Curse of the First


Are first round picks more trouble than they are worth?

It may seem like a stupid question until you consider the last dozen first round fiascos…

In 2009, Michael Crabtree (Selected tenth overall) was selected 3 picks behind Darius Heyward-Bey (a receiver Crabtree felt was inferior to himself).  Because of this, Crabtreee managed to hold the San Francisco 49ers hostage for roughly 6 months, including the first 4 weeks of the NFL season.

In 2008, Chris Johnson (Twenty-fourth overall) was selected with the 24TH pick by the Tennessee Titans and given a contract to match.  However, a 2000 yard season has a way of putting things in perspective, a sour one.  He is currently holding out, with no end in sight.  If you agree with him, sign his petition.

In 2007, JaMarcus Russell (First overall) was selected first overall by Davis’ Raiders and after a short holdout, at least in comparison to Crabtree, he joined his Raider teammates and immediately became the professional flop Davis destined him to be… oh by the way Davis is now suing the recently cut Russell.

In 2006, Santonio Holmes (Twenty-fifth overall) was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. And although he did manage to single-footedly win Superbowl MVP honors in 2009, Pittsburgh shipped him off to the New York Jets after arrests and indictments started to pile up.

In 2005, Pacman (Sixth overall) and Matt Jones (Twenty-first overall) were selected by the Titans and Jaguars respectively and immediately proceeded to have an unofficial contest of whom could rack up more arrests.  There are no winners here.

In 2004, Ben Roethlisberger (Eleventh overall) became the Pittsburgh Steelers biggest headache.  After a motorcycle accident and multiple sexual assault allegations, Roethlisberger became a part of the Steelers’ dirty garage sale of Draft 2010.  Since the Lions, Rams, Raiders, Browns, and Bills all passed on this upstanding citizen, the Steelers will now play the first 4 games of the 2010 season with Byron Leftwich under center.

From the recent past:

2003 – Charles Rodgers (Second overall) – After 2 broken collarbones and a 4 game suspension for his third substance abuse violation, he was cut and now is being forced to repay some of his salary.

2002 – Donte Stallworth (Thirteenth overall)– Convicted of manslaughter in 2009 and suspended for the entire season in 2009.

2001 – Michael Vick (First overall) – Convicted of federal charges for bank rolling a dog fighting ring, sentenced to 23 months in prison, effectively causing him to miss 2 NFL seasons.

If you’re NFL franchise selects in the first 25 picks of the NFL draft, buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.