Is Roberto Aguayo the Biggest Draft Bust Ever?

Jason Lake

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:30 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 8:30 PM UTC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted place-kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round last year – and traded up to get him. Has anyone done more damage to his team’s NFL odds?

Place-kickers deserve a lot more respect. But respect is in short supply on the gridiron, and most of it gets used up by the very best “skill” players in the NFL. Kickers are the league’s pariahs, largely ignored when they’re successful (Adam Vinatieri notwithstanding) and universally despised when they miss. 

Which brings us to the curious case of Roberto Aguyao. He was a great kicker in college for the Florida State Seminoles, nailing 69 of his 78 field goals and all 198 of his extra points. Aguayo ranked No. 3 for accuracy in the history of college football. So the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up to grab him in the second round of the 2016 Draft, at No. 59 overall. One year later, they released Aguayo; he’s with the Chicago Bears now. Is Aguayo the biggest draft bust in NFL history? Has anyone done more damage to his team’s NFL odds?


Kick Me

Drafting him that high – or at all – was definitely a head-scratcher. Modern NFL kickers have become so accurate, there’s not much reason to claim dibs on one. But that also makes it impossible to peg Aguayo as the biggest bust of all time. He went 22-for-31 on field goals and 32-for-34 on PATs; that 71-percent rate on figgies is better than Hall of Fame kicker Jan Stenerud’s 67-percent career rate. Keeping or losing Aguayo wouldn’t have made much difference to Tampa Bay’s value as an NFL pick this year.

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"We're gonna release you."#HardKnocks takes us inside the moment that Roberto Aguayo learned he had been released by the Bucs.

— NFL (@NFL) August 16, 2017

If you want to find the biggest draft busts, you have to look at more important positions on the field – and there’s nothing more important than a quarterback. The ones who get drafted at or near the top of the first round and flop become household names. One stands out in particular: Ryan Leaf, who went No. 2 overall to the San Diego Chargers in 1998. He threw two TD passes and 15 picks in his rookie season. Then he tore his labrum and missed the entire 1999 campaign. Leaf was out of the NFL three years later.

You could make a case for QB JaMarcus Russell (Oakland Raiders, No. 1 in 2007) as the biggest bust in history, but either way, Aguayo’s foibles pale in comparison. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up on the Purple Drank.

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