5 High End NFL Talents That Never Took Off Due To College Injuries

We are taking this post back to yesteryear and discussing some of the best players who were early pick NFL draft talents that never took off. There are five names I remember coming out and five names I remember fizzling out faster than they came in. That was in large part due to an injury or series of injuries they sustained in college.

All of them had the potential to be stars at the pro level, but those injuries derailed the promising careers ahead.

5. Da’quon Bowers – Defensive End – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2011-2015)

Bowers was a monster at Clemson receiving a unanimous All-American bid in 2010 after recording 15.5 sacks his junior season. With Andrew Luck bypassed the NFL draft, the Clemson product was being looked at as potentially the number one pick. Bowers ended up falling to Tampa Bay in the second round. As a Saints fan, I remember wondering why the hell the Saints drafted Cam Jordan in the late first instead of Bowers, but the NFL knew something we all didn’t. He had knee surgery in the off-season which clearly hindered his ability as he only recorded 7.0 career sacks.

4. Jahvid Best – Running Back – Detroit Lions (2010-2012)

Lions Head Coach at the time, Jim Schwartz was quoted saying “Some people watch adult videos on their computer…I got to YouTube and watch Jahvid Best highlights. That’s what gets me aroused.” He truly was lightning in a bottle running a 4.35 and as shifty as they come. Best had one of the nastiest concussions I have ever seen. The video below is still terror to watch. Unfortunately, those concussions followed him into the NFL so his career never took off as expected when he was selected 30th overall.

3. Jason White – Quarterback – Oklahoma (1999-2004)

White had quite the career for the Sooners. He was a two time Heisman trophy finalist and one time winner and he is more remembered for being the third Heisman winner to go undrafted. He tried out for the Kansas City Chiefs, but did not make the team. He was eventually signed by the Tennessee Titans as a undrafted free agent. He decided not to play due to his knees.

2. Limas Sweed – Wide Receiver – Pittsburgh Steelers (2008-2010)

The 6’4 220 lbs. looked like a typical NFL go-to receiver. He had quite the career for the Texas Longhorns catching a game winner from Vince Young in the National Championship Rose Bowl. The following season, he caught 12 TDs and over 800 yards from Colt McCoy. Prior to his junior season, he injured his wrist and later re-injured the wrist. Early mocks had him as the second receiver taken. However, he ended up being the 9th receiver taken during the late 2nd. The injuries began piling on shortly after.

1. Marcus Lattimore – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers (2013-2014)

Lattimore was one of the most respected college football players during his time at South Carolina. He was on a collision course to being one of the first players of the draft board. In 2011, he suffered his first of two knee injuries midway through that season. He entered 2012 looking to rebound and he was doing just that. Draft talk was still hot about him. However, that stock began plummeting after a gruesome knee injury. He dislocated it and tore every ligament. To top it off, he suffered nerve damage as a result.

After the injury, Tennessee players surrounded Lattimore in support. He unfortunately did not get drafted until the 4th round. His career was essentially over before it really began.

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