It is tough to make it in the NFL. Many young men grow up with dreams of competing at the highest level, but only a fraction of those young men actually succeed. It takes the best of the best to make it, and sometimes even the best of the best fail. Ryan Leaf was one of the best college players to ever do it, but couldn’t figure it out in the league. Recently, he posted a tweet making fun of himself for his shortcomings in the NFL.
Ryan Leaf does not lie in this tweet. Many people believed that Leaf would succeed in the league, but unfortunately, he could not perform. Now, most fans consider him the biggest bust in NFL history. He is not the only college superstar to fall short in the NFL. The number one overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, Jamarcus Russell, also disappointed fans.
Ryan Leaf NFL Bust
Ryan Leaf had all of the right elements to succeed in the NFL, but off the field, issues prevented him from realizing his potential. Between injuries, work ethic, and bad behavior, Leaf could not make it more than three years in the league.
He played college ball at the University of Washington, where he finished as a Heisman finalist after his junior year. Despite being drafted second overall behind Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft, Leaf could never hold a starting position for more than a few games and eventually left the league after just three seasons.
After his career ended, he continued his downward spiral. He was arrested on several occasions, usually tied to drugs– whether possessing them or stealing them. After a decade of drug use and a few stints in prison, Ryan Leaf cleaned up his act. He hosts a radio show, works as an NFL analyst on television, as well as a program ambassador for several sober living communities.