clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Detroit Lions Draft Busts Since 2001, No. 1: Charles Rogers

The No. 1 Detroit Lions bust since 2001 is no secret; it's former Michigan State wide receiver Charles Rogers. Rogers was picked second overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, one selection ahead of Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. Rogers came into the league after having an outstanding career in East Lansing and was expected to become Joey Harrington's best friend on the football field. Early on in his rookie season, that appeared to be the case. Rogers caught 22 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns in his first five games and showed much promise.

Rogers' downfall began when he broke his collarbone after the fifth game. The injury ended his season and left the Lions without their second overall pick for the majority of 2003. In 2004, he was able to stay healthy for only two plays. On the third play of the season, he broke his collarbone again. The understandably disappointing injury kept him off the football field for another season, and he spent much of his downtime smoking marijuana.

A month into the 2005 season, Rogers was kept off the field again. An injury was not to blame this time, but rather he was suspended for four games for a third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. This suspension led the Lions to file a grievance against Rogers to get back money from his signing bonus. This suspension was also the beginning of the end of Rogers' time in Detroit. He put up very small numbers upon returning from his suspension, and prior to the 2006 season the Lions released him.

So why is Rogers No. 1 on this list? He was the second overall pick and only played in a total of 15 games over the course of three seasons in Detroit. He caught 36 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns. To put that into context, the amount of games he was suspended matched the amount of touchdowns he caught in Detroit. To make matters worse for the Lions, it was ruled that Rogers owed them $6.1 million for violating his contract, but it's unlikely they have seen any of that money. Rogers has had multiple homes foreclosed on and he has been arrested and put in jail multiple times for drugs and alcohol issues in recent years.

A once promising career has turned into an embarrassment of a life. There's no doubt things could have been different if not for the injuries, but Rogers' decisions after getting hurt are what led to his downfall and are why he is No. 1 on the list of Lions busts since 2001.

Previously: No. 10 Daniel Bullocks, No. 9 Drew Stanton, No. 8 Ikaika Alama-Francis, No. 7 Boss Bailey, No. 6 Shaun Cody, No. 5 Kevin Jones, No. 4 Teddy Lehman, No. 3 Joey Harrington, No. 2 Mike Williams

Are You Smarter Than The Experts?
Correctly predict the first 32 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft and you’ll win $10,000,000!
Enter at
Here We Go

Enjoy Responsibly ©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. No Purchase Necessary. Contest open to U.S. residents (except CA) 21+. Contest begins 12AM CDT on 4/1 and ends 5:59:59PM CDT on 4/28. See Official Rules for complete details. Void where prohibited.

NEW: Join Pride of Detroit Direct

Jeremy Reisman will drop into your inbox twice a week to provide exclusive, in-depth reporting and insights from Ford Field. Subscribe to go deeper into Lions fandom, and join us on our path to win the Super Bowl.