Draft busts: The worst pick at each of the 32 1st-round spots in NFL draft

LARRY BETHEA, courtesy Michigan State athLetics

LARRY BETHEA, courtesy Michigan State athletics

29. WR R. Jay Soward

The particulars: Drafted in 2000 by the Jacksonville Jaguars from USC.
The skinny: Soward had attitude problems at USC, but the Jags overlooked those and took him in the first round. Bad idea. A guy with attitude issues on a team coached by Tom Coughlin? Yeah, that’ll work. Soward lasted just one season in the NFL, making 14 receptions.

28. DE Larry Bethea

The particulars: Drafted in 1978 by the Dallas Cowboys from Michigan State.
The skinny: There have been no out-and-out busts selected at No. 28 (though there have been a handful of guys who suffered injuries early in their pro careers who didn’t pan out). Bethea played six NFL seasons, but made just two starts and few big plays. Bethea reportedly had drug problems and committed suicide in 1987 after being ID’d as a suspect in two armed robberies. He was 30.

27. WR Rae Carruth

The particulars: Drafted in 1997 by the Carolina Panthers from Colorado.
The skinny: He lasted three seasons in the NFL, making 62 receptions, before he was sent to prison for his involvement in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. He was so-so as a rookie, with 44 catches in 14 starts, then did nothing in seasons two and three (seven games total, 31 receptions). He was arrested in December of his third season, and eventually sentenced to up to 24 years in prison for his role in the murder; Carruth has a tentative release date of October 2018.

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