Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

10 Heisman Trophy Winners That Bombed in the NFL

Johnny Manziel - Fantasy Football Busts, NFL News

The Heisman Trophy is arguably the greatest individual award in sports. The award puts college athletes at the top of the world and gives them plenty of exposure ahead of their professional careers in the NFL.

However, not every Heisman winner enjoys success at the next level. It's a tough adjustment to the NFL, where the average player on the other side of the field is bigger, stronger, and faster than what they saw in the college game.

Let's dive into the top 10 Heisman Trophy winners to bust in the NFL. Some Heisman winners were not drafted highly, so they won't be included in this piece. To keep things somewhat recent, this list will only cover Heisman winners since 1985.


10. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (2017)

NFL Stats: 72 games, 16,288 pass yards, 102 touchdowns, 64 interceptions

At Oklahoma, Mayfield threw for 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns, and just 21 interceptions in three years as a starter. He was deserving of the Heisman Trophy in 2017, but his professional career has not gone to plan.

Mayfield is still in the NFL and has a chance to revive his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his 31-38 record and one playoff victory through five seasons land him on this list. He flashed as a rookie with 27 passing touchdowns in just 14 games but has yet to match that total. It's always tough to see a top overall pick fail to make it to their second contract with the organization that took them.


9. Jameis Winston, Florida State (2013)

NFL Stats: 86 games, 21,840 pass yards, 139 touchdowns, 96 interceptions

As a redshirt freshman, Winston posted 44 total touchdowns, led the Florida State Seminoles to a National Championship, and won the Heisman Trophy. It was nothing short of spectacular, and the big-armed quarterback finished his college career 26-1 overall.

After being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Winston earned Pro Bowl honors as a rookie with 28 total touchdowns. It went downhill from there.

The low point of his career was in 2019 when he threw for 33 touchdowns and a whopping 30 interceptions. Tampa Bay declined to extend his contract, signed Tom Brady, and won the Super Bowl a year after his departure.

Winston remains in the NFL, but it looks like he'll be a backup for the foreseeable future.


8. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (2008)

NFL Stats: 83 games, 19,449 pass yards, 103 touchdowns, 61 interceptions

Bradford had an incredible 50 passing touchdowns and eight-interception season to win the 2008 Heisman Trophy and establish himself as the clear top overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

The Oklahoma product lasted nine seasons in the NFL, but eclipsed 20 touchdowns just once and retired with a 34-48-1 record as a starter. He looked like an average quarterback at times, but he was far from the player he was expected to be when the Rams handed him the keys to the franchise.


7. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (1999)

NFL Stats: 96 games, 3,722 rush yards, 28 rushing touchdowns, 3.8 YPC

Dayne captured the 1999 Heisman Trophy after rushing for 2,034 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Rose Bowl Champion Wisconsin Badgers. He was selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, which ended up being the highlight of his career.

Dane never eclipsed 773 rushing yards in a season and rushed for fewer than 500 yards in four of his eight NFL seasons. Ultimately, running backs taken that high are expected to immediately be one of the best players at the position, and he was far from it.


6. Robert Griffin III, Baylor (2011)

NFL Stats: 56 games, 9,271 pass yards, 43 touchdowns, 30 interceptions

RGIII was one of the most electric college quarterbacks of all time, posting just under 5,000 total yards of offense and 47 touchdowns in his 2011 Heisman campaign.

As a rookie with the Washington Redskins, Griffin III put up 4,000 yards of offense and 27 touchdowns, leading the organization to an NFC East crown. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury in that contest and was never the same.

He would start in just 27 games over the next seven years, winning just seven of those contests. If it weren't for injury troubles, he likely would not be on the list.


5. Rashaan Salaam, Colorado (1994)

NFL Stats: 33 games, 1,684 rush yards, 13 touchdowns, 3.6 YPC

Salaam handled 322 total touches for the Buffaloes in 1994, yielding 2,349 yards and 24 touchdowns. It was one of the greatest individual seasons for a college running back and he ultimately was drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft.

He got off to a hot start in his rookie season with the Chicago Bears, rushing 296 times for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he fumbled nine times as well. After the 1995 season, he would go on to play in just 17 more games, posting 610 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Fumbles, injuries, and off-the-field issues would be his path out of the NFL.


4. Tim Tebow, Florida (2007)

NFL Stats: 35 games, 2,442 pass yards, 17 touchdowns, nine interceptions

Tebow is etched in stone as one of the greatest college quarterbacks ever, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and leading the Florida Gators to its second BCS National Championship in three years.

He was viewed as a risky prospect ahead of the 2010 NFL Draft thanks to his bizarre passing mechanics, but the Denver Broncos took a shot on him at 25th overall.

Tebow earned the starting job during the 2011 season after minimal playing time as a rookie. He posted a 7-4 record with 18 total touchdowns and 12 turnovers and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card round.

His efforts didn't stop the Broncos from bringing in free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, and Tebow immediately lost his starting nod and was traded to the New York Jets where his career quickly fizzled out.


3. Matt Leinart, USC (2004)

NFL Stats: 33 games, 4,065 pass yards, 15 touchdowns, 21 interceptions

Leinart won the 2004 Heisman Trophy and a BCS National Championship behind a 36-touchdown, six-interception season. Naturally, he was the 10th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft via the Arizona Cardinals. Surprisingly, never looked good throughout his seven-year NFL career.

He started just 18 games and maxed out at 11 passing touchdowns as a rookie. The Cardinals quickly moved off of him, so he wasn't even a league-average quarterback like some of the other names on this list.

2. Andre Ware, Houston (1989)

NFL Stats: 14 games, 1,112 pass yards, five touchdowns, eight interceptions

Ware threw for an incredible 4,699 passing yards and 46 touchdowns during his 1989 Heisman run. The Cougars entered the national spotlight, and Ware ended up with the Detroit Lions in the 1990 NFL Draft (7th overall pick).

Unfortunately, his NFL career never materialized and he finished with just 14 games on his resume. He completed fewer than 85 passes in four seasons with the Lions and notched just five total passing touchdowns. Whether he was never given a fair shake or simply wasn't ready for the NFL, he goes down as one of the biggest NFL busts among Heisman winners.


1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (2012)

NFL Stats: 14 games, 1,675 pass yards, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions

Johnny Football took the SEC by storm in Texas A&M's first year in the conference in 2012. Manziel won the Heisman as a redshirt freshman behind 26 passing touchdowns and 21 rushing touchdowns. The Aggies went 11-2 and beat number one Alabama on the road during his historic run.

His character had question marks and his game led people wondering whether it would translate to the NFL, but in classic Cleveland Browns fashion, they selected him with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

He spent two seasons with the organization, posting a 2-6 record as a starter, and never got a chance with any other team before his career ended seemingly before it started.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win More With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


Mark Giordano4 mins ago

To Miss Extended Time After Blocking Shot Off Hand
Jonathan Taylor6 mins ago

Undergoing Thumb Surgery Wednesday
Dougie Hamilton12 mins ago

Leaves Game Early Tuesday, Undergoing Evaluation
Kenneth Walker III13 mins ago

Unlikely To Play In Week 13?
Jacob Markstrom20 mins ago

Back At Practice Wednesday
Aaron Rodgers56 mins ago

Jets Open Practice Window For Aaron Rodgers
New England Patriots1 hour ago

Patriots Not Ready To Name Starting Quarterback
Baker Mayfield2 hours ago

Expected To Be Full-Go On Sunday
Filip Forsberg2 hours ago

Maintains Momentum With Game-Winner
Seth Jarvis2 hours ago

Continues Hot Spell With Ninth Goal
Connor McDavid3 hours ago

Notches Three Points In Tuesday's Win
Jake Oettinger3 hours ago

Posts First Shutout Of Season
Brock Boeser3 hours ago

Hits Two Goals In Tuesday's Win
Michael Carcone3 hours ago

Nets Two Goals Against Tampa Bay
Jamal Murray3 hours ago

Considered Questionable Wednesday
Kelly Olynyk3 hours ago

Questionable Wednesday
Jordan Clarkson3 hours ago

Questionable For Wednesday's Action
DeSean Jackson3 hours ago

Calling It A Career
Trey Murphy4 hours ago

III Listed As Doubtful Wednesday
Jonathan Isaac4 hours ago

Questionable For Wednesday
Cam Reddish4 hours ago

Likely Returning For Lakers On Wednesday
Anthony Davis4 hours ago

Probable On Wednesday
Mathew Barzal13 hours ago

Has Three-Point Night In Loss
Dylan Cease13 hours ago

Dodgers "Among Most Aggressive" Teams For Dylan Cease
Jack Hughes13 hours ago

Contributes With Three Points In Victory
Shohei Ohtani13 hours ago

Yoshinobu Yamamoto "Above All Other Options" For Giants
Akira Schmid13 hours ago

Picks Up Victory In Relief Appearance
Miami Dolphins13 hours ago

Dolphins Signing Jason Pierre-Paul
Juan Soto13 hours ago

"Almost Certain To Be Traded"
Cody Bellinger13 hours ago

Earns NL Comeback Player Of The Year Award
Liam Hendriks13 hours ago

Earns AL Comeback Player Of The Year Award
Anthony Beauvillier14 hours ago

Blackhawks Acquire Anthony Beauvillier
LeBron James16 hours ago

Uncertain For Wednesday
Draymond Green16 hours ago

Returning On Tuesday
CJ McCollum16 hours ago

Tagged As Questionable For Wednesday
Zach LaVine16 hours ago

Won't Return On Tuesday
Nikola Jokic16 hours ago

Listed As Questionable For Wednesday
Lauri Markkanen16 hours ago

To Miss Next Two Games
Keon Ellis16 hours ago

Available On Tuesday
Pat Connaughton16 hours ago

Won't Return Tuesday
Jackson Chourio18 hours ago

Brewers Discussing Deal With Top Prospect Jackson Chourio
Wendell Carter19 hours ago

Jr. Seen At Practice, Still Out Wednesday
Kevin Durant19 hours ago

Practices, Grayson Allen Absent Tuesday
Zach LaVine19 hours ago

Alex Caruso Both Active Against Celtics
Jrue Holiday19 hours ago

Derrick White Both Good To Go Tuesday
Fred VanVleet19 hours ago

Ready To Roll Against Mavericks
LaMelo Ball19 hours ago

Likely Facing Extended Absence
Aaron Rodgers20 hours ago

Not Ready To Play Yet
Kenneth Walker III20 hours ago

Trending Toward Missing Another Game
Jake Walman20 hours ago

To Return On Wednesday
Radko Gudas20 hours ago

Out Of Commission On Tuesday
Thomas Chabot20 hours ago

Expected Back On Friday
Matt Martin20 hours ago

Available Again On Tuesday
Curtis Lazar20 hours ago

Returns To Action Tuesday
Brandon Tanev21 hours ago

Out On Tuesday
Devon Levi21 hours ago

Loaned To AHL Rochester
Philipp Grubauer21 hours ago

To Return To The Crease Tuesday
Jonathan Taylor21 hours ago

To Have Surgery, Hoping To Return In 2-3 Weeks
Justin Jefferson23 hours ago

Vikings To Activate Justin Jefferson From Injured Reserve On Tuesday
Jonathan Taylor23 hours ago

Could Go On Injured Reserve
Tyler Glasnow1 day ago

Cubs In Trade Talks For Tyler Glasnow
Shane Bieber1 day ago

Cubs, Reds Looking At Shane Bieber
Kenny Pickett1 day ago

Experiencing "Ankle Discomfort"
Jonathan Taylor1 day ago

Status In Doubt Going Forward
Joshua Dobbs2 days ago

Vikings Considered Benching Joshua Dobbs Late On Monday Night
T.J. Hockenson2 days ago

Lifts Fantasy Output With Late Score
Joshua Dobbs2 days ago

Comes Back Down To Earth On MNF
Jason Heyward2 days ago

Reportedly Re-Signs With Dodgers Monday
Kenneth Walker III2 days ago

Listed As DNP Monday
Joe Burrow2 days ago

Undergoes Successful Surgery Monday
Tee Higgins2 days ago

Bengals Hope Tee Higgins Can Return In Week 13
Quentin Johnston2 days ago

Should Practice This Week
Lucas Giolito2 days ago

Dodgers Interested In Lucas Giolito This Offseason
Steven Matz2 days ago

Available Via Trade
Tyler Glasnow2 days ago

Reds Showing Interest In Tyler Glasnow
Alex Bregman2 days ago

Could Be Moved This Offseason
Dylan Cease2 days ago

Braves In Talks For Dylan Cease
Jason Heyward2 days ago

Close To Re-Signing With Dodgers
Sonny Gray2 days ago

Cardinals Finalizing Three-Year Deal
Kenta Maeda3 days ago

Agrees To Two-Year Deal With Tigers
Johan Oviedo4 days ago

To Undergo Tommy John Surgery
Anthony Rizzo5 days ago

Doing "Great"
Shohei Ohtani5 days ago

At Least Seven Teams Linked To Shohei Ohtani
Jordan Montgomery5 days ago

Still On Rangers Radar




Zack Moss - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 13 Half-PPR Running Back Rankings for Fantasy Football: Zack Moss, Kyren Williams, Joe Mixon, James Conner, more

Welcome back, RotoBallers, to more fantasy football rankings. Amazingly, Week 13 is already here. There are only two weeks left in the fantasy football regular season, so it's time to set those winning lineups and make that final push for the fantasy playoffs. We are here as always to help you guide you and are... Read More

Jaguars Defense - Fantasy Football DST, Defense Streamers, Waiver Wire IDP

Week 13 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2023 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 12 is now in the books leaving the majority of fantasy leagues with only two regular-season games remaining. We also move on from another plentiful week with no byes directly into a week with six teams on bye. Playoff spots in many leagues will be decided this week, as well as playoff seeding and... Read More

Zack Moss - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Fantasy Football Matchups to Target, Avoid (Week 13) - Offensive Line Champs and Chumps

The fantasy playoffs are just around the corner and every week matters. Teams who have already locked up a playoff spot need to keep optimizing their roster to push for a championship. Teams on the cusp of earning a playoff bid need to secure crucial wins to stay alive. Finding an edge in matchups can... Read More

Tyler Higbee - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Are You For Real? Jordan Love, Rashee Rice, Tyler Higbee - Fantasy Football Outlooks

Week 12 of the NFL is behind us and it's time to look ahead to next week's action. There were some surprising performances in the 10th week of the season, but were those surprising performances a sign of things to come for players? Every week, I'll be looking at three to five NFL players whose... Read More

Kyren Williams - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Updated Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

      Fantasy Football Rankings by NFL Position ALL - QB - RB - WR - TE - DEF Above you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings, tiers, player news and stats for your 2023 fantasy football leagues. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's fantasy football rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Fantasy Football... Read More

Zach Charbonnet - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS and Betting Picks

Sleeper.com NFL DFS Prop Picks - Over/Under Props for Week 13 Thursday Night Football

Welcome to our Sleeper NFL DFS prop picks for Week 13 Thursday Night Football: Seahawks vs. Cowboys. Each week we’ll highlight three top props for Thursday’s game and track how our picks do over time.  Sleeper offers some of the best and easiest-to-win NFL DFS games in the industry. Sleeper DFS works just like regular... Read More

Pat Freiermuth - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 13

12 weeks down, just a couple more weeks to go until the fantasy football playoffs. Your league's trade deadline may have passed, but it's still important to understand key risers and fallers to see who you may want to start and sit in the coming weeks based on new information. In this weekly column, we'll... Read More

Jonathan Taylor - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Fantasy Football Injury Reports For NFL RBs: Week 13 Updates for Jonathan Taylor, Kenneth Walker III, De'Von Achane, Rico Dowdle

Below you will find our fantasy football injuries report for running backs in Week 13, as of November 29. The injury statuses for various NFL running backs are up in the air for Week 13, including Jonathan Taylor, Kenneth Walker III, De'Von Achane, and Rico Dowdle. As the fantasy football season continues, every decision, transaction,... Read More

Chris Olave - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Injury Reports for NFL WRs: Week 13 Updates for Chris Olave, Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, Amari Cooper, and Demario Douglas

Week 12 was a rough week for fantasy managers. Not only did Justin Jefferson not get clearance to return, but neither did Tee Higgins. There were also several receivers who got knocked out of their respective contests to leave fantasy managers hanging. There are six teams on bye this week. The Ravens, Bills, Vikings, Giants,... Read More

Jeff Wilson Jr. - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 13 Waiver Wire Rankings - Fantasy Football Pickups Include Zack Moss, Greg Dortch, Jayden Reed, Pat Freiermuth, more

Hey, RotoBallers! Week 13 has arrived, and it's "byemageddon" as six teams are on the bye. Fantasy managers could be scrambling for replacements as the Ravens, Vikings, Bears, Raiders, Bills, and Giants are off this week. At RotoBaller, we have always got you covered and are here to help guide you through the bye gauntlet... Read More

Roschon Johnson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Fantasy Football Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups - Best Free Agent Adds Include Jordan Love, Roschon Johnson, Joshua Palmer, more

Welcome everyone to the fantasy football Week 13 waiver wire! I’m here as always to help you make the best fantasy waiver pickups for Week 13. There are a lot of other quality players to look at adding this week on the waiver wire. This article is challenging to make relevant to all the different... Read More

Zack Moss - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

FAAB Waiver Wire Bidding - Fantasy Football Pickups to Target for Week 13

Thanksgiving week may have stuffed our plates but I'm afraid the waiver options can't say the same. We'll present plenty of options here, but mind your playoff outlook/depth specific to your team's roster construction and needs. As always, joining our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly fantasy football waiver wire columns by position, this... Read More

Tua Tagovailoa - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

NFL Pick 'Em Pool Picks (Week 13) - Targets, Avoids, Predictions for Pickem Contests

"Bye-nado: The Sequel". Coming this Sunday to your TV. For the second time this season, six teams are taking a mini-vacation. Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minnesota, and the New York Giants are all on bye in Week 13. Each week of the NFL season, I’ll share my picks for each game, and rank the... Read More