Charles Rogers Was Chosen Second Overall in 2003 NFL Draft

Published on April 30th, 2024 12:29 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Lost Potential: Charles Rogers - Detroit Lions. Ryan Leaf. JaMarcus Russell.

These are the names that people talk about when the words "NFL draft bust" come up.

Charles Rogers, however, was one of the biggest busts in NFL history, though nobody really seems to talk about him at all.

Charles Rogers was taken second overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, behind Carson Palmer and ahead of Andre Johnson.

This draft had some exceptional talent - in fact, two of the first round picks in this draft - Andre Johnson and Troy Polamalu - are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Terrell Suggs will be joining them shortly.

Rogers was expected to be the WR1 that would give QB Joey Harrington one of the weapons that he needed. The Lions certainly weren't expected to compete anytime soon, but Charles Rogers was thought to be the weapon that the Lions needed for the future.


In his sophomore season with Michigan State, Rogers broke out into the spotlight, as he hauled in 67 passes for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In his junior season, Rogers continued to impress, catching 68 passes for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Rogers would break Randy Moss' record of 13 consecutive games with a touchdown reception, and he won the Fred Biletnikoff Award.

Rogers was swimming in talent, and the Lions thought that they had their wide receiver of the future.


Rogers started his NFL career in spectacular fashion, as he caught 2 touchdown passes in his very first game in the league.

Over his next four games, the Lions targeted Rogers like crazy, but he had a hard time hauling in catches.

In a September 28th, 2003 game against the Denver Broncos, for instance, Rogers caught 4 passes on 14 targets.


Things started down a dark path for Rogers when he broke his clavicle bone in practice, ending his rookie season after five games.

Just a few plays into the 2004 season, Rogers broke his clavicle bone AGAIN, and he missed another season.

The Lions let Rogers go home for the season at this point - a move that they would later admit was a mistake.


Three games into his third season in the league, Rogers was suspended for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

The Lions were fed up and frustrated with Rogers at this point, and asked for a large portion of his bonuses to be returned. The team and Rogers would end up in federal court over the matter, with the Lions eventually winning. Rogers would eventually declare bankruptcy.

After retuirning from his drug suspension, Rogers continued to underwhelm - in 9 games in 2005, Rogers caught 14 passes for 197 yards and 1 touchdown.

Rogers would be declared inactive for the final game of the season.


Rogers would be released by the Lions in September of 2006, after his effort underwhelmed Lions coaches in training camp.

Rogers would work out for a number of other teams, though they all elected not to sign him.


During his short team in the league, Charles Rogers caught 36 passes for 440 yards and 4 touchdowns, which was certainly a massive disappointment for a #2 overall pick.

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