Oh, the pain! A fan’s look at the five worst draft busts of the Detroit Lions

Having been a Detroit Lions fan all my life, I have known pain and lots of it. Whether it is due to the curse Bobby Layne put on the Lions when he was traded back in 1958 or the curse of being owned by William Clay Ford, the Lions have had a knack for breaking the hearts of their fans for as long as I have been alive (43 years). Nowhere is this more apparent in their selection of draft picks. Detroit seems to be a sinkhole for talent, allowing bright, talented individuals to sink to obscurity within the inept organization. Here are the five worst draft busts the Lions have ever suffered.

Andre Ware

Drafted in the first round, seventh overall in 1990 out of the University of Houston, Ware was supposed to be the answer to the quarterback problem. He was a Heisman trophy winner after all, right? It turns out that Andre was strictly a system quarterback, one who excelled in the particular scheme that Houston was running but was unable to handle a pro-style offense. His main problem was that he was simply too inaccurate.

Roy Williams

The first of the Millen mistakes on this list, Roy was the seventh overall pick in 2004. Matt Millen hoped to construct a pass-heavy offense with a talented group of receivers, but his hopes were dashed when Williams dropped passes as if his hands were coated with butter.

Mike Williams

The second Millen mistake was Mike Williams, who was the tenth overall pick in 2005. Not having learned his lesson in 2003 and 2004, Matt Millen picked another receiver for his first-round choice. This time, it was a talented player who simply didn't work hard and thought glory would be handed to him on a silver platter.

Charles Rogers

The last of the Millen mistakes was this Michigan State receiver who was selected second overall in 2003. Rogers never seemed to be able to get open and languished in an offense run by Joey Harrington(notes) who, although he was one of many draft busts not to make this list, was only a shade better than Andre Ware.

Chuck Long

I considered making this last choice Joey Harrington, but I decided to go with Long because he just seemed more pitiful. Drafted twelfth overall in 1986 out of Iowa, Chuck was the prototypical Lions quarterback blunder choice. Great in college, poor in the pros, Long simply couldn't avoid costly interceptions, which sadly became his trademark.


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Updated Friday, Apr 8, 2011