Las Vegas Raiders April Fools: 5 worst draft picks in history
2. Todd Marinovich, QB, 24th Overall in 1991
If Rolando McClain let substance abuse issues derail his career then Todd Marinovich never let his career get started because of those same issues. Marinovich, infamously known as a the Robo Quarterback, was raised from the womb by his father Marv to be the prototypical NFL quarterback.
This process was covered in the ESPN documentary called The Marinovich Project and showed the lengths to which the elder Marinovich went to make Todd a successful quarterback. Marv’s training took Todd all the way to USC and to the first round of the NFL Draft but not much further. The pressure was too much for Marinovich and it appeared that he turned to drugs as a way to cope.
In two seasons with the Raiders, Marinovich started just eight games, throwing for 1,345 yards, eight touchdowns, nine interceptions, and had just a 50.7 completion percentage. He struggled with inconsistency and couldn’t hold on to a starting role because of his off the field issues. After his second year in the NFL the former USC Trojan began to fail drug tests regularly and it was just a matter of time before he was suspended for those violations. The suspensions piled up and the Raiders chose to release him ahead of the 1993 season and he would never play another down in the NFL.
Marinovich attempted to resurrect his football career in the CFL, AFL, and other smaller leagues but could never outrun the demons of his addiction. Perhaps if he had a more normal upbringing he could have been a successful NFL quarterback but unfortunately for Marinovich and the Raiders, the world will never know.