2005 FIRST-ROUND BUSTS
Posted by Mike Florio on May 7, 2008, 9:54 p.m.
Earlier this week, we went through the top half of the first round of the 2005 draft and declared whether each player was a bust or not a bust. The full list, including the back half, appears below.
1. Alex Smith, quarterback, *****: When the first overall pick is competing three years later with Shaun Hill and J.T. O’Sullivan for the starting job, that’s by definition a BUST.
2. Ronnie Brown, running back, Dolphins: After a so-so first year, Brown has been solid. A torn ACL derailed his opportunity to have a strong third year. Though he hasn’t lived up to the billing of the No. 2 overall pick, we’re not yet ready to call him a bust. (But we could be after 2008.)
3. Braylon Edwards, receiver, Browns: Edward is becoming one of the best receivers in the league. Clearly, not a bust.
4. Cedric Benson, running back, Bears: He’s been a disappointment on the field, and his arrest conjures memories of past incidents in college. Without question, he’s a BUST.
5. Cadillac Williams, running back, Buccaneers: Williams made a huge splash as a rookie, but can’t stay healthy. After rupturing a patellar tendon in 2007, he might not play again. If he does, he might never be the same. Based on his top-five selection, he’s a BUST.
6. Pacman Jones, cornerback, Titans: Do we even have to type the word?
7. Troy Williamson, receiver, Vikings: We once tried to throw Williamson a compliment, but he dropped that, too. BUST.
8. Antrel Rolle, cornerback, Cardinals: When a cornerback might be shifted to safety at only age 25, it’s not because he’s a great cornerback. BUST.
9. Carlos Rogers, cornerback, Redskins: He’s on the path to being declared a bust. We’ll give him one more year.
10. Mike Williams, receiver, Lions: Maybe he wouldn’t have been a BUST if the Lions had made him an offensive lineman.
11. DeMarcus Ware, linebacker, Cowboys: A 2006 Pro Bowl + a 2007 Pro Bowl = not a bust.
12. Shawne Merriman, linebacker, Chargers: He could still be a bust if he gets suspended again for steroids (or blown up on a regular basis by a pint-sized running back); for now, though, Merriman is clearly not a bust.
13. Jammal Brown, tackle, Saints: The Pro Bowler in 2006 slipped a bit last year, and the Saints were rumored to be shopping him. Still, he’s not a bust.
14. Thomas Davis, safety/linebacker, Panters: He’s not spectacular, but he started 16 games in 2007. Not a bust.
15. Derrick Johnson, linebacker, Chiefs: Johnson made a splash as a rookie and hasn’t taken it quite to the next level in two years since, but he’s not a bust.
16. Travis Johnson, defensive tackle, Texans: When the biggest hit of your career is one that you unknowingly put on a quarterback’s head with your knee, you might be a redneck. And a BUST.
17. David Pollack, linebacker, Bengals: Though he was on his way to becoming a great player, a neck injury ended his career early in his second season. Unfortunately, he must be declared a BUST.
18. Erasmus James, defensive end, Vikings: Knee problems have slowed his development, but barring injury to Jared Allen and Ray Edwards (and maybe Brian Robison), James won’t be a starter in his fourth season. BUST.
19. Alex Barron, offensive tackle, Rams: The Rams wouldn’t have been dreaming of Jake Long sliding to No. 2 if they thought that Barron was the long-term solution on the left side, or the right. BUST.
20. Marcus Spears, defensive end, Cowboys: Yeah, he has been a three-year starter. But he was rumored to be on the trading block earlier this year, and his impact hasn’t reflected his stature as one of the top 20 players in the draft. BUST.
21. Matt Jones, receiver, Jaguars: This much-hyped quarterback-turned-receiver isn’t very good, and doesn’t seem to care. The Jags would have been wise to let him play quarterback — for another team. BUST.
22. Mark Clayton, receiver, Ravens: The thinking in NFL circles is that a player destined to be a high-end receiver performs like one by his third NFL season. For his third season, Clayton had 49 catches for 531 yards, and no touchdowns. BUST.
23. Fabian Washington, cornrback, Raiders: Being traded for a fourth-round pick after only three seasons automatically qualifies him for BUST status.
24. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Packers: He has looked good when he’s gotten a chance to play, but the jury is out on whether he’s a bust. Get back to us in a year.
25. Jason Campbell, quarterback, Redskins: Campbell is on his way to becoming a solid starter, and could evolve into one of the better signal-callers in the conference. Not a bust.
26. Chris Spencer, center, Seahawks: If he’d been taken higher, Spencer might qualify for strong consideration as a bust. But he started every game in 2005, and the Seahawks have gotten decent value out of him. Close, but not a bust.
27. Roddy White, receiver, Falcons: White was on his way to being a bust after his first two years. He broke out in 2007, which coincidentally was his first season without catching one-hoppers from Mike Vick. Not a bust.
28. Luis Castillo, defensive tackle, Chargers: Solid defensive linemen despite some injuries. Not a bust.
29. Marlin Jackson, defensive back, Colts: Steady but unspectacular Tampa Two corner. He might be another Jason David in a defense that requires him to cover wideouts down the field. But his performance allowed the Colts let guys like David walk away. Not a bust.
30. Heath Miller, tight end, Virginia: The Steelers arguably reached on a guy who wasn’t healthy in the months leading up to the draft. They ended up with a solid tight end. Not a bust.
31. Mike Patterson, defensive tackle, Eagles: The Philly chapter of PFT Planet will revolt if we were to call Patterson a bust. Not a bust.
32. Logan Mankins, offensive lineman, Patriots: Solid contributor on the offensive line. Besides, we can’t call anyone who paid $7,500 for the privilege of punching a guy in the crotch a bust.