Colleges With the Most First Round NFL Draft Busts

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Football fans are no doubt already getting excited to see the players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft suit up for their favorite teams. Though they may not know much about the players their teams draft, fans probably assume that if the draftee played for a top-tier college football team like Georgia, Alabama, or Notre Dame, then the player ought to be pretty good – though this is not necessarily the case.

Many players who were selected early on in the NFL Draft and who were thought to have all the skills and mentality needed to succeed in the pros have turned out to be busts. In the modern NFL, hundreds of first-round picks have struggled and quickly washed out of the league – many of which came from just a handful of schools.

To determine the colleges with the most first-round NFL Draft busts, 24/7 Tempo reviewed every first-round draft pick since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 using data from Pro Football Reference. Drafted players that made minimal contributions in the NFL were sorted by the school they attended. The biggest bust was determined to be the player who contributed the least to their team, relative to their draft position.

Many of the schools on this list are among the biggest powerhouses in college football. These programs have produced dozens of top-tier NFL players selected in all rounds of the draft, but the more players these schools send to the NFL, the more likely it is that a number of them will not pan out.

Some of the busts simply had bad luck – their careers were derailed by injuries or other circumstances beyond their control. Others never found their footing in the NFL and struggled to meet the demands of being a pro football player. A handful struggled with off-the-field issues, like substance abuse problems that made it impossible for them to meet their potential. These are the most disappointing draft picks of all time.