3 players we can safely call busts after 2023 NFL Season

Which three players are clearly busts after the 2023 NFL Season?

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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2. Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots

Another QB picked in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Mac Jones enjoyed a very strong rookie season, leading the New England Patriots to 10 wins and a playoff appearance. However, over the last two seasons, Jones has thrown 24 touchdowns against 23 interceptions.

He's earned a poor passer rating of 81.4 in 2022 and 2023, and the Patriots have gone 8-17 in his 25 starts across that timeframe. Many people have said that the situation in New England was way too disastrous and frantic for Mac Jones or any QB to succeed in, but I tend to disagree. There was not a ton to like about Mac Jones coming out of college, and I think at this point, he needs to find a way out of New England and try to reset his career as a backup.

I do think Mac Jones can carve out a career in the NFL as a quality backup option, but that is not something a team would use a first-round pick on. A rhythm passer with limited mobility, Jones is going to have to make it in a very specific offense. Honestly, San Francisco would make a ton of sense for Mac Jones to revive his career as a backup, but he is clearly a bust through his first three NFL seasons.

3. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Let's make it a trio of quarterbacks. Kenny Pickett did not do anything close to establishing himself as a franchise QB in the NFL, and that was after an offseason of people here and there pegging him as a breakout candidate. Pickett is a poor passer, tossing 13 touchdowns against 13 interceptions over two seasons of NFL action.

I have a theory that the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn't have drafted Pickett in the 2022 NFL Draft had he not gone to Pitt for college. It just felt like the Steelers were going for a feel-good story more than they were going for a franchise QB. I'm not sure there is much of anything about Pickett's game to like, and if I was a team even looking for a backup QB, I'd stay far away from the passer.

The Steelers need to find a franchise QB, or else they will continue to be irrelevant in the AFC.