Notre Dame Football: Top 5 NFL Draft Busts Since 2000

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen /

Notre Dame football has put plenty of NFL talent into the league lately. They’ve also had a few flops.

When it comes to the NFL Draft, one thing you never want as a fan of any collegiate program is have a guy from your team become a bust. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a couple of Notre Dame football players fit the definition of a bust since the turn of the century.

Here are the Top 5 NFL Draft busts from Notre Dame since 2000:

5. Manti Te’o, Linebacker

Forget the invisible girlfriend jokes and the disappoinint combine workout, many expected Te’o to come into the league and be a solid starter — if not perennial Pro Bowler. That hasn’t been the case, as injuries and overall average play have plagued his career so far. He’s logged just 284 total tackles since entering the league as the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

4. Courtney Watson, Linebacker

Watson was drafted No. 60 overall by the New Orleans Saint in 2004. After just three seasons in the NFL — with one of them as a part of practice squads for two different franchises — he was out of the league at the end of 2006. He logged just 94 tackles in his professional career.

3. Jimmy Clausen, Quarterback

Despite a so-so-Notre Dame career, scouts and NFL experts were high on Clausen’s potential and blamed some of his collegiate woes on a lack of surround talent, the offensive system and coaching. He also had some off-field issues as well. After being drafted 48th overall by the Carolina Panthers in 2010, Clausen went on to play for the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens, tossing a total of seven touchdowns and 14 interceptions during his six-year career.

2. Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver

After an amazing career in South Bend, Floyd was selected No. 13 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2012 NFL Draft. Everything was in place for him to succeed, including being paired up with the great Larry Fitzgerald in the Cardinal receiving corps. Despite that, Floyd consistently underperformed on the field and fought demons off it. He has started 16 games just once in his six-year career and is on his third franchise heading into the 2018 season.

Next: The Quarterbacks Drafted Ahead of Joe Montana

1. Brady Quinn, Quarterback

Quinn was a mega-star in college who had the look of a sure-fire franchise quarterback. He fell to pick No. 22 in the 2007 NFL Draft and the Cleveland Browns gave up real assets to jump back into the first round to get him. He would spend four seasons in the NFL — three with the Browns and one with the Kansas City Chiefs. He started 20 games, finished with a record of 4-16 while tossing 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions.