Ryan Leaf and Tony Mandarich are generally recognized as the two biggest busts in the history of the NFL draft. That might also make them the two best cautionary tales for the players at this year’s Scouting Combine.
Leaf is at this year’s Combine, and he told Adam Schefter of ESPN that he had a “rewarding” experience talking to young quarterbacks.
Mandarich, meanwhile, says he doesn’t understand why he’s never been invited to talk to NFL teams. As an offensive tackle at Michigan State, Mandarich was viewed as the best offensive line prospect ever heading into the 1989 draft. Instead he was a major disappointment as the second overall pick.
“I’m blown away they don’t bring me in to [say], ‘Hey look, here’s from the horse’s mouth on how not to do it,'” Mandarich told ESPN.com. “Who else do you know was a train wreck that could give the rookies a cautionary tale and say, ‘Hey look, you’re not invincible.'”
Mandarich said he blames his own “immaturity” and “stupidity” for washing out in the NFL, and he believes he can talk to young players and give them a wake-up call about avoiding the mistakes he made.
There will surely be some players in this year’s draft whose careers are cut short by immaturity and stupidity. But maybe hearing from busts like Leaf and Mandarich would lead to some players getting scared straight.