First Tim Couch... now Akili Smith? Yep... 1999 was the year of the quarterback in the NFL draft. An amazing five QB's (#1 Couch, #2 McNabb, #3 Smith, #11 Culpepper, and #12 McNown) were taken within the first twelve picks. You're probably thinking that 1999 was a terrible draft year, but in fact out of those first twelve picks, eight have played in at least one Pro Bowl. Unfortunately, three of the four that haven't are QB's. I assume you've figured out the three, but just in case you haven't: it's my original sports card bust (Mr. Couch), my newest sports card bust (Mr. Smith), and possibly a future sports card bust pc addition, Cade McNown. Actually, McNown doesn't fit into my PC criteria since he's not a top 5 draft pick.
Well, back to Mr. Smith. Did you know that Akili Smith actually played baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system for three seasons? He eventually quit and focused on football. Akili was a junior college transfer student who football stud his senior year at the University of Oregon. As a Duck, he quacked his way to 3,763 passing yards, a 58% completion rate, and 32 touchdown throws in 1998. Although most considered Couch the top pick, there were some (ex. NY Times) who felt Akili could be the top QB. In the end, both are considered busts in my book. Akili started a total of 17 games in his four year career in the NFL. He threw 5 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and was sacked 59 times. He threw for a total of 2,212 yards and has a career passer rating of 52.8.
It crazy to think that the Saints offered the Bengals nine draft picks for that #3 pick, but the Bengals passed on the offer. Unfortunately for the Saints, the Redskins didn't. However, that's another story.
Mr. Smith went on to play in the CFL, but only lasted one season. Recently, he was hired by UC Berkeley as an administrative assistant on their coaching staff.