10 of the Most Shocking NFL Draft Picks
2. Maurice Clarett
Team: Denver Broncos
Position: Running Back
Round: 3rd, 101 OVR
Would you take a chance on someone who has been out of the game for two years? That’s exactly what the Denver Broncos did with Ohio State’s Maurice Clarett. Clarett had been a one and done at OSU, posting huge numbers for a freshman, and lead the Buckeyes to a Fiesta Bowl championship. Clarett’s talent didn’t come without its flaws. Clarett had been involved in a number of off field incidents, ultimately leading to him being dismissed from Ohio State.
Clarett tried to enter the NFL draft in 2004, but was not allowed because a player must be three years removed from High School in order to be eligible for the NFL. Clarett tried to appeal this rule, but was eventually denied by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Clarett had hired an agent to help increase his odds in the draft, but after losing eligibility to enter the draft, this would come back to haunt him as he was not allowed to play in the NCAA.
Clarett would enter the 2005 draft and posted 40 numbers that were slower than turtle sunbathing, at 4.72 and 4.82. The Denver Broncos were willing to take a shot on him when he was still on the board in the 3rd round. Clarett showed up 20 lbs overweight to the preseason training camp, but still signed a 4-year contract after training camp had ended. He would have trouble with the coaches and was eventually released before ever playing an NFL snap.