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Cleveland Browns Draft Bust #10: James Jackson

When all 32 NFL blogs were asked to write about the top 10 draft busts and the top 10 draft successes, we were allowed to choose from a given time period. I decided to only select from the pool of players from 1999-2010 because it better suits my era. Deciding on which players were considered a "success" was easy, but the "busts" were difficult. I originally had a guy like Beau Bell on my list, but eventually kept him off because it is hard to have super high expectations for a fourth rounder. Also (spoiler alert)...

I decided not to include Courtney Brown on this list. I think injuries held him back, and I'd have a hard time throwing the bust label on him because of that even those his statistics compared to when he was taken would indicate otherwise. I also did not include players who I thought were "intermediate," such as Tim Couch and Jeff Faine. I'm telling you this so you don't think I automatically looked at every single first-round draft pick and forced myself to label them as a definitive "bust" or "success." Those in between were not given either label.


I am not 100% sold on the list I came up with, and I think I can easily be convinced otherwise with some of the selections I made. That's what happens when the criteria is very loose and open to interpretation. Also, at least for the busts section, while I tried to come up with an order, for most of the slots, I am not trying to make an argument that the No. 10 bust is definitely "more of a bust" then the No. 9, 8, 7, or 6 spots.

Over the next ten weekdays, I will cover ten busts. After that, I will cover ten successes. Coming in at No. 10 on my bust list is RB James Jackson, selected in the 3rd round (No. 65 overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by Butch Davis.

Sandwiched in between the likes of Edgerrin James and Clinton Portis, Davis did not reach too far for his Miami running back, hence why Jackson is at the lower end of this list.

Jackson started ten games in his rookie season and had almost 200 carries. Sadly, his average on those carries was just 2.8 yards per carry to go along with two touchdowns. At a time when we thought Jackson could be a key contributor for the Browns as the team's featured running back, he failed to deliver. He played behind an atrocious offensive line, but running backs should at least be able to get around 3.2 to 3.5 yards per carry in those circumstances.

Jackson's next three years were rather uneventful. He started six games in 2003 and improved his average to 3.7 yards per carry, but just as his production seemed to be improving, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers.

One of the big reasons I put Jackson on this list was due to the expectations I had for him at the time. I wasn't as enthusiastic about him as I was with guys like Lee Suggs and Jerome Harrison, but the level of interest in seeing them succeed was similar. Suggs and Harrison had their shining moments, but Jackson never did.

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