49ers Top 10 NFL Draft Busts: No. 1 - Jim Druckenmiller, Quarterback

The last two weeks have been a fairly rough walk down memory lane as we've looked at some pretty awful 49ers of the past twenty years. I think the list of busts (posted with links after the jump) is a broad mix of different types of busts. We've got guys who came in with high expectations and didn't meet them. We've got guys that came in with low expectations and still managed to come in under those expectations.

And then there's Jim Druckenmiller. In 1997 the 49ers made the fateful decision to ignore Bill Walsh's recommendation of Jake Plummer and instead used their 26th overall pick to select QB Jim Druckenmiller out of Virginia Tech. I was a fan of Jake the Snake dating back to Arizona State but I was quick to sell myself on the big bad Druckenmiller. He had a huge arm and played in a pro style offense with the Hokies. What wasn't there to love about the guy? Turns out plenty.

In two season with the 49ers, Druckenmiller made one start and appeared in four other games (one involved just kneel-downs). His most memorable moment as a 49er came in his one start, which as I recall was in place of an injured Steve Young (concussion). In the second quarter, Druckenmiller completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Stokes to give the 49ers a 7-6 lead. In the fourth quarter Druckenmiller completed a two point conversion pass to Terry Kirby to give the 49ers their final 15-12 victory. I believe it was after the second quarter touchdown (but might have been after the two-point conversion) that Druckenmiller was met on the sideline by Kevin Greene. Druckenmiller was wearing his helmet and Greene was not, but that did not stop Greene from giving Druckenmiller a headbutt in celebration.

Druckenmiller's time with the 49ers ended in 1999 as he was traded away. In his brief stint with the 49ers he was 21 of 52 for 239 yards, with one touchdown and four interceptions. He could never pick up reading defenses or being even remotely accurate. While it is true that a good chunk of picks from the second half of the first round flop, this was a fairly epic flop in my estimation. As I recall (can'f find the link), Steve Young mentioned something about knowing fairly quickly that Druckenmiller was going to bust out.

Druckenmiller may not have had quite the expectations of some of the bigger busts in NFL history, but his overall performance was pretty miserable. You can make arguments for several of the players on this list being in the top spot. However, I think Jim Druckenmiller's truly atrocious stint with the 49ers sufficiently justifies this top spot.

49ers Top 10 NFL Draft Busts
1. Jim Druckenmiller, Quarterback - 1997 NFL Draft
2. J.J. Stokes, Wide Receiver - 1995 NFL Draft
3. Rashaun Woods, Wide Receiver - 2004 NFL Draft
4. Mike Rumph, Cornerback - 2002 NFL Draft
5. Kentwan Balmer, Defensive End - 2008 NFL Draft
6. Todd Kelly, Outside Linebacker - 1993 NFL Draft
7. Kwame Harris, Offensive Tackle - 2003 NFL Draft
8. Dexter Carter, Running Back - 1990 NFL Draft
9. Reggie McGrew, Defensive Tackle - 1999 NFL Draft
10. Dana Hall, Free Safety - 1992 NFL Draft


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