Not every high draft pick becomes a star. Some don’t even become marginal NFL players. But before you call these recent high picks “busts”, all but one will get at least one more chance this summer to prove they can make a long-term impact. The other, Rolando McClain, just retired from football.
Aaron Curry, LB, Giants
Drafted: 2009, fourth overall (Seahawks)
He’s already on his third team in five years, having been given up on by Seattle in 2011 in a trade with Oakland. Curry, who has only 5.5 career sacks, was limited to just two games last season because of knee issues and was waived in November.
Rolando McClain, LB, Ravens
Drafted: 2008, eighth overall (Raiders)
He retired this week. Staying healthy wasn’t McClain’s problem; it was staying out of trouble. Baltimore gave him a one-year deal, and he responded by being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. McClain averaged 82 tackles per season.
Jason Smith, OT, Saints
Drafted: 2009, second overall (Rams)
The Rams considered the former Baylor star their future left tackle. That didn’t work out, so he became their promising right tackle. That didn’t work out either, so he became expendable (traded to the Jets last summer). Smith is now on his third team.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Colts
Drafted: 2009, seventh overall (Raiders)
What good is all that speed if he doesn’t have a quality QB throwing him the ball? Heyward-Bey won’t have that problem in Indy with Andrew Luck. The Colts are hoping they are getting the downfield threat who made a career-best 64 receptions in 2011.
Glenn Dorsey, DT, 49ers
Drafted: 2008, fifth overall (Chiefs)
Dorsey appeared in just four games last year because of a calf injury. He was durable prior to that, though, missing only two games in four forgettable seasons in Kansas City. The 49ers needed depth up front and the ex-LSU star is effective against the run.
Aaron Maybin, LB, Bengals
Drafted: 2009, 11th overall (Bills)
Cincinnati is a good spot for a linebacker in need of polish. Maybin has been tough to figure in his NFL career. He was raw and ineffective with the Bills, unable to notch a single sack. Then he led the Jets with six sacks in 2011, before getting waived last November.