Ten biggest top-ten draft busts of the past decade

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Definition of the word “bust”:

1. To smash or break, especially forcefully
2. To cause to become bankrupt or short of money
3. A failure; a flop

With the 2010 NFL Draft kicking of in two days, there has been no shortage of opinions and analysis on the hundreds of NFL hopefuls looking to take their games to the next level.

Some of these players will exceed expectations and go on to profitable, prolific careers (see: Tom Brady, pick No. 199 in 2000).

Some will wash out of the league before they know what hits them (see: Ryan Leaf, pick No. 2, 1998).

The second category is the one we’re focusing on today.

Here are my 10 biggest top-10 busts of the past decade. To qualify for this list, a player must have been drafted in the top 10 between 2000 and 2009.

Let the debate begin…

NUMBER 10: Courtney Brown Defensive End Penn State

Selected: No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2000

Penn State dominated the top of the 2000 draft as Brown was the first choice off the board followed by Washington’s selection of teammate LaVar Arrington. Cleveland liked what it saw in the 1999 first-team All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and decided to pull the trigger on the big defensive end with the first overall selection.

Brown played for seven years in the league (2000-2006), starting 60 games. However, he was plagued by injuries and was only able to play one full season during his career (2000). Having recorded just 19 total sacks and earning no trips to the Pro Bowl, Brown shut it down for good in 2006, never living up to the hype of the first overall pick.

Notable players drafted after Brown: Chris Samuels, John Abraham, Keith Bullock, Brian Urlacher.

NUMBER 9: Peter Warrick Wide Receiver Florida State

Selected: No. 4 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2000

One of the most electrifying collegiate players of the last 20 years, Warrick closed out his career with the Seminoles in style at the 2000 Sugar Bowl, posting 160 yards receiving and three touchdowns — including a 59-yard punt return — in a 46-29 championship game win over Michael Vick’s Virginia Tech Hokies.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, the consensus All-American never performed like that again. Warrick amassed only 18 touchdowns in six NFL seasons and averaged a substandard 10.9 yards per reception for his career. However, you can’t say the Bengals weren’t warned. Warrick was busted in that infamous Dillard’s department store mishap with Laveranues Coles when the FSU wideouts paid $21.40 for $412.38 worth of clothing — just three months before the win over Virginia Tech.

Noteable players drafted after Warrick: Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, Shaun Alexander, Matt Bowen (198th overall), Tom Brady (199th overall).

NUMBER 8: Vernon Gholston Linebacker Ohio State

Selected: No. 6 overall by the New York Jets in 2008

Gholston was a beast during his final season with the Buckeyes, recording a team-record 14

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