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Arizona Cardinals Top 10 Draft Busts: Leeland McElroy, 8th Biggest Bust

We continue our draft bust series of the Arizona Cardinals, noting the biggest busts they have had since 1990. In review, the tenth biggest bust was Cody Brown, drafted in 2009. The ninth biggest bust was Chuck Levy, drafted in 1994. You can probably think of many other ones, but those names will probably come up later on in the series. And don't worry if it is too depressing, we will get to the biggest successes once we finish the busts. 

Today we reveal the eighth biggest Cardinals draft bust since 1990. That titles lies with running back Leeland McElroy.

The Cardinals drafted McElroy with their second round pick in 1996, the 32nd pick in the draft out of Texas A&M. He was a surprise fall in the draft, as he was expected to be selected in the first round. He was invited to the draft and ended up being the last of the invitees to be selected.

His one year starting for the Aggies was great, as he was known as "'Lectric Leeland." He finished the 1995 season with over 1100 yards rushing. Injuries plagued him through the season, but he still put up great numbers. However, much like it happened to Beanie Wells in 2009, McElroy fell to the Cardinals, who swooped him up.

The Cardinals expected a lot form him, as he was their starting running back to start the season and the team ended up releasing 1995 starter and 1000-yard rusher Garrison Hearst (which was mostly about his contract, but it was because McElroy was to be the starter).

How did 'Lectric Leeland do? He got benched by the Cardinals' fifth game and finished the year with only 305 yards rushing, averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. 1997 wasn't any better, although he led the team in rushing yards. He rushed for 424 yards and two touchdowns. His longest run from scrimmage was 18 yards that year. 

In the return game, where he was also expected to make an impact, he did break off a 92-yard kick return that was not a touchdown in 1996, but he averaged only 21.3 yards per return. He did not return kicks in 1997.

He was released after the 1997 season and never played another game in the NFL. He ends up one of many failed attempts of drafting an impact running back. There will be more running backs still as we go through the biggest busts. 

Tomorrow...who will be number seven?

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