The NFL is home to some of the most physically talented individuals and atheltes on the planet. These guys can run faster, jump higher and hit harder than almost anyone else. Unfortunately, these individuals often don’t have the work ethic, drive or intelligence to go along with their talents. These 5 players could have been something special, but unfortunately, talent was all that they had.
1. Aaron Hernandez
You knew he would be here. Hernandez was one of the best tight ends in college, but slipped in the draft to the 4th round because of his admitting to failing numerous drug tests. This should’ve been a major red flag, but he was still drafted. Hernandez enjoyed a lot of success in the NFL until the summer of 2013. At that time, Aaron Hernandez was under investigation for the murder of his acquaintance Odin Lloyd. And then in another twist, Hernandez was indicted on two more murder charges in 2014. He is currently serving his sentence in prison.
2. Marcus Dupree
Dupree was perhaps the most highly touted high school football prospect of all time. He was extremely quick and also powerful, like no other running back before him and was thought to be destined for the big time and major success in the NFL. This was also the first instance of numerous colleges awaiting the choice of a high school player, which is common now. Dupree ultimately chose to play at Oklahoma. However, the extremely large expectations paired with his unimpressive play, questionable work ethic and injuries, led him to fizzle out of the spotlight without warning and barely even played in the NFL. He really was “The Best That Never Was”.
3. Jamarcus Russell
Ah, Jamarcus Russell. Considered by many to be the best QB prospect since the recently retired Peyton Manning, Russell looked to be the obvious top choice in the 2007 NFL draft. He was big, fast and could throw the football like very few others. He was in fact selected 1st overall by the Oakland Raiders. His career turned out to be one of the worst in NFL history as he finished 7-18 as a starter with a 50.0 QBR. He is widely considered the biggest draft bust in NFL history due to his weight issues, lack of work ethic and bad attitude and is a warning to teams considering drafting a QB on talent alone.
4. Albert Haynesworth
Albert Haynesworth was considered by many to be the best defensive tackle in the league in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Following the 2008 season, Haynesworth signed a massive 7 year $100 million dollar deal with the Washington Redskins. In retrospect, this is without a doubt the worst signing in NFL history. Haynesworth only played 2 years with the redskins, and those seasons were awful as Haynesworth was out of shape, unwilling to work hard and just showed a general disdain for the Redskins and their staff, which led to him being let go from the team following the 2010 season and he never went on to have much success in the NFL again.
5. Lawrence Phillips
Phillips was an extremely strong back that played his college ball for Nebraska. And, despite some major character issues that arose throughout college, his play was so good that he was picked 6th overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. Despite a promising first year and a half in the NFL, Phillips was ultimately released due to his inability to stay out of trouble. This inability continued and finally culminated with Phillips being sentenced in late 2009 to 31 years in prison for a variety of offenses including numerous assaults and he also murdered his cellmate in 2015. And then, in early 2016, Phillips committed suicide.