The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' front office essentially admitted this week that moving up to take Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft was a huge mistake.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Jason Licht on releasing Roberto Aguayo — I owned up to it https://t.co/R2BxatMh5R
— Tony White (@anthonywhite69) August 14, 2017
Aguayo missed 10 field goals during his rookie campaign, including a pair of extra points. He was especially awful from long range in going just 4 of 11 from 40 yards or more. In a league where every point matters, that kind of long-range production just doesn't cut it.
Aguayo was claimed off waivers already by the Chicago Bears. With the revolving door that is NFL kicking, Aguayo should get plenty of chances to resurrect his career.
As Tampa Bay looks for a new kicker, here are five other kicking draft busts that made the front office pay for taking them so early.
Russell Erxleben – New Orleans
By 1979 the Saints had yet to finish an NFL season with a winning record, although they completed the 1978 campaign with a respectable 7-9 mark. To fill the missing pieces and get over the .500 hump, New Orleans selected Russell Erxleben out of the University of Texas.
The three-time, first-team All American rewarded New Orleans by making only four field goals during his entire five-year career with the team.
At least Erxleben can still lay claim to being tied for the longest field goal in college football history.
Steve Little – St. Louis
The next two kickers on our list might be part of the reason the St. Louis Cardinals finished with a winning record just two times between 1977 and 1987.
The Cardinals took kicker Steve Little out of Arkansas with the 15th overall choice in the 1978 draft. Little lasted just 3 years in St. Louis after going 13 of 27 (48.1 percent) on field goal attempts. Even more astounding is he connected on only 41 of 51 extra points (80.4 percent).
Steve Little was an All American kicker for Arkansas and the St. Louis Cardinals. pic.twitter.com/xRvwobMcsg
— George M. Green Jr. (@JahJr1) June 5, 2016
John Lee – St. Louis
The UCLA kicker was taken 32nd overall in the 1986 draft as the Cardinals apparently hadn't learned from its mistake 8 years earlier.
Lee was an even biggest bust than Little in playing just one season in the NFL after making only 61.5 percent of his field goals and 82.4 percent of his extra points.
Ever heard of Steve Little for the St. Louis football Cardinals? And John Lee?
— Jeff Leenerts (@JLeenerts) August 12, 2017
Jerry DePoyster – Detroit
The Wyoming kicker made just 3 of his 15 NFL attempts for the Lions, including failing on all 9 from 40-plus yards. That probably explains why the 37th overall selection in the 1968 draft lasted just one year in Detroit.
DePoyster landed as the Oakland Raiders punter the following two seasons, but failed to average 40 yards in either campaign
— Raiders History (@Oaklraiders1976) June 23, 2016
Mike Nugent – New York Jets
The Jets took Nugent in the second round of the 2005 draft out of Ohio State. He lasted just four seasons in New York, which was a byproduct of missing 6 attempts from 50-plus yards.
Ironically, while Nugent was a kicking bust for the Jets, he's actually still in the league after a solid seven-year stint in Cincinatti. As of August 2017, he's battling it out for the starting kicking duties for the New York Giants.