What Is Unsuccessful Draft Pick? Explore Everything – 2024

Resolving the Unsuccessful Draft Pick Puzzle

Last updated on February 23rd, 2024 at 05:36 pm

If you come across the word “Unsuccessful Draft Pick” and are curious to know what it means and signifies, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will be very useful for you in helping you figure out this puzzle. 

Unsuccessful Draft Pick is basically related to picking players for sports competitions. Still, this phrase appeared as a clue in a recent New York Times crossword puzzle, leaving everyone curious and searching for the answer all over the internet.

In this article, we’ll be discussing what exactly is Unsuccessful Draft Pick is and its connection with a crossword puzzle. So don’t go anywhere until you’ve read this article till the end because I guarantee you this will be fun.

What is an Unsuccessful Draft Pick?

What is an Unsuccessful Draft Pick
What Is Unsuccessful Draft Pick? Explore Everything - 2024

Unsuccessful Draft Pick is when a sports team chooses a player for its league, and that player turns out to be unfortunate for that sports event. That event is referred to as the “draft”, and that particular player is the “unsuccessful pick”. 

It’s not necessary that a player was unsuccessful due to his lack of abilities or knowledge to play. There could be different reasons for a player being unsuccessful, such as: 

  • An injury made him unfit.
  • Mental or psychological issues like anxiety or lack of confidence.
  • Personal issues, e.g. family problems, distract the player.
  • Lack of motivation for that game at that particular time.
  • The player is incompatible with the other members of the team.
  • Overconfidence can also lead to failure sometimes.
  • Physical illness can also hinder the player’s performance
  • Pressure from the audience, fans, and family can be overpowering, causing the player to act differently and make moves that he isn’t supposed to.

Unsuccessful Draft Pick – A Research By The New York Times

The New York Times recently conducted research where they gathered information from the past 10 National Football League events. They targeted players who were picked in the first round each year. They noted that a draft pick was unsuccessful when a player didn’t play in at least 50 games or start in at least 25 games. 

Their study showed that out of 320 players picked in the first round, 103 of them were considered unsuccessful. This means that around 33% of all first-round picks were unsuccessful based on their criteria. 

Unsuccessful Draft Pick as a Crossword Clue

The New York Times publishes a daily crossword puzzle for the public to solve. The sole purpose of this is entertainment and competition among the people who enjoy solving it. 

The difficulty level of the crossword varies according to the days of the week, with Monday being the easiest puzzle day and Saturday the hardest. These puzzles are 15 by 15 squares, while the Sunday puzzle is much larger as it comes in 21 by 21 squares, and its difficulty level can be said to be similar to the ones published on Thursdays. 

On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, a mini puzzle of 5 by five squares was published, having “Unsuccessful Draft Pick” as one of its clues. This clue was given for a word that was being formed vertically, which is referred to as “Down” in the crossword. The New York Times has used this same clue five times in the past ten years, having the same answer each time.

The Answer to Unsuccessful Draft Pick Explained

The answer to the “Unsuccessful Draft Pick” clue is a four-letter word called Bust. In the world of sports, especially in professional games like the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and other similar sports agencies, the word “bust” is used to describe a player who fails to meet the expectations of the team despite being specially chosen for it. Basically, that player does not possess the qualities or skills that he was chosen for. 

Connection between Unsuccessful Draft Pick and Crossword Puzzle

By doing the research mentioned above, The New York Times showed how risky it is to pick the best player in a draft and how careful you should be when picking players to make sure the player does not end up being unsuccessful. Because if a team picks many unsuccessful players, they’re putting their game at stake. 

The New York Times keeps repeating the same clue in different crosswords to show the importance of an unsuccessful draft pick and how it can have a major impact on the team and players.

Impacts of Unsuccessful Draft Pick

An Unsuccessful Draft Pick can be very challenging for the team. Some possible impacts of an unsuccessful draft pick are given below:

  • Those players who are labelled as a “bust” feel heartbroken, which can ruin their career andreputation as people would see them in the long run.
  • The greater the number of unsuccessful players, the weaker the overall team performance, resulting in a lack of ability to win.
  • Teams spend a lot of money in picking and training the players, so if many players don’t perform well, it will result in a huge loss of budget, affecting the player’s salaries.
  • If the team coaches or leaders don’t pick the players carefully and there are many unsuccessful players in the game, the management might choose to dismiss the coach.
  • Unsuccessful draft picks again and again can damage the reputation of a team as a whole, losing their ability to be selected for bigger challenges in future.
  • Continuously upsetting the audience may result in the loss of fans or lower attendance in games and an overall decline in the team’s popularity.


There can be more than one interpretation of one word. Just like we saw how the phrase “Unsuccessful Draft Pick” resulted in two different things that it is famous for. The New York Times has created a connection between an Unsuccessful Draft Pick and a crossword puzzle.

By including the term “Unsuccessful Draft Pick” in a crossword puzzle, the New York Times made sure that a greater number of audience members became aware of it. So those people who are crossword lovers but hadn’t seen the research would now know the importance of it. Their main motive was to highlight the fact that an unsuccessful draft pick can have an everlasting impact on the entire team, so choose your players wisely!

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