With the NFL Draft looming just over the horizon, and many college football stars going through the Combines, one can’t help but notice all the hype and excitement that surrounds the league. There is a lot of anticipation on how those athletes will all perform in the National Football League. But despite college athletic success, some do not really make the complete transition to the professional level.
The Heisman Trophy, college football’s most prestigious award is usually given to the most outstanding college football player. To be nominated for the award is already an achievement for those selected
Over the last 10 years, no Heisman Trophy winning quarterback has yet to raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy and wear a Super Bowl ring.
Here are some of the following Heisman winning NFL quarterbacks that have terrific statistic busting records in the college, but never quite transferred that success in the professional league.
1. Chris Weinke – Drafted by the Carolina Panthers during the 2000 NFL Draft. He was given the starting position during the 2000 season, and won the first game and lost succeeding games after. He holds the NFL records for the most consecutive losses by a quarterback in a season.
2. Eric Crouch – Despite winning multiple collegiate awards and the Heisman Trophy, Crouch was drafted by the St. Louis Rams as a Wide Receiver. He was cut shortly after training camp that year. He later tried out for the Green Bay packers as a quarterback, but was released before the start of the regular season.
3. Carson Palmer – Palmer was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2003 NFL Draft. He had a promising start to his career during the 2005 season, but because of a knee injury later that season, he has still yet to lead the his team to the playoffs since that time.
4. Matt Leinart – The heir to Kurt Warner’s throne in Arizona, Leinart was drafted as 10th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Despite the hype, he has played poorly in his first few starts for his team and was finally benched to give way for Kurt Warner.
5. Troy Smith – Even though he won the Heisman Trophy for his college performance, Troy Smith was drafted at the end of the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. But because of rare case of tonsillitis that plagued him during the pre-season, rookie QB Joe Flacco later replaced him.
Winning the Heisman Trophy may be a big deal in college, but not in the professional league. Yes, it may present a bigger paycheck for the players and agents to take advantage of, but it is just another personal milestone for the player. In the end, what matters most in the NFL, is the team that holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the post-season.