the Jets.

Currently a free agent, Gholston has recently been through stints with the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

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4. Derrick Harvey

Rob Foldy- USA TODAY Sports

Contrary to what many draft analysts say, thriving in the rigorous South Eastern Conference in the NCAA does not guarantee NFL success. This was the case for Derrick Harvey, who was selected a mere two picks after Gholston in the 2008 NFL Draft.

A defensive end from Florida, Harvey was a sheer wrecking force in college — receiving MVP honors in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game.

But, Harvey disappointed on the NFL level — only tallying 92 tackles and 8.0 sacks over the course of four professional seasons.

Harvey is currently a free agent.

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3. Rolando McClain

Mark J. Rebilas- USA TODAY Sports

This is a puzzling addition to the list, because McClain did show true promise during his three seasons with the Raiders.

Over the span of three seasons, McClain totaled 244 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and one interception — definitely not horrendous numbers. But McClain’s issue was his inability to avoid legal repercussion as a result of his generally unscrupulous off-the-field behavior.

In the 2013 Offseason, it was thought that McClain was going to receive a second chance with the Baltimore Ravens. But, that chance was self-ended when McClain was arrested once again — the former Alabama linebacker retired shortly after the arrest.

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2. Jerry Hughes

Debby Wong- USA TODAY Sports

Touted as a fierce outside linebacker from Texas Christian University, Hughes made the All-American squad during the 2008 and the 2009 seasons. Moreover, his fleet of foot — running a 4.56 forty-yard dash — and his size — 255 lbs. — made him seem like an ideal NFL prospect for teams looking to add some ferocity to their defenses.

Now with the Buffalo Bills, Hughes hasn’t seen a substantial amount of playing time after being selected 31st overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 NFL Draft. His current totals are: 62 tackles and 5.0 sacks over the course of three seasons with the Colts.

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1. Blaine Gabbert

Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

With Andrew Luck opting to remain in school for another season, Gabbert was believed by many to be the best quarterback going into the 2011 NFL Draft. Selected 10th overall in 2011, Gabbert has been abysmal during his first two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Moreover, many of his previous coaches have publicly criticized the quarterback as one who does not take credit for his mistakes.

Over the past two seasons, Gabbert’s quarterback rating has been a 70.2 and his completion percentage has sat at a horrendous 53.8 percent.

With a new head coach and the fact that he lost his job to Chad Henne in 2012, it is assumed that Gabbert has taken his final snap as a starter for the Jaguars.