I tried to avoid some of the project picks made by the San Diego Chargers by limited the busts to the first three rounds. Unfortunately, sometimes A.J. Smith likes a project enough to take him with a third-round pick. This was arguably the case with Anthony Waters.
I'm not quite the college football buff as some of the other BFTB writers are, but I seem to recall that Waters was regarded as one of the best LB prospects as a junior at Clemson before tearing his ACL in the first game of his senior season. After the draft, the third-round selection of Waters was seen as a value pick. Many thought the Chargers had gotten a first-round talent without having to use a first, or even a second-round pick. There was talk of Waters and Brandon Siler being the MLBs of the future for the Bolts.
Waters did nothing in his rookie season, which is part of the reason Matt Wilhelm ended up getting a starting job. He was never even on the field. If you were thinking this was a talented kid recovering from injury still, you had high hopes for his 2008 campaign. In that season he saw action in 7 games, only on special teams, and the only stat he collected was a recovered fumble. Zero tackles.
After those two disappointing seasons, the Chargers were starting to realize that what they found was not a diamond in the rough but rather a player too injured to return to his former self. They released Waters after the 2008 season, and he signed on to be a part of the 2009 New Orleans Saints. That got him a ring by being on the roster, but he went the entire season without racking up a single statistic. He saw action on special teams in just 3 games.
In 2010, Waters collected his first and only NFL tackle. He played 10 games on special teams. He is currently a free agent. So much for being a value pick.
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