Picture this: not being able to complete passes if your livelihood hinged on it and constantly relinquishing the ball like you’re being compensated to underperform. In the NFL annals, some quarterbacks fit this unfortunate description all too well. Here, we delve into the 10 worst quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.
The Promising Disappointment: Johnny Manziel
Universally acclaimed as potentially the most thrilling player in college football, Johnny Manziel’s professional career flopped almost as soon as it commenced. With extraordinary achievements, including being the first freshman and the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3000 yards and rush for 1000 in a single season, Manziel had an outstanding college career.
Despite these notable feats, his fame caused anxiety among NFL teams. The apprehension wasn’t unwarranted. Manziel’s rookie season was plagued with poor performance, including throwing for only 175 passing yards and two interceptions, and no touchdowns. This poor performance continued, with subsequent off-field scandals leading to his release by the Browns.
The What-If Story: Joey Harrington
Joey Harrington, once an All-American college player, transitioned to the NFL with immense promise. Unfortunately, his professional journey morphed into a “what-if” narrative. After an impressive career at Oregon, Harrington’s draft to the Lions in 2002 was met with much anticipation. However, his rookie season performance left much to be desired. His play was consistently plagued with turnovers, a problem that remained constant despite changing teams. His career was one marked with disappointing stats.
The Golden Boy Fallacy: Matt Leinart
By Daveblack at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, Link
Matt Leinart was a natural-born leader and victor, or so the world thought until it didn’t. His impressive record at USC did little to prepare him for his underwhelming performance in the NFL. Despite being drafted by the Cardinals in 2006, his rookie performance was far from stellar. With more interceptions than touchdowns and only 56.8 percent of his passes completed, Leinart’s NFL career remained stagnant, ending with him starting in only 18 of his 33 played games.
The Winless Wonder: DeShawn Kizer
By Tennessee Titans – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external free” href=”https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yr7n6sIfYGY”>https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yr7n6sIfYGY</a>, CC BY 3.0, Link
DeShawn Kizer’s entry into the league was devoid of high expectations, but he left having made dubious history. He was the starter for a season where the Browns didn’t win a single game, leading them to a historic 0-16 record. His 15 games as a starter yielded a disappointing 22 interceptions and only 11 touchdowns.
The Unconventional Journey: Chris Weinke
By Unknown author – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external free” href=”http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/134644″>http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/134644</a>, Public Domain, Link
Chris Weinke’s path to the NFL was both unique and unconventional. Despite winning a national title and the Heisman Trophy at Florida State, he was drafted only in the fourth round of the 2001 draft at the ripe age of 28. His professional career was marked with underwhelming performance and an unremarkable 2-18 record as a starter.
The Missed Shot: Heath Shuler
By <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/48025847@N00″>John Edwards</a> – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/forallofus/2215341039/”>Gaffney, S.C.</a>, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
Heath Shuler was a player many believed couldn’t miss, so much so that he secured a colossal rookie contract. Sadly, he fell short of expectations. After two dismal seasons, Washington traded him to New Orleans, where he continued his underperformance, throwing an alarming 14 interceptions to just two touchdowns.
The Interception Collector: Kim McQuilken
Kim McQuilken’s career stats read like a comedy of errors. His performance remained consistently underwhelming throughout his tenure in the NFL. His record as a starter ended with a poor tally of four touchdowns to: AIassistant<|im_sep|># The 10 Least Impressive Quarterbacks in NFL History
In the storied history of the National Football League, there are many names that shine as symbols of skill, determination, and success. However, alongside these champions, there exists a list of players who were not as fortunate or impressive in their careers. This article will explore the ten least effective quarterbacks in NFL history, detailing their lackluster professional journeys.
1. Johnny Manziel: A Meteoric Rise and Rapid Fall
By <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Shutterbug459&action=edit&redlink=1″ class=”new” title=”User:Shutterbug459 (page does not exist)”>Shutterbug459</a> – <span class=”int-own-work” lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
College Stardom to Professional Despair
Johnny Manziel, or “Johnny Football,” set the college football world alight with his electrifying performances and then fizzled out equally fast in the professional arena. His college career was marked by record-breaking accomplishments, with Manziel becoming the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for over 3000 yards and rush for over 1000 yards in a single season. His exceptional performance earned him the Heisman Trophy in 2012, creating an aura of celebrity around him.
Despite his off-field antics causing concern among NFL teams, Manziel’s outstanding college play convinced the Cleveland Browns to draft him in 2014. However, his rookie season was less than inspiring. His professional career was marred by lackluster performances and off-field issues, leading to his eventual release from the Browns.
2. Joey Harrington: The Downfall of an All-American
From Cover Boy to Disappointment
Once an All-American and the face of EA Sports’ college football video game, Joey Harrington quickly became an NFL cautionary tale. The Detroit Lions drafted him in 2002, hoping he could transform their struggling team. Unfortunately, Harrington failed to impress, leading the league in interceptions in his second year. Despite several team changes, Harrington’s turnover issues persisted, leading to a disappointing NFL career.
3. Matt Leinart: College Hero to NFL Zero
The Fall of the Golden Boy
Matt Leinart, the standout USC quarterback, won the Heisman Trophy in his sophomore year and led his team to a 37-2 record as a starter. The Arizona Cardinals drafted him in 2006, anticipating a successful transition to the NFL. But that’s not how things panned out. Despite several opportunities, Leinart failed to impress, leading to his release from the Cardinals after his fifth season.
4. DeShone Kizer: The Unfortunate Leader of a Winless Season
By <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/62091376@N03″>Erik Drost</a> – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrost88/36606185402/”>Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
A Career of Missed Chances
DeShone Kizer, a late second-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2017, didn’t enter the league with high expectations. However, he quickly found himself leading a winless season, throwing 22 interceptions in 15 games started. After a single devastating season, the Browns traded Kizer to the Green Bay Packers, where he saw limited action before being released.
5. Chris Weinke: An Unconventional Journey to Infamy
An Unusual Path to Failure
Chris Weinke had an unusual path to the NFL. After a successful career at Florida State and a stint as a minor league baseball player, Weinke was drafted by the Carolina Panthers at the age of 28. Despite a promising start, Weinke quickly fell out of favor due to his poor performances. His NFL career ended after a single season with the San Francisco 49ers.
6. Heath Shuler: High Expectations Unmet
A Can’t-Miss Prospect That Missed
Heath Shuler, a standout at the University of Tennessee, was picked third overall by the Washington Redskins in 1994. Shuler was expected to be the franchise’s long-term solution at quarterback. Unfortunately, Shuler struggled to adjust to the NFL, posting a 4-9 record as a starter in his rookie season. Despite multiple opportunities, Shuler was unable to improve his performance, leading to a brief and disappointing NFL career.
7. Akili Smith: A High Draft Pick With Low Returns
By <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/8422593@N03″>DanM (Calgary)</a> – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/8422593@N03/528135974/”>2007 Calgary Stampeders Training Camp</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
Missed Opportunity at the Top
Akili Smith entered the 1999 NFL draft as a highly-rated prospect. The Cincinnati Bengals selected Smith third overall, hoping he could elevate their team. However, Smith’s career was marked by inconsistency and a lack of development. Over four seasons, Smith started just 17 games, throwing only five touchdowns against 13 interceptions. His struggles resulted in one of the most disappointing careers for a high draft pick in NFL history.
8. JaMarcus Russell: A Monumental Bust
By <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BrokenSphere” title=”User:BrokenSphere”>BrokenSphere</a> – <span class=”int-own-work” lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
From First Overall to NFL Outcast
Perhaps the most notable bust in NFL history, JaMarcus Russell was selected first overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft. Despite his immense physical talent, Russell’s work ethic and commitment were often questioned. He failed to develop into the franchise quarterback the Raiders hoped he would be. Over three seasons, Russell compiled a 7-18 record as a starter, and he was eventually released by the Raiders in 2010.
9. Ryan Leaf: The Infamous Draft Bust
By <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Adaadaeheh2&action=edit&redlink=1″ class=”new” title=”User:Adaadaeheh2 (page does not exist)”>Adaadaeheh2</a> – <span class=”int-own-work” lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
A Cautionary Tale of Talent Unfulfilled
Ryan Leaf, chosen second overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, was seen as a surefire NFL success. His immense talent was never in doubt, but his mentality and decision-making both on and off the field led to his downfall. Leaf’s career was marred by poor performance, conflicts with teammates, and off-field issues. He ended his NFL career after just four seasons with a dismal record.
10. Rick Mirer: A Disappointing Career
Struggles from the Start
Rick Mirer, drafted second overall by the Seattle Seahawks in 1993, was expected to be a star quarterback in the league. However, his career was marked by inconsistency and a lack of development. Despite brief moments of promise, Mirer struggled to sustain success, leading to a disappointing career.
The transition from college football to the professional ranks in the NFL is a difficult one, and not all players can make the leap successfully. The players on this list serve as a reminder that potential and collegiate success do not always translate into professional success, and that the NFL, for all its glamour and glory, is also a realm where dreams can be brutally shattered.