Whether it's because of injuries, actions outside the lines or just a poor fit with the team that selects them, some players taken in the early rounds of the NFL draft fail to pan out every year.
Some busts are more notable than others, however. A few never saw the field, while others set their team back when they got on it. The most painful busts were often taken ahead of eventual stars who would have altered a franchise's future.
The focus here is on the prospects who cost their team more than any other over the last decade. Many of them were first-round selections, but some later picks are the mix and will still sting when fans look back on them.
Here are the biggest busts for each team from 2011 to 2020.
Buffalo Bills: QB EJ Manuel, No. 16, 2013
The Bills went into the 2013 draft desperate to find a franchise quarterback. They settled on EJ Manuel, a winner during his time with the Florida State Seminoles but a prospect who needed to polish his raw mechanics.
Manuel couldn't clean up his game enough, going just 6-11 from 2013 to 2016. He completed a meager 58.3 percent of his passes and threw just 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Buffalo turned to Kyle Orton for most of 2014 and Tyrod Taylor for the majority of the 2015 and '16 seasons, letting Manuel walk in free agency following the 2016 campaign.
He had unproductive stints with the Raiders—where he became the first quarterback to lose a game in four countries—and Chiefs before he retired in 2019.
Miami Dolphins: DL Dion Jordan, No. 3, 2013
Dion Jordan is widely regarded as one of the biggest busts of not only the past decade, but also of all time. Instead of the transcendent pass-rusher one might expect from a top-three pick, the club got a player who never seemed to put in the effort required to play in the pros, let alone at an All-Pro level.
Jordan lasted just four seasons in South Beach, finishing his stint with the 'Phins with as many suspensions for violating the league's drug policy as sacks. Jordan recorded just 46 tackles and three sacks, all coming from 2013 to 2014.
The Oregon product was suspended twice during the 2014 campaign—for six games total—and was barred from playing the 2015 season. Despite being eligible to return, Jordan wouldn't see the field once in 2016 and was released in the 2017 offseason after failing a physical.
The Seahawks, Raiders and 49ers have all kicked the tires on Jordan since. San Francisco got 17 tackles and a trio of sacks from the 31-year-old while he played a career-high 373 defensive snaps in 2020.
Jordan seems to have settled into a niche as a situational pass-rusher, a far cry from what he was projected to contribute as a No. 3 pick.
New England Patriots: DT Dominique Easley, No. 29, 2014
The Patriots haven't shied from taking gambles in both the draft and free agency during Bill Belichick's two-plus decades with the club, but the team's first-round pick in 2014 left many scratching their heads.
Dominique Easley was one of the most puzzling prospects on the board, as the defensive lineman had first-round talent but suffered two debilitating knee injuries before the 2014 draft. The 6'2", 263-pounder tore each of his ACLs during his stint at Florida, having his 2011 campaign cut short with a left knee injury and finishing his collegiate career in 2013 following a right knee injury.
The Pats were likely hoping Easley's setbacks were behind him. That wouldn't be the case, however, as he landed on injured reserve several times during his two seasons in Foxborough.
The organization had seen enough by 2016, cutting Easley in April after he participated in just 22 of 32 possible games. The defensive tackle returned to play a 16-game season with the Rams that year but went down with a fourth torn ACL during training camp in 2017.
Easley attempted a comeback in 2018 but dealt with another knee injury after just three games, an ailment that ended his career. He finished having played in 41 games and recorded 64 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
New York Jets: CB Dee Milliner, No. 9, 2013
The Jets were in dire need of a replacement for Darrelle Revis after they traded the superstar cornerback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers less than a week before the 2013 draft. The team spent a top-10 pick on Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner, who was expected to give the club another shutdown corner.
That never panned out, however. He was penciled in as the team's starter across from Antonio Cromartie but was benched multiple times for poor performances as a rookie. He showed a flash of promise late in the year—recording his only three interceptions in the final two games—but couldn't build on that during an injury-plagued 2014 season (torn Achilles) that saw him play three contests.
Injuries continued to be the story for Milliner in 2015—a year in which he played just five games—and 2016, when he was waived before the start of the campaign. The cornerback would never play another down in the NFL, finishing his career with 63 tackles, 19 passes defensed and three interceptions.