Top 10 Illinois football NFL Draft busts of all time

Illinois football has had some talent over the decades, but some of that talent hasn't translated into the NFL ranks. Some NFL teams have taken a chance on an Illini player and have been burnt.
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. QB Jack Trudeau. player. . 2nd Round, #47 Pick. 1986 NFL Draft. QB Jack Trudeau. Trudeau. 6. 46

  • 10,243 yards, 42 TDs, 69 INTs
  • 67 games, 49 starts, 19-30 overall
  • 0 Pro Bowls
  • 3 NFL teams
  • 10 seasons

Illinois has had some gunslingers over the years. One of the best quarterbacks to ever come through the program was Jack Trudeau.

It has been a while since the Illini have had a caliber of quarterback like Trudeau. He was putting up numbers in college that would be great in today’s game, let alone in the early and mid-1980s. Trudeau had three straight seasons of throwing over 2,400 yards. For his Illinois career, he threw for 8,146 yards, 51 touchdowns, and 38 interceptions.

Trudeau’s arm talent had NFL teams calling, and the landing spot ended up being with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts picked Trudeau in the second round, pick No. 47, in the 1986 NFL Draft.

Hoping he would be the savior, Trudeau was thrown to the wolves in year one. He started in 11 games but finished 0-11. He threw for 2,225 yards, eight touchdowns, and 18 interceptions that season.

Trudeau did end up spending 10 years in the NFL, but he finished 19-30 overall as a starter and threw for 42 touchdowns and 69 interceptions. A near-first-round pick ended up being a turnover machine in the NFL. That is why he lands at No. 6 on this list.

48. . . 2nd Round, #39 Pick. WR Arrelious Benn. WR Arrelious Benn. player. Benn. 2010 NFL Draft. 5

  • 990 yards, 6 TDs
  • 61 games, 24 starts
  • 0 Pro Bowls
  • 2 NFL Teams
  • 5 seasons

Over the past 20 years, Illinois football has had some talent who just couldn’t make it at the next level. These players were high draft picks but never panned out. Arrelious Benn was one of those Illini legends.

Benn was an electric wide receiver for Illinois. He was a big contributor during the Rose Bowl run as a freshman, and as a sophomore, he caught 67 passes for 1,055 yards and three touchdowns. While he didn’t have the junior year many had hoped, NFL teams still were interested in the talented pass catcher.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Benn in the second round, pick No. 39, in the 2010 NFL Draft. They needed a playmaker, and Benn fit that bill.

Sadly, Benn only spent five seasons with two teams, the Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, in the NFL. He had a combined 990 yards and six touchdowns during his career. The shortened stint in the NFL had a lot to do with injuries. Benn suffered multiple ACL tears, among other injuries throughout his time in the professional ranks.