Chris Perry, RB (Michigan)
Drafted 26th overall in 2004
After Corey Dillon hung up his stripes to head to New England at the end of the 2003 season, the Bengals needed to fill the running back spot. They were hoping Chris Perry could be that guy. Perry had over 1,000 yards rushing in his last two seasons in Michigan. He also ran for double-digit touchdowns in both seasons as a Wolverine.
However, in a story that is all too common, injuries derailed Perry’s NFL career. Due to injuries, Perry only started two games in his rookie campaign.
In 2005, Perry complimented Rudi Johnson as he played just a supporting role on the offense. In 2006, Perry fractured his leg ending his 2006 season and leaving off the field in 2007. Johnson was cut in 2008 making Perry the starting running back in 2008.
However, he only had 269 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. These were his only two rushing touchdowns in his entire NFL career. After 2008, Perry was out of the NFL.
David Pollack, LB (Georgia)
Drafted 17th overall in 2005
2004 & 2005 were not good back-to-back drafts, at least for the first round. David Pollock was an All-American linebacker for three seasons at Georgia from 2002 to 2004. Pollack was a reserve for the first six games in the 2005 season.
He had a good rookie outing ranking second on the team in sacks with 4.5. It was clear that Pollack seemed to be on his way to a good career, at least showing promise. Sadly, as a starter in the season opener against division rivals Browns, Pollack suffered a serious injury. He broke his sixth cervical vertebrae.
It was feared this injury would be career-ending. However, on ESPN in 2007, it was announced that Pollack could make a return on the gridiron. In 2008, Pollack decided he was not mentally able to return to the game effectively retiring.
It’s a sad and scary reminder of how fragile life is and how dangerous this game can be.