Photo Essays  

 

Published: Aug. 31, 2015 at 07:50 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 1, 2015 at 09:34 a.m.

Worst trades involving NFL draft picks

Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson were the No. 2 and 3 overall picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. The teams that drafted each player thought so highly of their potential that they traded up in order to secure their services.

On Monday, hours after RGIII was relegated to backup duty by the Redskins, the Raiders released Trent Richardson. Richardson was already on his third team after starting his career with the Browns.

Both players are cautionary tales of the perils of trading away valuable draft picks -- possibly mortgaging a franchise's future in the process -- to acquire a player. Here's a look at 15 of the worst NFL trades involving draft picks.

15 Photos Total

  • <b>Jaguars receive:</b> 2011 first-rounder (No. 10: QB Blaine Gabbert)
<br><b>Redskins receive:</b> 2011 first-rounder (No. 16: DE Ryan Kerrigan), 2011 second-rounder (No. 49: Traded to Colts)
<br><br>
The pre-draft hype machine moved Gabbert into first-round consideration, and when it was all said and done, the Missouri product was a top-10 draft pick. The Jaguars thought they had their franchise quarterback of the future. Instead, Gabbert never developed into a viable starting quarterback and was dealt to the 49ers three years after being drafted. Kerrigan, meanwhile, is a defensive force for the Redskins, posting a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2014. 15

    (Associated Press)

    15. Jaguars trade up for Gabbert

    Jaguars receive: 2011 first-rounder (No. 10: QB Blaine Gabbert)
    Redskins receive: 2011 first-rounder (No. 16: DE Ryan Kerrigan), 2011 second-rounder (No. 49: Traded to Colts)

    The pre-draft hype machine moved Gabbert into first-round consideration, and when it was all said and done, the Missouri product was a top-10 draft pick. The Jaguars thought they had their franchise quarterback of the future. Instead, Gabbert never developed into a viable starting quarterback and was dealt to the 49ers three years after being drafted. Kerrigan, meanwhile, is a defensive force for the Redskins, posting a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2014.

  • <b>Browns receive:</b> 2012 first-rounder (No. 3: RB Trent Richardson)
<br><b>Vikings receive:</b> 2012 first-rounder (No. 4: OT Matt Kalil), 2012 fourth-rounder (No. 118: WR Jarius Wright), 2012 fifth-rounder (No. 139: CB Robert Blanton), 2012 seventh-rounder (No. 211: Traded to Titans)
<br><br>
Kalil has started every game of his career for the Vikings. In Cleveland, neither of the Browns' two first-round draft picks from 2012 are still with the team -- No. 22 overall pick, QB Brandon Weeden, is now with the Dallas Cowboys. The Browns did, however, manage to <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000246887/article/why-the-browns-trent-richardson-trade-makes-sense" target="new">unload Richardson to the Colts for a first-round selection</a>. The Browns then used the pick acquired from the Colts on another quarterback at the No. 22 overall spot in the first round, Johnny Manziel. 14

    (Associated Press)

    14. Browns move up one spot for Richardson

    Browns receive: 2012 first-rounder (No. 3: RB Trent Richardson)
    Vikings receive: 2012 first-rounder (No. 4: OT Matt Kalil), 2012 fourth-rounder (No. 118: WR Jarius Wright), 2012 fifth-rounder (No. 139: CB Robert Blanton), 2012 seventh-rounder (No. 211: Traded to Titans)

    Kalil has started every game of his career for the Vikings. In Cleveland, neither of the Browns' two first-round draft picks from 2012 are still with the team -- No. 22 overall pick, QB Brandon Weeden, is now with the Dallas Cowboys. The Browns did, however, manage to unload Richardson to the Colts for a first-round selection. The Browns then used the pick acquired from the Colts on another quarterback at the No. 22 overall spot in the first round, Johnny Manziel.

  • <b>Dolphins receive:</b> 2013 first-rounder (No. 3: DE Dion Jordan)
<br><b>Raiders receive:</b> 2013 first-rounder (No. 12: CB D.J. Hayden), 2013 second-rounder (No. 42: OT Menelik Watson)
<br><br>
The Dolphins kicked off what would be <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000497574/article/five-worst-nfl-draft-classes-by-team-of-last-10-years" target="new">a rather unimpressive draft haul in 2013</a> with a trade up to get Jordan, who is steamrolling toward "all-time draft bust" status. 13

    (Associated Press)

    13. Dolphins trade up for Jordan

    Dolphins receive: 2013 first-rounder (No. 3: DE Dion Jordan)
    Raiders receive: 2013 first-rounder (No. 12: CB D.J. Hayden), 2013 second-rounder (No. 42: OT Menelik Watson)

    The Dolphins kicked off what would be a rather unimpressive draft haul in 2013 with a trade up to get Jordan, who is steamrolling toward "all-time draft bust" status.

  • <b>Steelers receive:</b> RB Jerome Bettis, 1996 third-rounder (No. 72: Steven Conley)
<br><b>Rams receive:</b> 1996 second-rounder (No. 59: TE Ernie Conwell), 1997 fourth-rounder (No. 121: Traded to Dolphins)
<br><br>
After this deal, Bettis forged a Pro Football Hall of Fame career with the Steelers and the Rams drafted running back Lawrence Phillips at No. 6 overall in the 1996 draft. Phillips played just 20 games with the Rams, who made another bold move involving a running back three years after drafting Phillips. The Rams dealt second- and fifth-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts for Marshall Faulk, who <a href="http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=298" target="new">turned out alright in St. Louis</a>. 12

    (Associated Press)

    12. Rams deal Bettis, draft Phillips

    Steelers receive: RB Jerome Bettis, 1996 third-rounder (No. 72: Steven Conley)
    Rams receive: 1996 second-rounder (No. 59: TE Ernie Conwell), 1997 fourth-rounder (No. 121: Traded to Dolphins)

    After this deal, Bettis forged a Pro Football Hall of Fame career with the Steelers and the Rams drafted running back Lawrence Phillips at No. 6 overall in the 1996 draft. Phillips played just 20 games with the Rams, who made another bold move involving a running back three years after drafting Phillips. The Rams dealt second- and fifth-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts for Marshall Faulk, who turned out alright in St. Louis.

  • <b>Bengals receive:</b> 1995 first-rounder (No. 1: RB Ki-Jana Carter)
<br><b>Panthers receive:</b> 1995 first-rounder (No. 5: QB Kerry Collins), 1995 second-rounder (No. 36: DE Shawn King)
<br><br>
On his third carry in the first preseason game of 1995, Carter tore a knee ligament and was forced to miss his entire rookie season. That unfortunate event set the tone for an injury-ravaged career. In seven seasons, Carter started 14 games and rushed for 1,144 yards and 20 touchdowns. Collins helped guide the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in the franchise's second season. 11

    (Associated Press)

    11. Bengals move up for Carter

    Bengals receive: 1995 first-rounder (No. 1: RB Ki-Jana Carter)
    Panthers receive: 1995 first-rounder (No. 5: QB Kerry Collins), 1995 second-rounder (No. 36: DE Shawn King)

    On his third carry in the first preseason game of 1995, Carter tore a knee ligament and was forced to miss his entire rookie season. That unfortunate event set the tone for an injury-ravaged career. In seven seasons, Carter started 14 games and rushed for 1,144 yards and 20 touchdowns. Collins helped guide the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in the franchise's second season.

  • <b>Broncos receive:</b> 2010 first-rounder (No. 25: Tebow)
<br><b>Ravens receive:</b> 2010 second-rounder (No. 43: DE Sergio Kindle), 2010 third-rounder (No. 70: TE Ed Dickson), 2010 fourth-rounder (No. 114: TE Dennis Pitta)
<br><br>
Tebow delivered one season filled with magic in 2011, displaying a penchant for late-game heroics and delivering <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d825d5408/GameDay-Steelers-vs-Broncos-highlights" target="new">a thrilling wild-card playoff win</a> over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tebow became expendable in 2012 when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, and he's had a sort of vagabond football existence since then. Dickson and Pitta were both members of the Ravens when the team won Super Bowl XLVII. 10

    (Associated Press)

    10. Broncos trade up for Tebow

    Broncos receive: 2010 first-rounder (No. 25: Tebow)
    Ravens receive: 2010 second-rounder (No. 43: DE Sergio Kindle), 2010 third-rounder (No. 70: TE Ed Dickson), 2010 fourth-rounder (No. 114: TE Dennis Pitta)

    Tebow delivered one season filled with magic in 2011, displaying a penchant for late-game heroics and delivering a thrilling wild-card playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tebow became expendable in 2012 when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, and he's had a sort of vagabond football existence since then. Dickson and Pitta were both members of the Ravens when the team won Super Bowl XLVII.

  • <b>Bears receive:</b> QB Rick Mirer, 1997 fourth-rounder (No. 105: RB Darnell Autry)
<br><b>Seahawks receive:</b> 1997 first-rounder (No. 11: Traded to Falcons)
<br><br>
Mirer is generally considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time, which means it should be considered a minor miracle that the Seahawks were able to unload Mirer to the Bears in exchange for a first-round pick, which eventually turned into cornerback Shawn Springs, who played seven seasons in Seattle. The Seahawks also drafted Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Walter Jones in the first round in 1997. Mirer, meanwhile, played one season in Chicago and did not record a single touchdown pass in seven games played. 9

    (Associated Press)

    9. Bears give up first-rounder for Rick Mirer

    Bears receive: QB Rick Mirer, 1997 fourth-rounder (No. 105: RB Darnell Autry)
    Seahawks receive: 1997 first-rounder (No. 11: Traded to Falcons)

    Mirer is generally considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time, which means it should be considered a minor miracle that the Seahawks were able to unload Mirer to the Bears in exchange for a first-round pick, which eventually turned into cornerback Shawn Springs, who played seven seasons in Seattle. The Seahawks also drafted Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Walter Jones in the first round in 1997. Mirer, meanwhile, played one season in Chicago and did not record a single touchdown pass in seven games played.

  • <b>Patriots receive:</b> WR Randy Moss
<br><b>Raiders receive:</b> 2007 fourth-rounder (No. 110: DB John Bowie)
<br><br>
After two lackluster seasons in Oakland, the Raiders were looking to unload the disgruntled wide receiver. The Patriots got Moss for a fourth-round pick, and Moss was a historic success, breaking Jerry Rice's single-season touchdown receptions record with 23. Moss posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in New England. 8

    (Associated Press)

    8. Raiders get fourth-rounder for Moss

    Patriots receive: WR Randy Moss
    Raiders receive: 2007 fourth-rounder (No. 110: DB John Bowie)

    After two lackluster seasons in Oakland, the Raiders were looking to unload the disgruntled wide receiver. The Patriots got Moss for a fourth-round pick, and Moss was a historic success, breaking Jerry Rice's single-season touchdown receptions record with 23. Moss posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in New England.

  • <b>Oilers receive:</b> 1975 first-rounder (No. 6: LB Robert Brazile), DT Curley Culp
<br><b>Chiefs receive:</b> 1976 third-rounder (No. 79: WR Henry Marshall), DE John Matuszak
<br><br>
The Houston Chronicle's John McClain called this deal "<a href="http://www.nfl.com/luvyablue" target="new">one of the most lopsided trades in history</a>." Culp is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A strong case <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000506385/article/pro-football-hall-of-fame-top-candidate-for-each-afc-team" target="new">could be made for Brazile</a> to be enshrined in Canton, too. Marshall played 12 seasons for the Chiefs. Matuszak spent just two seasons with the Chiefs before going on to fame with the Oakland Raiders and then in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW9liiGyP_g" target="new">an acting career</a>. 7

    (Associated Press)

    7. Chiefs deal top pick to Oilers

    Oilers receive: 1975 first-rounder (No. 6: LB Robert Brazile), DT Curley Culp
    Chiefs receive: 1976 third-rounder (No. 79: WR Henry Marshall), DE John Matuszak

    The Houston Chronicle's John McClain called this deal "one of the most lopsided trades in history." Culp is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A strong case could be made for Brazile to be enshrined in Canton, too. Marshall played 12 seasons for the Chiefs. Matuszak spent just two seasons with the Chiefs before going on to fame with the Oakland Raiders and then in an acting career.

  • <b>Jaguars receive:</b> 2008 first-rounder (No. 8: DE Derrick Harvey)
<br><b>Ravens receive:</b> 2008 first-rounder (No. 26: Traded to Texans), 2008 second-rounder (No. 71: LB Tavares Gooden), 2008 second-rounder (No. 89: Traded to Texans), 2008 fourth-rounder (No. 125: Traded to Raiders)
<br><br>
The Jaguars got little production out of Harvey, who lasted just three seasons with the team. The Ravens used this deal to move back up in the first round and select quarterback Joe Flacco at No. 18 overall after a trade with the Texans, who at No. 26 drated offensive tackle Duane Brown, who is a three-time Pro Bowler. 6

    (Associated Press)

    6. Jaguars trade up for Harvey

    Jaguars receive: 2008 first-rounder (No. 8: DE Derrick Harvey)
    Ravens receive: 2008 first-rounder (No. 26: Traded to Texans), 2008 second-rounder (No. 71: LB Tavares Gooden), 2008 second-rounder (No. 89: Traded to Texans), 2008 fourth-rounder (No. 125: Traded to Raiders)

    The Jaguars got little production out of Harvey, who lasted just three seasons with the team. The Ravens used this deal to move back up in the first round and select quarterback Joe Flacco at No. 18 overall after a trade with the Texans, who at No. 26 drated offensive tackle Duane Brown, who is a three-time Pro Bowler.

  • <b>Chargers receive:</b> 1998 first-rounder (No. 2: QB Ryan Leaf)
<br><b>Cardinals receive:</b> 1998 first-rounder (No. 3: DE Andre Wadsworth), 1998 second-rounder (No. 33: DB Corey Chavous), 1999 first-rounder (No. 8: WR David Boston), WR Eric Metcalf, LB Patrick Sapp
<br><br>
The Chargers made the move into the top two of the 1998 draft knowing that they could take one of the two highly touted quarterbacks in that draft class -- Peyton Manning or Leaf. After Manning went No. 1 to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers took Leaf. Leaf's career in San Diego was a disaster, and he's among <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/09000d5d8278bc71/Top-Ten-Draft-Busts-Ryan-Leaf" target="new">the NFL's all-time draft busts</a>. In 1998, the Cardinals went on to win their first playoff game in 61 years. 5

    (Associated Press)

    5. Chargers make regrettable move for QB

    Chargers receive: 1998 first-rounder (No. 2: QB Ryan Leaf)
    Cardinals receive: 1998 first-rounder (No. 3: DE Andre Wadsworth), 1998 second-rounder (No. 33: DB Corey Chavous), 1999 first-rounder (No. 8: WR David Boston), WR Eric Metcalf, LB Patrick Sapp

    The Chargers made the move into the top two of the 1998 draft knowing that they could take one of the two highly touted quarterbacks in that draft class -- Peyton Manning or Leaf. After Manning went No. 1 to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers took Leaf. Leaf's career in San Diego was a disaster, and he's among the NFL's all-time draft busts. In 1998, the Cardinals went on to win their first playoff game in 61 years.

  • <b>Saints receive:</b> 1999 first-rounder (No. 5: RB Ricky Williams)<br><b>Redskins receive:</b> 1999 first-rounder (No. 12: Traded to Bears), 1999 third-rounder (No. 71: Traded to Bears), 1999 fourth-rounder (No. 107: LB Nate Stimson), 1999 fifth-rounder (No. 144: Traded to Bears), 1999 sixth-rounder (No. 179: Traded to Broncos), 1999 seventh-rounder (No. 218: Traded to Broncos), 2000 first-rounder (No. 2: LB LaVar Arrington), 2000 third-rounder (No. 64: CB Lloyd Harrison)<br><br> The Redskins used this trade to move up in the '99 draft into the Bears' No. 7 overall spot to take 12-time Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey. While Williams only lasted three seasons with the Saints, the team did get two first-rounders from the Dolphins for him. The Saints drafted DE Charles Grant with one of those picks in '02, and he was a member of their Super Bowl XLIV-winning team. The Redskins will get knocked for not turning this trade into a dynasty, a la what the Cowboys did with the Herschel Walker deal. 4

    (Associated Press)

    4. Saints trade for Williams

    Saints receive: 1999 first-rounder (No. 5: RB Ricky Williams)
    Redskins receive: 1999 first-rounder (No. 12: Traded to Bears), 1999 third-rounder (No. 71: Traded to Bears), 1999 fourth-rounder (No. 107: LB Nate Stimson), 1999 fifth-rounder (No. 144: Traded to Bears), 1999 sixth-rounder (No. 179: Traded to Broncos), 1999 seventh-rounder (No. 218: Traded to Broncos), 2000 first-rounder (No. 2: LB LaVar Arrington), 2000 third-rounder (No. 64: CB Lloyd Harrison)

    The Redskins used this trade to move up in the '99 draft into the Bears' No. 7 overall spot to take 12-time Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey. While Williams only lasted three seasons with the Saints, the team did get two first-rounders from the Dolphins for him. The Saints drafted DE Charles Grant with one of those picks in '02, and he was a member of their Super Bowl XLIV-winning team. The Redskins will get knocked for not turning this trade into a dynasty, a la what the Cowboys did with the Herschel Walker deal.

  • <b>Redskins receive:</b> 2012 first-rounder (No. 2: QB Robert Griffin III)
<br><b>Rams receive:</b> 2012 first-rounder (No. 6: Traded to Cowboys), 2012 second-round selection (No. 39: CB Janoris Jenkins), 2013 first-rounder (No. 22: Traded to Falcons), 2014 first-rounder (No. 2: OT Greg Robinson)
<br><br>
Through additional draft trades, the Rams also acquired LB Alec Ogletree, DT Michael Brockers, WR Stedman Bailey, RB Zac Stacy, RB Isaiah Pead and OG Rokevious Watkins. Ogletree, Brockers and Jenkins are all starters on the Rams' defense. Robinson is the team's starting left tackle, and Bailey is a regular contributor in the passing and return games. It should be noted that RGIII earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, was a Pro Bowl selection and led the Redskins to the playoffs in 2012. 3

    (Associated Press)

    3. Redskins trade up for RGIII

    Redskins receive: 2012 first-rounder (No. 2: QB Robert Griffin III)
    Rams receive: 2012 first-rounder (No. 6: Traded to Cowboys), 2012 second-round selection (No. 39: CB Janoris Jenkins), 2013 first-rounder (No. 22: Traded to Falcons), 2014 first-rounder (No. 2: OT Greg Robinson)

    Through additional draft trades, the Rams also acquired LB Alec Ogletree, DT Michael Brockers, WR Stedman Bailey, RB Zac Stacy, RB Isaiah Pead and OG Rokevious Watkins. Ogletree, Brockers and Jenkins are all starters on the Rams' defense. Robinson is the team's starting left tackle, and Bailey is a regular contributor in the passing and return games. It should be noted that RGIII earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, was a Pro Bowl selection and led the Redskins to the playoffs in 2012.

  • <b>Packers receive:</b> QB John Hadl
<br><b>Rams receive:</b> 1975 first-rounder (No. 9: DT Mike Fanning), 1975 second-rounder (No. 28: DB Monte Jackson), 1975 third-rounder (No. 61: C Geoff Reece), 1976 first-rounder (No. 8: Traded to Bears), 1976 second-rounder (No. 39: DB Pat Thomas)
<br><br>
This trade doomed the Packers to nearly two decades' worth of despair while concurrently aiding the Rams' run as one of the powerhouse teams of the 1970s. The Rams rebuilt their secondary with Jackson, Thomas and Nolan Cromwell (via a subsequent trade with a selection acquired from the Packers). Jackson and Thomas were two-time Pro Bowlers, and Cromwell was a four-time Pro Bowl pick. Hadl, meanwhile, played just 22 games for Green Bay, recording an unimpressive touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-29. 2

    (Associated Press)

    2. Packers acquire Hadl

    Packers receive: QB John Hadl
    Rams receive: 1975 first-rounder (No. 9: DT Mike Fanning), 1975 second-rounder (No. 28: DB Monte Jackson), 1975 third-rounder (No. 61: C Geoff Reece), 1976 first-rounder (No. 8: Traded to Bears), 1976 second-rounder (No. 39: DB Pat Thomas)

    This trade doomed the Packers to nearly two decades' worth of despair while concurrently aiding the Rams' run as one of the powerhouse teams of the 1970s. The Rams rebuilt their secondary with Jackson, Thomas and Nolan Cromwell (via a subsequent trade with a selection acquired from the Packers). Jackson and Thomas were two-time Pro Bowlers, and Cromwell was a four-time Pro Bowl pick. Hadl, meanwhile, played just 22 games for Green Bay, recording an unimpressive touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-29.

  • <b>Vikings receive:</b> RB Herschel Walker, 1990 third-rounder (No. 54: TE Mike Jones), Chargers' 1990 fifth-rounder (No. 116: WR Reggie Thornton), 1990 10th-rounder (No. 249: WR Pat Newman), 1991 third-rounder (No. 68: Jake Reed)
<br><b>Cowboys receive:</b> Five players (LB Jesse Solomon, LB David Howard, CB Issiac Holt, DE Alex Stewart, RB Darrin Nelson, who was traded to the Chargers), 1990 first-rounder (No. 21: Traded to Steelers), 1990 second-rounder (No. 47: WR Alexander Wright), 1990 sixth-rounder (No. 158: Traded to Saints), 1991 first-rounder (No. 12: WR Alvin Harper), 1991 second-rounder (No. 38: LB Dixon Edwards) 1992 second-rounder (No. 37: S Darren Woodson), 1992 third-rounder (No. 71: Traded to Patriots), 1993 first-rounder (No. 13: Traded to Eagles)
<br><br>
The Cowboys parlayed that 1990 trade with the Steelers into RB Emmitt Smith, thus setting up this epic trade to generate a ripple effect across the NFL for a decade. By 1992, Walker was no longer with the Vikings. 1

    (Associated Press)

    1. Vikings surrender bounty of picks for Walker

    Vikings receive: RB Herschel Walker, 1990 third-rounder (No. 54: TE Mike Jones), Chargers' 1990 fifth-rounder (No. 116: WR Reggie Thornton), 1990 10th-rounder (No. 249: WR Pat Newman), 1991 third-rounder (No. 68: Jake Reed)
    Cowboys receive: Five players (LB Jesse Solomon, LB David Howard, CB Issiac Holt, DE Alex Stewart, RB Darrin Nelson, who was traded to the Chargers), 1990 first-rounder (No. 21: Traded to Steelers), 1990 second-rounder (No. 47: WR Alexander Wright), 1990 sixth-rounder (No. 158: Traded to Saints), 1991 first-rounder (No. 12: WR Alvin Harper), 1991 second-rounder (No. 38: LB Dixon Edwards) 1992 second-rounder (No. 37: S Darren Woodson), 1992 third-rounder (No. 71: Traded to Patriots), 1993 first-rounder (No. 13: Traded to Eagles)

    The Cowboys parlayed that 1990 trade with the Steelers into RB Emmitt Smith, thus setting up this epic trade to generate a ripple effect across the NFL for a decade. By 1992, Walker was no longer with the Vikings.