5 biggest NFL draft busts in Colorado football history

Colorado only has one draft prospect at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine and hasn't produced a first-round pick since 2011. These former Buffaloes first-rounders didn't help the program's reputation with their disappointing NFL careers.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook
Washington Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook / RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
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. 1995. 4. . No. 21 overall. Rashaan Salaam, RB. Rashaan Salaam, RB. player. 57. Rashaan Salaam

Rashaan Salaam’s story ultimately ended in tragedy when committed suicide in 2016. He was an all-time great player at Colorado and won the 1994 Heisman Trophy after rushing for 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns. Focusing strictly on his brief NFL career, he belongs on this list because things did not work out in Chicago. 

Salaam was the Rookie of the Year after eclipsing 1,000 yards on the ground as a rookie, but he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and fumbled nine times. In 1996 that inefficiency and inability to protect the football caught up with him, as did injury. Salaam played just 12 games in his second season and only carried the ball 143 times, finishing with 496 yards and averaging 3.5 yards per attempt. 

Injuries really became a factor in 1997, Salaam’s third year when he ran for just 112 yards across three games. He was traded to the Dolphins after the year, but the deal fell apart when he failed a physical in Miami. After missing the 1998 season, Salaam signed with the Cleveland Browns and carried the ball just once, gaining two yards.