Being a professional NFL player can’t possibly be an easy job, but sometimes players make us wonder how they ended up in the NFL to begin with. Keep reading to see those players that we just can’t understand sometimes, but we love them anyway.
Garret Bolles had a rather difficult transition into the NFL. He was expected to be the bookend tackle for the next decade, but his job might be in jeopardy after his rough start in the 2019 season. In the past two years, his Utah native earned 26 holding penalties. It has gotten so bad that John Elway called him out on radio. When your own boss bashes you in public, you know that things are not going well at all.
Solomon Thomas was up high on the draft boards before he was selected in 2017. Scouts drooled over his versatility as an interior lineman, edge rusher, and a defensive end. This former Stanford legend has not been doing great, however. It is his third year and he has only earned career totals of 14.0 TFL and 5.0 sacks. While not bad, we expected more from a top-five pick! During the ’19 draft, the 49ers decided to get another defensive lineman in the form of Nick Bosa.
Taco Charlton was a pass-rushing legend at Michigan, so there were high expectations for him when he joined the defensive line of the Cowboys. Sadly, they were not met. In two years, he only got 4.0 sacks and 8.0 TFL to his name. He recently got cut by Dallas, although Miami picked him up soon after that.
Corey Coleman was another high-ranking pick, so he was projected to be a huge threat. Cleveland was thrilled to hear of his physical gifts. At the moment, his season-high is 413 receiving yards. He has never caught over 33 passes in a single year. Now 25 years old, he has joined four teams in four years.
Doctson had been playing underwhelmingly. This receiver was pegged to be a top athlete. After his rookie season got interrupted by an injury, he had a combined 79 receptions for 1,034 yards in the next two years. Those aren’t bad, but the teams expected more from this first-round pick. The Vikings placed him on the IR with a hamstring injury. It is starting to look like he might not have an NFL team soon.
Lynch had every chance to live up to the expectations Denver fans had for him. Even though John Elway personally picked him, he failed terribly. He did not have good timing with his receivers. Many found his attempts to spread the ball to others had been shaky at best. He recently got signed by the practice squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers. We hope that this is going to work out better for the 25-year-old.
White was a ‘workout warrior’ that teams like to avoid. This athletic player had enough promise to be an All-Pro in the future. Sadly, he kept pulling his hamstrings, which led to only 14 games in 5 seasons. He never caught over 19 passes in one season. Sadly, the 6’3” failed to live up to the hype. The Cardinals recently gave him the ax so that they could sign Michael Crabtree instead.
We are not ready to call him a bust just yet, although things seem to be headed that way. Any receiver in the top 10 should at least be Pro Bowl-level talented. He joined the league while dealing with health issues, and many have doubts if he can keep playing on the field. Last year, he was able to accumulate 65 catches for 891 yards. Tennessee hopes that he will keep growing as a player.
His off-the-field problems have been documented very well. After two seasons, SF had to cut bait with this volatile linebacker. Reuben Foster tore multiple ligaments in his knee during the first practice match with the Washington Redskins. We are sure that we are not the only ones to think that he is a bust.
Anthony has had quite a bizarre career. He had a great college career and was picked by the Saints during the first round. As a rookie, he was fantastic. He started 16 games and notched 112 tackles, which made people think he would be a Pro Bowler in the future. Sadly, his sophomore was plagued with injuries. He got traded over to Miami. In the past two years, he notched 22 tackles. The Jets signed him in mid-August but released him in less than two weeks.
This giant receiver from Ole Miss was unable to replicate his glory during his college days. He was there for Treadwell as a productive receiver. Sadly, his career had been plagued by injury and inconsistency. He was the only one of the six Vikings receivers picked in the first round to have played three seasons without getting 1,000 receiving yards or more. He only has 56 receptions for 517 yards and a single touchdown in three years.
There was lots of hype around Parker when he entered the NFL. This Louisville talent was lauded for his body control, athleticism, and hand-eye coordination. Sadly, he has been unable to show it off for Miami. Now in his 5th year in the league, he has never had over 744 receiving yards in one season. He only has 9 touchdowns since he started as well. Now 26, it is unlikely he would become an elite receiver.
Perriman was a first-round pick primarily for his straight-line speed. As a receiver, he lacks polish. It is thought to be the reason he has been unable to stick around. Now in his fourth year, he is already on his fourth team. It seems possible that he will soon run out of teams who will take a chance on his talents.
Garnett is interesting because a lot of people were under the impression that the Stanford alum would be a sure thing. He had great physical tools, came from a run-heavy offense, and displayed intelligence on the field. Sadly, he only played three seasons with the 49ers. He had a promising rookie year, but his career suffered after he got back-to-back injuries. San Francisco cut him off in August, leaving him with no team.
Hackenberg earned a reputation as a star player when he was in high school. The highly-touted recruit was not at his best when he went to Penn State, although no one will deny his good physical tools. He was drafted by the Jets in the hopes of saving the franchise. Two years later, he was traded to Oakland even though he never played on the field. He would go on to join the Raiders, Bengals, and Eagles before playing for the Memphis Express in the AAF. He is without a job at the moment.
The Jake Fisher story is an odd case. He came out of Oregon as a super-athletic right tackle salted to protect Andy Dalton for years. A lot of people were thrilled about his ability to move laterally and his tendency to get up the field. However, he suffered a number of injuries and failed to pan out. The past offseason, he managed to lose enough weight to transition into a blocking tight end. Buffalo took him in, although he got released in the find. Now 26 years old, he is currently without a team.
Malik McDowell was drafted during the second round. Fresh out of Michigan State, he was expected to be a good player under the defensive tutelage of Pete Carroll. Sadly, self-sabotaging incidents kicked him out of the sport altogether. Before his rookie season began, he got into an ATV accident. This was the reason he never played for the Seahawks. In the last couple of years, he has been arrested a total of four times. The most recent one involved him physically fighting a cop. He is only 23 years old!
Ronald Jones II
Ronald Jones had been an excellent running back when he was with the USC Trojans. He was known for his acceleration and ability to make others miss. Tampa Bay held hope that he would be something like their very own Jamaal Charles. Sadly, he has yet to live up to that expectation. In his rookie season, he rushed for 44 yards on 23 carries. It is not too late for him, but he needs to catch up sooner than later.
The Carolina Panthers wanted to give Cam Newton perimeter talent and drafted this receiver from Michigan. Devin Funchess made a name for himself thanks to his ball skills and leaping ability. Five years after he was drafted, it is safe to say that he has been mediocre thus far. He only had one season where he managed to eclipse the 800-yard mark. It is considering that he has only played all 16 games once.
Eric Rowe was picked during the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, it only took a year before he got traded to New England. Even though he has two Super Bowl titles to his name during his time with the Pats, he struggled when it came to penalties and coverage. He had no choice but to become a reserve instead of a starter player. He failed to live up to his potential, which is why he made it to our list. Now 27 years old, he currently plays for the Miami Dolphins.
Let us just say that Ereck Flowers has been a bit of a train wreck. A top-10 pick, he was unable to become an above-average player when he was a starter for the Giants. He simply failed to live up to the expectations New York had for him after they nabbed him right out of the University of Miami. After his back-to-back stints with New York and Jacksonville, he is now playing for the Washington Redskins. After taking note of his limitations on the field, he was moved to the guard position instead.
Everyone is bound to pay attention to you when you are picked by the Patriots during the first round of the draft. Isaiah Wynn was the first offensive lineman chosen in the first round by the Patriots since 2011. He was only the third one since 2000 as well. This tackle-guard hybrid seemed like he was the perfect match for the lacking offensive line of the team. In his rookie year, he tore his Achilles in the preseason. In the second week of the 2019 season, he became an injured reserve by week 10 after suffering a toe injury. Even though he is still promising, the state of his health seems like a red flag.
Robert Nkemdiche was rated as the top prospect to come out of high school. He attended Ole Miss and failed to prove everyone right. Arizona decided to take a chance on him at the end of the first round of the 2016 draft. Even though he was brimming with promise, he has failed to improve his unsavory reputation. In the three years he spent with the Cardinals, he registered a total of 32 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The team turned down his fifth-year option and cut him off after he failed a physical. He now plays for the Miami Dolphins, although he is sitting it out this year until he recovers from his knee injury.
Shane Ray was a pass-rushing star who was nearing the end of his college days at Mizzou. Denver hoped that this outside linebacker- defensive end hybrid would transition to the big leagues without any issues. In the four seasons he spent with the Broncos, he notched a total of 15.0 tackles-for-loss and 14.0 sacks. While not the worse, the Broncos certainly hoped to see more from him. He was released by Denver three wrist surgeries later. The Ravens signed him this offseason, although he got released on the last day of cuts. Now 26 years old, he is presently in need of a team.
Josh Rosen is not a player without any talent. Perhaps it is more apt to call him a victim of circumstance. Every player knows that much of their success is dictated by their current environment. Rosen had to play behind a terrible offensive line in the Cardinals. He is now in an even worse one in the Dolphins. Some might even call the current Miami lineup the worst one the NFL has ever seen. We cannot blame him if he is unable to bring out his A-game in these trying times.
Though Bradford was signed on for a one-year, $20 million deal, he only lasted for three games before the Arizona Cardinals pulled him off of the lineup. In the three games he played in, he only scored two touchdowns and four interceptions. He didn’t last long on the team and the Arizona Cardinals definitely did not come out ahead on this deal.
Vic Beasley entered into his NFL with very high expectations hovering over him, and unfortunately, he hasn’t pulled through with those expectations. In 2015 he was drafted eighth overall in the entire NFL draft, but since then he has been mostly a disappointment. Many people say that they wouldn’t be surprised if he got cut by the Atlanta Falcons soon.
Hayden Hurst was picked 26th overall in the NFL draft, but his popularity quickly declined. He was out of commission for four weeks with a foot injury, and since coming back, he hasn’t made much of an impression on fans. He’s only had 11 catches and 120 yards in 11 games, and in all of this, he has only scored one touchdown. Not so impressive, if you ask us.
Though Charles Clay used to be one of the best players on the Buffalo Bills, he has been barely recognizable in recent seasons. For the fact that he’s making about $9 million a season, slacking and not doing such a great job on the field isn’t really an option. We’re thinking that the Buffalo Bills will be ready to let him go soon.
The less-than-impressive performance of Cameron Artis-Payne has made it difficult for the rest of his team, the Carolina Panthers, to pull their weight along this season. The backup players hardly catch a break because they are picking up his slack. In eight games, Artis-Payne has only successfully carried out three carries and one reception. We hope he will improve soon.
The Chicago Bears got stuck with the short end of the stick in this situation, as they had not much of a choice in keeping Dion Sims for another season. 4 out of his 6 million dollar salary kicked in during mid-March, so they would have lost a ton of money had they let him go. In 2019 he is only guaranteed $300,000 of his salary, so we think the Bears will cut him loose shortly.
The Cincinnati Bengals have suffered a bad season due to many things, injuries being one of them, but another being the short-fallings of some of their players. Bobby Hart has been flagged fourteen times this season, nine of which were for false starts. He allowed 33 sacks throughout 15 games, which is surprisingly less than last season.
Though Austin Corbett hardly even gets any action to begin with, he’s easily one of Cleveland’s least-treasured players. When the Cleveland Browns drafted him, they thought he would be coming onto the team to play a huge role in their offensive line, but unfortunately, they were mistaken.
Tavon Austin was part of the Dallas Cowboys’ significant attempt to revamp their lineup, but amongst a few other players, Austin’s performance fell short of impressive and the Cowboys were quite unpleased with their drafting decision. While Tavon Austin has some incredible skills, mostly in his speed, he lacks other skills, like athletic ability.
The Denver Broncos took a risk by drafting Su’a Cravens in the offseason because he hadn’t played football since 2016, and he turned out to be a disaster of a pick. The Broncos are not shy about the fact that they are unhappy with their draft. Cravens even opened up about it and said that if they think they can do better without him then they should. We wouldn’t be surprised if they kick him to the curb soon.
Though everyone already knew Teez Tabor wasn’t that great at football, the Detroit Lions took a gamble and drafted him anyway. Thus far, Tabor has not proven himself to the Lions. Because of his lack of effort on the field, he has been left out of plays and kept on the sidelines. We’re really not sure how much longer he’ll last.
For his first few years playing for the Green Bay Packers, Nick Perry was one of the most underrated players. Once Mike Pettine joined the team, however, Perry had a hard time adjusting to his new teammate. He was placed on the injured list in November after hurting his knee, and prior to this, he didn’t have very impressive statistics. He hardly earned his $10.75 million cap this year.
The Houston Texans offensive line is one of the worst in the football league. Even so, Julie’n Davenport, who was a fourth-round pick for the Texans, has been a huge disappointment on the team. He has been flagged 15 times this season, which is almost literally record-breaking! He’s struggling majorly, and if he doesn’t improve soon, he will continue to be a liability for the team and may not last.
Ryan Grant has not proven his worth so far on the Indianapolis Colts. He has a maximum of one catch in five separate games- which is far from impressive- and has had 25 or fewer receiving yards in each of the past eight games. For the fact that he signed onto a $5 million contract, he should try to improve his skills so he doesn’t get the boot soon.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ past season was pretty much just a big disappointment in general, but their quarterback didn’t help the situation. Blake Bortles signed a three-year $54 million contract, and for that much money, he is not earning it properly. He has only completed 60 percent of his passes and has 14 turnovers. Some say that Blake Bortles is one of the main reasons the Jaguars did so poorly last year.