Every year teams load up their draft boards with prospects they feel can help them repeat as champions, solve issues to make them competitive, or for the right athlete to keep them relevant and in contention. Every football team has needs and all eyes are fixed on the college landscape. Who is the next Dan Marino, Gale Sayers, or Jerry Rice? Many names are shouted and exclaimed, but very few measure up to the reputation that proceeds them. Here are ten examples of highly touted collegiate stars who were dominant on the gridiron in the NCAA. However, these ten blockbusters fizzled out once they reached the NFL. Like the month of March, they came in like a lion and left the league like a lamb. Their careers have been hugely unsuccessful compared to what they were projected to accomplish. To give you some background on the selection process, all ten of these players were one or more of the following: Heisman award winner, number one overall draft pick, and/or a first round selection.
10. Matt Leinart – QB
10th Overall Pick, 2006 – Arizona Cardinals
Seemingly, Matt Leinart was tailor-made for the NFL when he emerged from USC. The quarterback’s last game in his collegiate career was one that would go down in folklore. Leinart was a three-time Heisman finalist that flawlessly operated USC’s pro-style offense with grace and fluidity. An offense that featured Dwayne Jarrett, Reggie Bush, and Lendale White. An offense that could easily accumulate five hundred yards in a game. Leinart was a part of a team that set records in many different categories. The most impressive was owning one of the longest winning streaks in college football history and nearly winning three straight national championships. The Pete Carroll commanded team functioned as their name would entail, like a rogue Trojan brigade sacking coliseums of different teams, week after week. The same prominence did not translate for Matt Leinart when he reached the next level. His pro career mostly consisted of unproductive numbers and comprising the role of a backup quarterback for his brief stay in the NFL.