The Best College Athletes Who Struggled in the NFL

Athletes who excel in college often do great things in the NFL. College football is highly competitive, after all, and it serves as the perfect springboard for future Hall of Famers.

But there are some major exceptions. 

As the below guide shows, good college form isn’t always an indicator of NFL prospects. Keep these in mind the next time you’re preparing your fantasy draft picks or placing some futures bets, and if you’re looking for some incentives to make those bets more rewarding, check out this Caesars Sportsbook Maryland promo code

Courtney Brown – DE

Courtney Brown was an award-winning college athlete who was chosen as the 1st overall pick for the Cleveland Browns in 2000. He was expected to achieve great things, but it didn’t quite work out for him.

His rookie season was respectable, but that’s where he peaked and it was all downhill from there. 

He spent a total of 6 years in the NFL and was disappointing throughout, accumulating half the sacks that he recorded during his college years.

JaMarcus Russell – QB

The Raiders took Russell as their 1st overall pick in the 2007 draft, and the QB has since gone down as one of the worst draft busts in the league’s history.

Despite showing promise as a college QB, Russell flopped at the highest level. He spent just two years with the Raiders and recorded 18 career TDs and 23 interceptions. 

He was inconsistent and unreliable, and many fans and critics questioned his work ethic. He failed to meet expectations on the field and seemingly had issues off of it. In 2010, three years after being drafted, he was arrested for possession of codeine syrup and he later admitted that he had tested positive for the drug after being drafted.

Ron Dayne – RB

Dayne was a force to be reckoned with during his college days. He was an exceptional running back who shattered rushing records and once recorded over 2,100 rushing yards in a single season. It’s no surprise that he made it to the NFL in the 2000 draft, but he was unable to replicate those performances on the big stage.

During a 7-year NFL career, Dayne recorded an average of 3.8 yards per carry and didn’t record a single 1,000-yard season. He scored a total of 28 rushing touchdowns during those 7 years, even though he once hit 20 in just one college season.

He was still a solid performer and was far from a flop, but considering what he achieved at college level, it’s fair to say that he fell short of expectations.

Eric Crouch – QB

Crouch was a third-round pick for the St. Louis Rams in 2002. The Heisman winner had actually thrown more interceptions than touchdowns but was still a hot prospect of whom great things were expected.

Unfortunately, he never really got going in the NFL. He spent a lot of time in practice squads and was eventually moved to NFL Europe, only to end up in the CFL and then the AAFL when NFL Europe dissolved.

Crouch even tried multiple positions, including Wide Receiver and Safety, but he never relived the lofty heights of his college career.

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