So last week I decided to write about the 5 biggest studs in the NFL Draft and then that got me thinking, which rookies have performed the worst for their draft position? As I do every Sunday, I was watching a couple of NFL Games and then it hit me, no single first round pick has been already labeled a bust, but there are many who have underperformed greatly so let's go through the biggest underachievers from the first round of the NFL Draft.
Sam Darnold hasn't been that bad this season; he's shown flashes of brilliance showing why he was the 3rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, but he's also showed why many analysts questioned the New York Jets trading Teddy Bridgewater and starting Darnold from the first game. As the third pick of the NFL draft, Darnold was expected (if he started and he did end up starting) to lead this Jets team that has been not the greatest, to put it kindly, over the last couple of years, but Darnold hasn't been able to lead the Jets to many wins. Darnold keeps throwing interceptions in games, which was one of his biggest weaknesses in college and sometimes he panics with the ball if no receiver is open. Darnold has all the traits to be a great QB like a strong arm and accurate throws, but he just needs to improve his ball security and decision making if he wants to not be called a bust in the future.
I know, I know, Josh Allen was meant to be a long term project so how can I consider him underachieving? Well, I'm talking about players who underachieved based on their draft pick and since Allen was picked 7th in the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, he is underachieving as the 7th pick is supposed to be a difference maker. It always perplexed me why Allen was picked 7th over the likes of Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson. Josh Allen does have an insanely strong arm, possibly the strongest in the NFL, but he's so inaccurate, it's hard to watch. Allen misses simple throws sometimes. throws interceptions consistently, and fumbles the ball at an alarming rate. The one great Allen has shown though throughout the season is his ability to get outside the pocket and run the ball when under pressure. As Allen is most definitely a project, he gets some leeway on underachieving, but still being the 7th pick, he should be a game changer. Allen still has time to improve so don't worry Bills fans, but if this continues he's going to be considered a bust .
DJ Moore shot up draft board during the NFL Draft and was the second receiver selected after Calvin Ridley. Moore was supposed to make an instant impact for the Carolina Panthers who had a great need for wide receivers, but throughout this season Moore is unable to consistently prove that he is the best receiving option for the Panthers. Moore has shown that he has the potential to be great in a couple of games, but there are many players who are good for couple of games; it's hard to be good the whole season. Until Moore proves he can consistently be good and not just ever 5 games, he's going to be considered an underachiever and a potential bust.
I don't get why Josh Rosen is dancing. His team, the Arizona Cardinals, is 2-8 which is the worst record in the league; they've lost to the worst teams in the league and have only beat the San Fransico 49ers twice. Rosen claimed that he would help Arizona win and he hasn't done that at all. Not all of this can be blamed on him though. His coach has been horrific at calling offensive plays, but the thing is Rosen is a smart enough QB to still make good plays in a bad system. He has Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and David Johnson. All of these players are big playmakers in the passing and running games, but it is unacceptable that Rosen can only win two games with this above-average offense. Rosen told the haters that he was picked way too late in the draft, but he's not proving why he was on the field. Rosen makes nice throws and is probably the most accurate rookie quarterback after Baker Mayfield, but he's not making game-changing plays which is what he needs to work on. I always liked Rosen as a player and I hope he steps up his game for the rest of his career because I definitely want to see him play more and prove that he wasn't just good in college.
Vita Vea has been basically non-existent this year. Being the 12th pick on a horrible Buccaneers defense, Vea was supposed to help them improve, but instead he has just been taking away time from potential players who could make a real impact. Vea in college showed that he was a wrecking ball the offenses fear; he could sack the QB, make tackles for losses, and even force fumbles, but none of these skills seem to have translated into the NFL yet. Vea often times looks lost on the defensive line that does not have that many great players. It's impossible to write exactly what Vea has been lacking in because the fact is that he has been lacking everywhere. Vea needs to use his big body and start tackling and overpowering his opponents otherwise by next year, he'll be labeled a bust.