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Name the biggest bust in Rams draft history

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  • Name the biggest bust in Rams draft history

    Might be fun to think about the all time busts in Rams draft history. Given my technological ignorance regarding posting a poll, i will throw out a few names for people to comment on.

    Greg Robinson (awful for sure)
    Jason Smith (obviously a massive disaster)
    Lawrence Phillips (6th overall pick, we got rid of Bettis to make room for him, less than 2 years on rams, bust city)
    Mike Shad (23rd pick in 1986 draft, from Canada, zero productivity in a couple of years on the Rams)
    Terry Baker (my personal choice, he was the #1 overall pick in the 1963 draft, played for the Rams for three seasons before winding up in canada for a year and then leaving football completely. Classic Heisman trophy winner mount rushmore like bust). While i appreciate that most of us on the board never saw Baker play, perhaps RealRam can give us a summary of their impressions of watching him play for the Rams from 1963-65. Baker completed 12 passes TOTAL in his three years on the Rams, zero td's, 4 interceptions. Hard to see how you could be a bigger bust than that as a #1 overall pick, and thus my choice as the single biggest draft bust in Rams history.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel

  • #2
    I don't know anything about Baker but the player that probably hurt the Rams the most long term has to be Jason Smith. If Smith would have worked out the pick used for Robinson could have been used somewhere else. We paid the price for Smith for a long time.


    • #3
      As far as being the least talented its LT Jason Smith. But I don't remember a more costly draft pick as QB Sam Bradford.


      • #4
        Excellent points on Smith, he would probably be a runner up choice for me. What really hurts about the Baker pick is that the Rams had taken Roman Gabriel with the 2nd pick in the first round of the 1962 draft, so what in the world were they doing picking another qb first overall the following year! We passed on three hall of famers (Dave Robinson, Bobby Bell and John Mackey) and countless other very good players to take Baker. Your point of the ripple effect on Smith is a really good one.

        Another candidate at least for the list, if not the very top, would be Jimmy Kennedy. Another stiff. Probably Damione Lewis as well. Both busts where they were taken, neither as bad as Smith or Baker.

        Ramming speed to all

        general counsel


        • #5
          Good [?!?] names, for sure. -

          Canada's shining OL Mike Schad (1st round pick by the Rams in '86 as you mentioned), actually played three years with us, probably being on the "Wait, let's see if he improves" list. Never did, i.e., for a selection that high. -But 'at least' my then 8 year old son got Schad's autograph just outside Anaheim stadium right after the Rams defeated the Lions in '88. Fortunately he also asked most of the rest of the team's autograph and picture that day and the next day at Rams Park.

          Terry Baker, one good-grief name. You've pointed out his remarkable exploits. Three years in the NFL, all with the Rams, Baker managed ... achieved a 40% passer rating by among other things, throwing for a grand total of 154 yards. The Rams thus used him as a RB also, adding him to the aforementioned list. QB and RB, a rare attribute in the NFL - no wonder he won the Heisman.

          Oh, and Terry also scored 2, that's two receiving TDs plus 1 rushing TD in a single game in 1965. Almost as good as Al Bundy's four TDs in one game at Polk High.

          Baker migrated north to finish his pro football career in the CFL, an official one year stint with the Edmonton Eskimos. The once promising athlete is inducted in the Oregon Sports HOF and his famous Oregon State Beavers No. 11 jersey was retired.

          'An amazing athlete ... a tremendous runner ... intelligent ... and an outstanding leader'.
          - SI, 1963

          Click image for larger version  Name:	image? Views:	1 Size:	11.1 KB ID:	821632

          Yet another saga in the story of sports failures. Nonetheless, a good character and lawyer as well as businessman in his post football years.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	terry%20baker.jpg Views:	1 Size:	55.3 KB ID:	821629Click image for larger version  Name:	95f11be3c36179c8eeb2c9c4e89aa1ae.jpg Views:	1 Size:	19.7 KB ID:	821630

          Click image for larger version  Name:	TerryBaker-oregon-state-1962-heisman-winners-who-were-nfl-busts-300x200.jpg Views:	1 Size:	29.7 KB ID:	821631


          Will continue with 'More To Come' of the BBs in Rams draft picks.
          Last edited by RealRam; -06-30-2018, 10:51 PM. Reason: Tyop


          • #6
            Only a Third Round pick, but for "What were we thinking" picks, Eric Crouch stands out in my mind. For first rounders, I remember Elvis Peacock being a first class bust.


            • #7
              Lot of good options where we've screwed the pooch:
              1989 - Bill Hawkins
              2009 - Jason Smith
              1996 - Lawrence Phillips
              2000 - Trung Canidate
              2003 - Jimmy Kennedy
              2014 - Greg Robinson
              2013 - Tavon Austin
              2005 - Alex Barron
              The more things change, the more they stay the same.


              • #8
                I personally would probably choose Phillips.


                • #9
                  Jeff Fisher.

                  But - as far as players are concerned, I have to go with Barron.


                  • #10
                    I have to go with Phillips. On top of everything, at RB, they could have had Eddie George (selected 8 picks later) who had a pretty nice career.


                    • #11
                      Gotta be Lawrence Phillips. He was a two sport bust - football AND life.


                      • #12
                        Yup, for the modern era am going with Philips. What a total waste of a human.

                        Keeping the Rams Nation Talking


                        • #13
                          Of course, the correct answer is the Pom-Pom Mom.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HUbison View Post
                            Lot of good options where we've screwed the pooch:
                            1989 - Bill Hawkins
                            2009 - Jason Smith
                            1996 - Lawrence Phillips
                            2000 - Trung Canidate
                            2003 - Jimmy Kennedy
                            2014 - Greg Robinson
                            2013 - Tavon Austin
                            2005 - Alex Barron
                            So much promise but really just did not know the mental game I take it.
                            Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos 2/7/2016 CBS 6:30PM EST Santa Clara CA!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
                              Gotta be Lawrence Phillips. He was a two sport bust - football AND life.
                              Agreed. A complete waste in so many ways. Not only was the 6th pick used to draft him, but Jerome Bettis was later traded on the same day to Pittsburgh. He was a deeply troubled man, with a life that was a very sad story. His picture on Wikipedia is a mug shot.


                              Related Topics


                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Gordon: Smith Departs As King Of Rams Draft Busts
                                Gordon: Smith departs as king of Rams draft busts

                                48 minutes ago ē BY JEFF GORDON

                                By dealing Jason Smith to the New York Jets for fellow offensive tackle Wayne Hunter, the Rams made it official.

                                The second overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft climbed atop the franchiseís Pantheon of Failures.

                                The Rams have done a consistently poor job of drafting since the Mad Mike Martz Era, when Super Bowl architect Charley Armey somehow lost control over personnel. The franchise has made some memorable blunders at the draft since then, overreaching and gambling and generally missing the boat.

                                But Smith turned out to be the biggest mistake of them all. Here is how they rank in this corner of cyberspace:

                                1) Jason Smith, OT: Once upon a time, Smith played tight end for Baylor. Then he added muscle and moved to tackle. The Rams saw him as a uniquely athletic prospect. General manager Billy Devaney believed Smith could grow into something special. Smith didnít. A spate of nasty concussions further limited his development. Smith immediately fell to the second unit behind failed Chiefs tackle Barry Richardson during Jeff Fisherís first training camp as the new coaches discovered his same old shortcomings.

                                The following assessment from Smithís draft profile proved prescient: ďRaw in his pass-set technique, standing a bit upright and backpedaling instead of sliding to mirror his man. Locks onto his man at first, but eventually loses his balance and grip due to his average upper-body strength and footwork. Does not have much of a punch in pass protection. Can lose the hands battle on the line.Ē

                                That sounds like Jason Smith all right. Alex Barron wasnít great during his penalty-prone five years as a Ram, but at least he wasnít helpless against the pass rush.

                                2) Eric Crouch, WR: The Nebraska quarterback arrived with the 95th overall pick in 2002. Martz had a brainstorm: This college football star could become an explosive yards-after-catch receiver! That was an interesting theory, but in real life Crouch had no desire to go into traffic to catch passes. The experiment failed and Crouch beat a hasty retreat home. Also failing that year: The attempted conversion of Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari to safety. Ah, the memories we have!

                                3) Tye Hill, CB: The 15th overall pick in the 2006 draft arrived brimming with confidence. He looked the part of playmaker. He sounded the part. Then the games started and he began biting on pump fakes and getting lost in coverage. Hill ended his Rams career with four interceptions in 21 starts. Just four selections later San Diego drafted future Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

                                4) Claude Wroten, DT: The Rams saw first-round talent in him. A drug bust at LSU caused him to sink to 68th overall in the 2006 draft. For a year, anyway, he appeared to be a solid pick....
                                -08-28-2012, 01:22 PM
                              • Barry Waller
                                My Own Best Picks in Rams History
                                Barry Waller
                                I won't go back to my days as a draftnik that followed the Cardinals, from 1970-1987, but here are the picks that had me jumping up and down on draft day, the last 16 years in person at Rams Park.

                                1. Orlando Pace 1997 - I was prepared to be happy with Walter Jones, who I also felt was a once in a decade type tackle, but when I heard the ridiculously low price the Rams gave the Jets Bill Parcells to trade up, I was pumped.

                                Actually, I was on the radio, in studio with Bernie Miklasz when we broke the story on the deal, as Bernie was tpiied off by Rams PR director Rick Smith during our broadcast.

                                2. Kevin Carter 1995 - I won a helmet phone at a draft party for predicting round one, in the only draft I didn't see at Rams Park. My friend and I got interviewed because we were going so nuts and high fiving after the pick of my guy.

                                3. Torry Holt 1999 - In maybe my happiest draft, because of getting a guy who would light up the team and excite the fans. Some liked Champ Bailey better, but I just fell in love with Holt's whole story, and with the way he made it all look so easy in college.
                                That year, my son's favorite player in college, Dre Bly, ended up with the Rams too, which had my son and i both walking on cloud nine.

                                4. Sam Bradford 2010 - I was praying the Rams would have the guts to take Bradford, despite his injury, and i've been arguing that it was right ever since. I still think in the end, I'll be proven out.

                                5. Robert Quinn 2011 - Pretty much all off-season, I had Quinn as an impossible dream for the Rams, picking that late. WHen it came close, with either he or Nick Fairly going to the Lions, the other to the Rams, I was shocked, and thrilled that the Rams got an elite pass rushing talent.

                                6. Chris Long 2008 - Got tons of grief about my belief in Long, but what I t hought would happen, did. He became a very solid, team leader, with terrific char acter and work ethic, who would be a ten year, 100 sack guy with lots of other positives in his play.

                                7. Jame Laurinaitis rd 2 , 2009 - While I had real mixed feelings about Jason Smith, I was thrilled that the Rams were able to get a guy I felt wasa rock solid first round talent.

                                8. Grant Wistrom 1998 - I started liking Wistrom the year before he came out, hoping the Rams might get a shot at this guy, and despite all t he questions about whether he fit the 4-3, the same as with Long, I kew he would do what it took to be a star.

                                9. Steven Jackson 2004 - I couldn't believe that a horse like Jackson could ever fall to the Rams that late, and dealing to get him was the best thing Mike Martz ever did. For a couple years, I had to defend this pick over and over to hater fans, but i think it worked out.
                                Lots more folks hated on SJ39 than Sam Bradford, by the way.

                                10. Leonard Little -1998 Rd 3 - At the time, I...
                                -01-17-2014, 07:39 PM
                              • ramhard
                                Clearing up the BUST debate - Long
                                There is one comment that always sparks heated responses on this forum - calling someone a draft BUST (well, and bringing up Martz or Warner but that's for another thread). The arguments usually start with someone calling a player (this year it's Long or Smith) and then angry responses to the contrary. The arguments against usually are something along the line of:

                                1. You can't judge a player after X years (fill in the blank), you gotta have patience.
                                2. He is a productive player, have realistic expectations.
                                3. He's playing as well as Y player, why don't you call that player a bust.
                                4. For a low drafted player - he's only a (5, 6, or 7th) round choice, most don't pan out anyway.

                                Arguments in favor of a bust are usually:

                                1. He's not playing at Pro Bowl caliber.
                                2. He doesn't have the stats of Z player (someone drafted equal or lower in a similar draft).
                                3. He 2 years he only has ______(fill in the appropriate statistics) so he's a bust.

                                The problem is that the arguments are mixing issues. Here are some groundrules for judging the returns to a player:

                                1. Draft Position - where a player is drafted DOES matter. Why? Because a player drafted in the top 5 of a draft has very different cap implications than a player drafted in the 4th round. A player who eats up $5-$10 million of your cap room needs to have a higher impact than a player who eats up $400k. People have often argued that's why in the current system, no one wants to trade into the top 5 draft picks because the cap hit is so high and if you miss on a player it hamstrings you for 3-4 years with your cap.

                                So yes, a player drafted in the top 5 draft picks can be a bust with average performance; while the same player drafted in the 4th round with the same performance isn't a bust.

                                2. Playing Position - the position a player plays DOES matter. Why? Again back to cap implications, but also to when the typical player makes an impact. Position matters because certain positions have higher average salaries than other positions, so missing on a low average position kills you more than missing on a high average position. For example, if the average QB costs (across the league) is $4M, while the average offensive guard is $1M, if you draft a guy high and give him a big bonus at QB (say a $5M average) you only lose $1M on your cap because of what you have to pay to an average replacement QB; while at guard you would lose $5M.

                                Also, certain positions have quicker impact than other positions. For example, reaction positions like RB and LB (and maybe OT) the top players are good quickly. While at other positions like QB, C, and DT they often take longer. Now of course there are exceptions to every rule, and things change over time. For example, it looks like at the QB position, the development time is starting to be reduced - in part because of the control of...
                                -10-23-2009, 11:18 AM
                              • HUbison
                                official website's take on the draft
                                I don't think it has, but I apologize if this has already been posted. Pretty good analysis, IMO.

                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Staff Writer

                                The NFL Draft is usually a weekend for numbers: statistics, height, weight and whatever else you can think of to measure a football player. But the day after the draft is reserved for letters.

                                Nearly every website, newspaper and television show that has anything at all to do with the NFL will inundate its audience with grades for every team and how it did on draft day.

                                Well, here on the day after the draft, I am not going to do it. I refuse. In fact, I despise post-draft grades. The reasons are numerous and I will get to those later, but attempting to grade a draft one day after it happens is like trying to determine how many championships an NCAA recruiting class is going to win on National Signing Day.

                                The fact of the matter is, every team has every player graded different. By my calculations, there are still 32 teams in the NFL. Along with that, there are a number of scouts on each team and those scouts see thousands of players each year. So, estimating conservatively, there are 150 sets of eyes watching thousands of players play in different games.

                                Unfortunately, not all of those scouts rate the players the same way. Maybe one team sees a quarterback have the game of his life against State University while another team sees the same quarterback struggle mightily against Small Town Tech. That means that every team is going to have a different opinion of every player. In addition to the teams, there are a number of analysts, pundits and wanna-be analysts and pundits always willing to view a list of names on a sheet of paper and stick a letter next to it.

                                Maybe itís pent up rage from all the years of red ink on their tests when they were in school, but whatever the case, attempting to label a draft class one day after the fact is an exercise in futility.

                                Top-end guys such as No. 1 pick Alex Smith can range anywhere from the top of a teamís board to the 20s. After the first round, though, a player can fall in anywhere from the second round to not drafted at all.

                                Take Michigan safety Ernest Shazor as an example. Scout Inc. graded Shazor as the third-best safety in the draft. Although he was a little slow and projected more to linebacker, he seemed like a sure thing as a first day choice, right? Well, Shazor not only didnít go on the first day, but he wasnít drafted at all. Now he is left fighting for an undrafted free agent contract and the chance to compete for a spot at the end of a teamís roster.

                                Dealing with something that is such an inexact science makes it impossible to label a draft as a good or bad one right away. Some players are considered sure things heading into the draft. You know, guys like Ryan Leaf, Ki-Jana Carter and Tony Mandarich. The reality in the...
                                -04-27-2005, 10:03 AM
                              • RamDez
                                Martz might not have seen it, but Barron looked good
                                By Bryan Burwell
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                Monday, Aug. 15 2005

                                After missing more than two weeks of training camp, maybe this is what will
                                have to pass as rookie hazing for Alex Barron:

                                Getting the cold shoulder from Mike Martz.

                                You'd think that after the Rams' No. 1 draft pick had completed his
                                long-anticipated first workout of the summer with the full training camp squad,
                                that maybe, just maybe, the coach might have some general observations about
                                the monstrous offensive tackle from Florida State. You'd like to believe that
                                because the Rams just invested about $11 million in salary and bonuses in the
                                kid that the coach might want to eyeball him a little bit on Day 1 of his
                                professional football life.

                                Well, then you probably don't know Martz very well. He rarely does the warm and
                                fuzzy thing with his rookies. He treats all the new kids on the block the same
                                way, like dirt - particularly the ones he expects the most from. He turns their
                                NFL indoctrination into intense emotional, mental and physical caldrons,
                                turning up the pressure on them so high that the weak ones will be exposed long
                                before their they can do any serious damage in the critical moments of a
                                regular-season game.

                                So when he was asked Monday how well Barron's first practice had gone, the
                                coach was almost dismissive.

                                "I have no idea," he snapped, as if the kid was just some anonymous street free
                                agent lost deep down the depth charts. "I'm looking at a lot more than (him).
                                ... I really couldn't comment on it, because I really don't know."

                                Of course none of us believes that. We know even if he was pretending not to
                                notice him, somewhere out of the corner of his eye Martz had to be watching
                                carefully. He knows a lot of magical things can happen with his potent offense
                                if the kid bears up well. You can see it in Martz's enthusiasm and intensity as
                                he stalks across the practice field moving around all the weapons in his Star
                                Wars offensive attack.

                                But so much of that depends on how well the offensive line comes together. You
                                can count on Orlando Pace to man the left side like the Pro Bowl stud he is.
                                You can count on the reliability of golden oldies Adam Timmerman and Andy
                                McCollum. But there are questions.

                                Can rookie left guard Claude Terrell handle the task of starting? And the
                                biggest question of all is what the Rams will do at right tackle. Now, Rex
                                Tucker and Matt Willig are holding things up. But even as Barron has been
                                shifted to the left side as Pace's backup, we all know it's a temporary
                                assignment. His future is on right side, where the Rams drafted him to help
                                build an impenetrable ring around Marc Bulger.

                                It's still so early in the process...
                                -08-16-2005, 03:55 PM