Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Fan perspective: Biggest Cincinnati Bengals NFL Draft busts
I have lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, all of my life - which is about 23 years - and have grown up around sports. Being from Cincinnati of course I am a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, but I will admit they are not always wise when it comes to draft picks. There have been many draft picks by the Cincinnati Bengals that have turned out to be complete failures and nothing but a total bust. Through the long line of draft pick disappointments by the Cincinnati Bengals, there are five that really stand out in my mind as a complete bust.
David Klingler stands out in my mind as a total draft pick bust for the Cincinnati Bengals and there are a ton of reasons why. He was drafted sixth overall in the National Football League back in 1992, and proved that being in the top does not always equal success. During his college days at the University of Houston, Texas, he was basically the best quarterback out there and was a stellar athlete. People looked at David as being the one who would turn the team around and basically help the team actually win some football games. You might want to say that people thought of him as a hero for the Cincinnati Bengals or the white knight. During his reign as the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, he managed to start only 33 games with 3,994 yards, 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He was pretty quickly replaced with the third-string quarterback Jeff Blake because he just was so inept at playing professional football.
Chris Perry seemed to have everything going for him as he entered the NFL draft in 2004 where the Cincinnati Bengals selected him 26th overall. Chris was supposed to be one of the star running backs for the team and was young full of energy and had great endurance. Well that ended quickly however when he got hurt within the first year of his professional career. Chris spent four years playing with the Cincinnati Bengals and all four years he was battling injuries, including an injury that forced him to sit out the entire 2007 season. I was really into the Cincinnati Bengals when this all happened and it stands out because the team really needed a running back and Chris was supposed to help the offense get going in a good direction. Unfortunately for Chris he could not stay healthy enough to enjoy his time in the NFL and was a total waste on the part of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ki-Jana Carter will always stand out as one of the biggest busts for the Cincinnati Bengals because it was such a heartbreaking story. I remember my father telling me about this when I was younger and about how much money was invested into this athlete. He was drafted first overall back in 1995 and was a very fast runner with great technique and skill. Ki-Jana was supposed to be the running back for the Cincinnati Bengals and was going to be the face of the franchise for years to come. The reason that this is sad to me is because the first preseason game the Cincinnati Bengals played in, Ki-Jana ends up injuring his knee and basically blowing the whole thing apart. He came back after he had surgery and spent four years with the team but he was never the same after that injury. It appeared that he ran without the speed and endurance he once had and it seemed like the life was sucked right out of him. He ended his NFL career with 747 yards, 16 touchdowns and rushed 227 times in 35 games.
Fred Childress was selected in the second round, 55th overall in the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1989. As a guard, he was supposed to be one of the better offensive linemen the team would have at that time. He was a big guy so it was thought that he could stop people and help create blocks and become a team leader and standout professional guard. That did not last long however because he was cut during the preseason of 1989. You know you are a bust when you get cut before your first season in the NFL even begins. He definitely was a bust because he proves most of all that size does not matter and just because you are big and strong it does not mean you have what it takes to play professional sports.
If you talk about draft busts by the Cincinnati Bengals then you have to include quarterback Akili Smith because he basically is the worst of all time. Akili was drafted in the 1999 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals third overall, including ahead of notable NFL player Champ Bailey(notes). Akili was going to be the franchise player and was supposed to once again turn the team around and make the organization better. There were a lot of high hopes for Akili as the quarterback and hopefully long-term solution. Akili only managed to play for the Cincinnati Bengals for 22 games and ended his professional career with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Akili only managed to get 2,200 yards as the quarterback and his rating was 52.8% which is pretty horrid. Akili will definitely always standout as the number one worst draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals both because the high expectations and the embarrassingly low end result.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.