10 biggest NFL draft busts in Tennessee football history

The Tennessee Volunteers have produced many legendary players into the NFL, but a few early draft picks had careers that didn't pan out after leaving Knoxville.

Tennessee sophomore quarterback Heath Shuler (21)
Tennessee sophomore quarterback Heath Shuler (21) / Rex Perry / The Tennessean / USA TODAY
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58. Heath Shuler. player. Heath Shuler, QB. 1. . No. 3 overall. Heath Shuler, QB. . 1994

Two years removed from a Super Bowl, Washington sunk to 4-12 in 1993 with Mark Rypien at quarterback, so new head coach Norv Turner needed to bring in his quarterback. Washington grabbed Shuler, the 1993 SEC Player of the Year, at No. 3 overall. 

Shuler started eight games as a rookie and went 1-7 while completing 45.3% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Even after that abysmal rookie season, he went into 1995 as the team’s starter, but things worsened. 

In Week 1 Shuler went 5/12 passing for 47 yards with an interception before he was knocked out of the game. He didn’t play again until Week 10 and finished the season with three touchdowns and seven interceptions in five starts. 

After 1996 when he played only one game with no starts, Shuler was traded to New Orleans where he started nine games in 1997 with two touchdowns and 14 interceptions. A foot injury prevented him from playing for New Orleans in 1998 and eventually knocked him out of professional football.