3. Maurice Clarett, RB -- 3rd round (101st overall), 2005
Back in the early 2000s, Maurice Clarett was an absolute phenom. The former high school All-American committed to play college football at Ohio State and was an immediate success for the Buckeyes program.
Clarett burst onto the scene in 2002 for Ohio State, rushing for 1,237 yards on 222 attempts with 18 total touchdowns from scrimmage, helping lead Ohio State to an undefeated record and a win over Miami in the BCS National Championship that year. And he played a massive role in that game, scoring the winning touchdown while also forcing a fumble on Miami safety Sean Taylor on an interception return.
Unfortunately, his success at Ohio State would only be a flash in the pan. Several incidents off the field led to his being suspended by the program for the 2003 season. While he was suspended, Clarett sued to be included among the prospects eligible for the 2004 NFL Draft despite the fact that he was only two years removed from his high school graduating class. Ultimately, that didn't work, and he was not eligible to play college ball so he prepared for the 2005 NFL Draft where he was certainly one of the more intriguing players.
During this long period of time where he was not playing football, Clarett developed some very unfortunate addictions to alcohol and drugs, while also dealing with depression. Clarett actually published a book in 2013 where many of these details can be found.
Even after an unimpressive Scouting Combine performance, the Broncos used the 101st overall pick on Clarett, which shocked the entire NFL world. I won't soon forget the team having Clarett's no. 20 jersey up for sale on the official website not long after he was selected. His celebrity, by the time he was drafted into the NFL, was pretty massive. Thanks to his time at Ohio State, the brilliance of that 2002 season, and the legal battle Clarett took on, everyone was intrigued to see what his NFL future could be.
He showed up at training camp significantly overweight, and unfortunately for Clarett at the time, his agents negotiated a deal that didn't include as much guaranteed money because they wanted an incentive-laden deal in case Clarett lived up to his previous hype. That, of course, never happened. Clarett never played in a preseason game for the Broncos. He never played a single snap in the NFL.
As things unfolded in the coming years, Clarett would experience a complete turnaround of his life after landing in prison where he then vowed to change for the better. He has since become a motivational speaker and the creator of a number of business ventures, doing some really tremendous work in the mental and behavioral health spaces.