Five worst first-round draft picks by Chargers


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Jan 22, 2006
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Take Five: The five worst first-round draft picks by the Chargers since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970

By: ERIC BREIER - Staff Writer

1. Ryan Leaf, No. 2 overall, 1998

Leaf isn't just the Chargers' worst first-round pick. Don't drink the Tony Mandarich Kool-Aid ---- Leaf is far and away the biggest bust in draft history. It's hard to believe that in April 1998 there were many who would have gladly taken "Cryin' Ryan" over Peyton Manning.

2. Bo Matthews, No. 2 overall, 1974

The Steelers picked up four future Hall of Famers (Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann and Mike Webster) in the 1974 draft. With the second overall pick, the Chargers got a guy who played eight seasons in the NFL, but hit his peak as a rookie when he rushed for 328 yards.

3. Mossy Cade, No. 6, 1984

Sure, the Chargers got a first-rounder from the Packers for Cade after he refused to sign with the Bolts. But if you think Quentin Jammer, another former Texas cornerback, hasn't worked out, check out Cade's career numbers: two seasons, one prison sentence for sexual assault.

4. James FitzPatrick, No. 13, 1986

Wonder why it has been 20 years since the Chargers drafted an offensive lineman in the first round? You would be gun-shy too if the last time netted somebody who earned the nickname "FatsPatrick" during his brief time in San Diego.

5. Bryan Still, No. 41, 1996

OK, so Still was a second-round pick. That's just a technicality. The Chargers wasted a first-rounder to get a guy who caught but 73 passes in his first three seasons and then decided that was reason enough to hold out for more money before the '99 campaign. Hope Still invested that money well.
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