Drafting the right quarterback can be the start of some great things for a franchise. After all, the right signal caller can make all the difference between a solid team and one that could be Super Bowl bound. On the other hand, missing on a quarterback in the early rounds could set a team back for years.
Since the merger of the AFL and the NFL in 1970, 94 quarterbacks have been taken in the first round. While there have been plenty of stars taken during that time, there have also been some huge busts.
The criteria that was used in deciding the biggest bust was where they were picked, production, wins and losses, longevity and overall effect on the franchise in question.
Here is a look at the biggest busts in the NFL draft from the quarterback position.
10. Blaine Gabbert
Gabbert was the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he is still in the league, he lasted just 29 games (27 starts) in Jacksonville with little success.
What makes his selection even more painful is the fact that defensive star J.J. Watt was still on the board when Gabbert was taken.
Before the Jaguars pulled the plug, he won just five games as a starter while completing 53.3 percent of his passes for 4,357 yards with 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
9. David Klingler
Klingler was the sixth overall pick in the 1992 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He spent parts of six seasons in the NFL and played in 33 games (24 starts) for the Bengals and the Oakland Raiders. After starting four games as a rookie, he took over the job as the Bengals fulltime starter in 1993 and won just three of 13 games. The following season wasn’t any better as he lost all seven games as a starter.
For his career, he won just four games as a starter while completing 54.2 percent of his passes for 3,994 yards and 16 touchdowns with 22 interceptions.
8. Heath Shuler
Shuler was the third overall pick by the Washington Redskins in the 1994 draft. He spent just four seasons in the NFL and played in 29 games (22 starts) with the Redskins and the New Orleans Saints.
He got his chance to start with the Redskins during his rookie year, but won just one of his eight starts while completing 45.3 percent of his passes.
He had much better luck winning games in a Saints uniform in his fourth year, but he had two touchdowns and 14 interceptions in those games.
For his career, he won just eight games as a starter while completing 49.2 percent of his passes for 3,691 yards with 15 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.
7. Kelly Stouffer
Stouffer was the sixth overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1987 draft. Although he was drafted by St. Louis, he never played a game with the Cardinals before he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. He played just 22 games (16 starts) over four seasons in Seattle.
He was in the Seahawks starting lineup for part of 1988 with some success before the wheels fell off. After winning three of his first six starts, he lost eight of his last ten.
For his career, he won just five games as a starter while completing 51.5 percent of his passes for 2,333 yards with seven touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
6. Andre Ware
Ware was the seventh overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 1990 draft. He lasted just 14 games (six starts) over four seasons before he was done.
For his career, he won just three games as a starter while completing 51.6 percent of his passes for 1,112 yards and five touchdowns with eight interceptions.
5. Art Schlichter
Schlichter was the fourth overall pick by the Baltimore Colts in the 1982 draft. He played just three seasons with the Colts in Baltimore and Indianapolis between 1982 and 1985 before his NFL career was done. during that time, he appeared in 13 games and went winless in his six starts.
For his career, he completed 45 percent of his passes for 1,006 yards with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
4. Rich Campbell
Campbell was the sixth overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1981 draft. He played just seven games over four seasons in Green Bay, but never even made a start.
For his career, he completed 45.6 percent of his passes for 386 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
3. JaMarcus Russell
Russell was the first overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 draft. He appeared in 31 games (25 starts) for the Raiders over three seasons before he was done.
After making just one start as a rookie, he earned the starting job in his second season and started 15 games. While he had some nice moments during year two, the Raiders won just five of those games. The next year was even worse as he won just two games while struggling with his accuracy.
For his career, he won seven games while completing 52.1 percent of his passes for 4,083 yards and 18 touchdowns with 23 interceptions.
2. Akili Smith
Smith was the third overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1999 draft. Smith lasted 22 games (17 starts) over four seasons in Cincinnati before he was done.
After making four starts as a rookie, he was the starter most of year two, but he was just 2-9 that year while completing just 44.2 percent of his passes. He was never the full-time starter again.
For his career, he won three games as a starter while completing 46.6 percent of his passes for 2,212 yards with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
1. Ryan Leaf
Leaf was the second overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 draft. He played 25 games (21 starts) over four seasons with the Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys.
He had a brutal start to his career with just two touchdowns and 15 interceptions in nine starts during his rookie year. After a year on the sidelines, he got back on the field in year three, but wasn’t much better before he left the Chargers.
For his career, he won four games as a starter while completing 48.4 percent of his passes for 3,666 yards with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.