When they came into the NFL arena, they were considered to be one of the best coming in. They include All Americans and stars from the college and high school arena, players who were destined for greatness from the word go. However, somewhere along their journey to greatness, these players fell through a gap and today, they are “has beens” who could never be there to do that. Here’s a look at ten such NFL players who were touted for greatness, but fell miserably short.
10. Bo Jackson
Less than 2800 yards in four seasons followed by a career-ending hip injury meant that this fantastic two-sport athlete would never get his career off to the fantastic heights that his college career suggested.
09. Art Schlichter
A Big Ten Conference MVP and the overall fourth pick at the 1982 NFL Draft, Schlichter failed to make Rookie of the Year. However, that wouldn’t be his biggest concern as poor play and a gambling addiction saw him get thrown out of the NFL before you could say “Schlichter”.
08. Ricky Williams
He was a two-time Doal Walker award winner as well as a Heisman Trophy recipient. That made expectations off Williams even higher. After running 1,000 yards, twice, for New Orleans and then 1,800 yards for the Dolphins, the troubles began. Williams tested positive for Marijuana thrice and then decided to retire from the NFL. He moved to the CFL and has moved back to the Dolphins but is hardly the player he was.
07. Gino Torretta
Despite 3,000 yards in his final year and a Heisman Trophy, along with the Davey O’Brien, Johnny Unitas and Maxwell awards, Torretta came into the professional game without much hoopla. He was a 7th round pick and played for 5 different teams in five seasons. He retired after just five seasons and took up entrepreneurship instead.
06. Rashaan Salaam
He began his college career slowly but suddenly shot to fame with over 2000 yards and a Heisman Trophy in his final year. Salaam began his NFL career in much the same way, with flamboyance. He had more than 1,000 running yards in his rookie season, playing for the Chicago Bears. However, drugs, injuries and fumbles combined to create a rather poor career, meaning Salaam would be released by the Bears. The Cleveland Browns picked him up but after just two games, Salaam was forced to bounce around different teams and leagues, ending his career in 2004.
05. Archie Griffin
In the history of college football, there is only one player to have won the Heisman Trophy on more than one occasion – Archie Griffin. With over 1300 yards in his last three seasons for Columbus, Griffin led the Big Ten conference for three seasons in a row. With more than 100 yards 34 times during his career, Griffin was a first round pick at the 1976 NFL Draft. For 7 seasons, the NFL saw an average Griffin before he moved onto the USFL.
04. Jason White
In 2003, he won the Heisman Trophy and then decided to stay on in college to win the Davey O’Brien Award twice in a row. He won the Johnny Unitas Award as well as the Maxwell Award on the way to becoming the all time leader in passing yardage & touchdown throws at the Oklahoma Sooners. However, several knee injuries and numerous reconstructions later, White was not paid much attention during the NFL draft. He spent just a little time with the Tennessee Titans before retiring from the game for good.
03. Andre Ware
The first African-American player to win the Heisman Trophy, Andre Ware threw more than 4,600 yards and had over 24 NCAA records during his time. After being picked in the first round at the 1990 draft, by the Detroit Lions, Ware played just 14 games over four seasons. He went on to play, extremely briefly with the Raiders before moving onto the CFL. Four teams in four years later, Ware returned to college football as an analyst for ESPN.
02. Gary Beban
He was UCLA Bruin’s one and only Heisman Trophy winner and was a three-time All-PAC Conference selection. Beban was in inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and was drafted in the second round of the 1968 NFL draft. During his two year career, Beban threw just one pass in five games and retired to start his own business.
01. Terry Baker
The first Heisman Trophy winner to flop in the NFL, Baker threw nearly 3,500 yards and ran more than 1,500 yards while scoring 38 touchdowns. He was the 1962 Liberty Bowl MVP and also won the Maxwell Award as well as the Heisman Trophy that year. He joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1963 and due to an inadequate coach, was underutilized. He would end up starting just one game, throwing over 200 career yards and making 4 interceptions. Truly the biggest bust in the history of the sport!