I hope everyone who is about to be taken in the 2012 NFL Draft saw this: Ryan Leaf was arrested Friday at his parole office, charged with criminal possession and burglary. It's only the latest piece in an incredibly depressing career that began when he was selected No. 2 overall behind Peyton Manning in 1998. Manning turned into the best quarterback of all time; Leaf threw 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions in three brutal seasons before things got even worse.
Sometimes we cover the NFL Draft like all of these players are nearly sure things; the worst, it seems, that could happen is that a player turns into Grant Wistrom, the St. Louis Rams' No. 6 pick that year, who became a defensive anchor for several years. Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Robert Griffin III—everybody's pictured as a future star.
But any of them could be Ryan Leaf. Any of them could be Andre Wadsworth, whose knee just gave out after the Arizona Cardinals picked him at No. 3. They could be Curtis Enis (No. 5) or, on the other side, Randy Moss (No. 21) or Hines Ward (No. 92.)
None of those outcomes is the likely one, but we'd do well to remember just where some of these unlikely outcomes come from.