Being a Detroit fan sure has it’s ups and downs. From an 0-16 season to having a top 5 quarterback consistently leading a team to the cusp of the playoffs, but falling short in a tough NFC North division.
While the Lions have had some hugely successful picks, think Stafford, Megatron, and Suh. They’ve also had players underwhelm such as Jahvid Best and Brandon Pettigrew.
But one of their worst picks all time was Charles Rogers, the wide receiver from Michigan State who they took 2nd overall in the 2003 draft. While at MSU Rogers was extremely dominant, he was a Biletnikoff Award winner and an All-American in 2002. He drew comparisons to Randy Moss. Sure thing right?
WRONG! He started off strong, catching 22 passes for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first five games before he broke his clavicle during practice and ended his season. The following year he broke his clavicle again, shelving him for another season. The following year he was suspended for violating the league’s substance policy, it later came out that he had failed drug tests every season at MSU. After the suspension he played in 9 games and was released during the off season.
His career stats were 36 catches, 440 yards, and 4 touchdowns. The majority came in his first 5 career games. After the Lions selected Rogers, the Texans picked Andre Johnson 3rd overall. Anyone familiar with football knows how that turned out for Houston.
Also available were Terrance Newman, Jordan Gross, Terrell Suggs, Troy Polamalu, Dallas Clark, and Nnamdi Asomugha.While this hurts to think about in hindsight, it all worked out for Detroit. Four years later the Lions selected arguably the most dominant wide receiver of the last decade in Calvin Johnson.