3 Biggest Draft Busts In Cincinnati Bengals History

The Cincinnati Bengals have had some of the best players in NFL history on their roster, but that doesn’t mean they’ve had a few bad misses in the draft along the way. Here are are the biggest draft busts in team history:

3) QB Jack Thompson (3rd overall pick in 1979)

Thompson was drafted to be long-time starter Ken Anderson's replacement, but he never panned out despite being billed as a "can't-miss" prospect. During his four years with the Bengals, he was never able to gain control of the starting job, never completed over 50 percent of his passes, and never threw more touchdowns than interceptions. He signed on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1983 before retiring a year later.

2) QB David Klingler (6th overall pick in 1992)david-klingler-05176988

Klinger set numerous passing records while at Houston, and the Bengals were hopeful his production would translate to the NFL. However, in his four seasons in Cincy, Klingler started just 24 games, threw for 16 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, completed just 54.2 percent of his passes, and posted a 4-20 record. After the Bengals let him go, he spent two seasons with the Oakland Raiders before leaving the sport in 1997.

1) QB Akili Smith (3rd overall pick in 1999)

Cincinnati was desperate to find a franchise quarterback, and the Bengals tabbed Smith as their guy. Despite receiving an offer of nine draft picks for the No. 3 spot from Mike Ditka and the New Orleans Saints (they were trying to draft Ricky Williams), the Bengals took Smith.

They should have smelled trouble when he missed most of training camp during a contract dispute. Smith only started 17 games during his four seasons in Cincinnati (12 coming in 2000), and his failure to fully grasp the playbook, 46.6 career completion percentage, five touchdowns, and 13 interceptions ended his NFL career in 2002.

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