Chargers Draft

Lost in the Draft: The 5 biggest NFL Draft busts by the Chargers since 2000

A tackling monster for Michigan, Jonas Mouton (57) was never able to stay healthy after being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
A tackling monster for Michigan, Jonas Mouton (57) was never able to stay healthy after being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. / Hannah Foslien/GettyImages
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Manti Te'o
An All-American linebacker for Notre Dame, Manti Te'o's NFL career never quite lived up to expectations due to inconsistency and his own limitations. / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Chargers no. 4 Draft Bust: Manti Te’o, linebacker (2013, second round)

One of the most vaunted collegiate players of all time, Te’o was a star even before he got to Notre Dame. Easily one of the best prospects in the class of 2009, Te’o was a universal five-star recruit coming out of Punahou School in Hawaii. Competing for head coach Charlie Weis, Te’o earned a series of accolades in his final season with the Fighting Irish. In 2012, he won the Maxwell Award, Lott Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, just to name a few and was recognized as a Unanimous All-American selection. He was projected as a potential late first-round pick and would have been one of the more exciting collegiate star selections by the Bolts. 

However, following a lackluster performance at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine – he ran a 4.82 40-yard dash – and a bizarre controversy regarding his deceased girlfriend, later revealed to be a catfishing hoax, Te’o fell to the second round. In the same draft that the Chargers selected Keenan Allen, Te’o turned out to be one of the most disappointing picks in the last decade for Los Angeles.

Over four seasons with the Chargers, he wound up starting in only 24 games, which although okay, was below the level that many expected him to be after an elite collegiate career. To the Chargers’ credit though, there was only one linebacker in the 2013 NFL Draft class that would make a Pro Bowl – Jamie Collins in 2015.

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