Sunday, April 17, 2011

Potential 2011 NFL 1st round draft busts

Every year some of the highest rated prospects turn out to be busts.  Here is my list of the top ten first round prospects that I think have the largest chance for becoming a bust. 

Wilkerson must put off the field issues aside to succeed.
10. Muhammad Wilkerson- Wilkerson lacks the intangibles that most NFL teams covet in a first round draft pick.  He has not shown the work ethic that takes prospects to the next level on the field or in the weight room.  He had some academic issues that I think are worrying scouts.  Skill wise he is very talented and consistently produces.  There is no denying that he has the talent and ability to play in this league, the questions are centered around how hard will he work to be the best player possible.  If he does not mature quickly he will struggle.

9. Jimmy Smith- Smith is another player that has a lot of talent but has had issues off the field.  His stock has began to rise lately.  He is a physically gifted corner who has the height at 6'2 and speed to be a lock down corner in the NFL.  Most of his off the field issues are related to substance abuse, if he falls back into old trends once he gets his first NFL pay check his performance is sure to drop.  So far he has done all the right things to ease any worries that scouts have, but these kinds of issues will always linger.

8. Mark Ingram- I think Ingram has a chance to be a great runner in the NFL, the problem is that there is just about as big of chance he is a bust.  He has had a history of injuries the last season or two, so durability is an issue.  He does not shy away from contact and can punish a defender, but that could lead to injuries down the road.  Other concerns center around his slow 40 time at the combine.  I think he makes up for it with his short bursts and quick feet.  I think his potential will be largely determined by who selects him and how they decide to use him.

Smith needs to continue to
improve to become the
 player he is capable of being
7. Tyron Smith- USC linemen have not always transfered the production to the next level.  Smith is a little small to play the tackle position, but he makes up for it with quick feet, long arms, and freaky athletic ability.  It will remain to be seen how those attributes translate to the next level.  If he can gain a little weight and continue to improve his skill set he will be just fine and become a good player, but if not I think he will struggle.

6. Stephen Paea- Paea is the strongest player in the draft.  He, however, has a bad history with injuries which may carry over to his NFL career.  His size is just average and he is still very raw.  He has a great motor and he is obviously a hard worker in the weight room. Injuries could prevent him from being a force down the road.

It seems like injuries are the only
thing that can hold Jones back.
5. Julio Jones- Consistent injury problems have plagued Jones during his college career.  When healthy he is an explosive wide out who has the athletic tools to be a dominant player in the NFL.  There is nothing he can do to become less injury prone, but he can improve his hands.  At Alabama he had difficulties with drop balls.  This past season he improved but it was still an issue.  I think if Jones becomes a bust it will be no fault of his, it will be because of nagging injuries.

4. Da'Quan Bowers- Bowers came on when it counted and led the NCAA in sacks.  His stock has fallen as the draft process began because of concerns about his surgically repaired knee.  The concerns are about the longevity of his career, and how it will handle a 16 game season.  There are also concerns that he is a one year wonder.

Fairley can crush the competition when his mind is right.
3. Nick Fairley- Constant questions about his work ethic and commitment to the game have hurt Fairley's draft stock.  Scouts are worried because Fairley only had one dominant season at Auburn even though he always had the incredible skill set he showed last season.  If his heart is not really in it he will likely be very unproductive.  If he lands on a team with a tough minded defensive coach I think they could get a lot out of him, but if not the who knows what kind of effort he will show.

2. Jake Locker- Locker was the number one prospect when this past season started, and after the first game the slide had begun.  Locker has the athletic ability to play in the NFL, but he is nowhere near to ready with his accuracy.  He showed these problems throughout his entire college career.  I don't think he will ever be able to be a good player in the NFL.

These three QBs could all have a tough time at the next level
1. Cam Newton/ Blaine Gabbert- One of these two prospects will not live up to the hype, if not both.  I would guess that Newton is the player that will have a tough career.  He has good mechanics and elite athletic ability, the problem is adding accuracy and then putting it all together.  Gabbert is more NFL ready at this point of their respective careers.  He looks like more of a sure thing, he is very accurate, has a good arm, has good pocket awareness. He however lacks the athleticism that Newton has, which will be key for both of these quarterbacks, because wherever they play their offensive line will not be a strong point.

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