Written by: Matthew Blunk
'Tis the season to list, rank, judge, evaluate, measure, weigh, time, poke, and prod young NFL hopefuls to find out who will go when and where in the 2012 Draft. Andrew Luck has been on the Indianapolis Colts' minds seemingly since Peyton Manning missed Week One of the 2011 season. The rise of Robert Griffin III has led to the Washington Redskins trading three first-round picks and one second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams for the second overall pick in 2012, for all intents and purposes to select Griffin.
There are plenty of talented players in this draft class. Could there be future All-Pros? It's possible. Pro Bowlers? Yes. Starters? Very much. Busts? Absolutely.
Unfortunately, such is the nature of the NFL Draft. Players will get picked way too high, replacing reasonable expectations with lofty, often unrealistic ones. Some guys have the red flags, some don't. Some overachieve in offseason workouts. Some have terrible Wonderlic scores. Some just lack the mental aspect of being a professional football player and all that comes with it.
Let us now examine five prospects in the '12 Draft that, despite all that they may or may not have accomplished in their college football careers, could be problematic for NFL teams if they are selected too early (or at all).
Vontaze Burfict, LB - Arizona State
Burfict has had a rough go of it since being named an All-American and Pac-10 Defensive MVP in 2010. He had a largely uneven 2011 season with the Sun Devils, causing his draft stock to drop a bit. Then came the pre-draft festivities. In February, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said that Burfict's game tape was unimpressive and that he wasn't first-round material. At the Scouting Combine, Burfict by all accounts flunked the interview process and did poorly in drills. A month later, at Arizona State's pro day, he yet again failed to make a good impression on scouts. There's now chatter that Burfict is in danger of not getting drafted at all, but all it takes is one team.
Mike Adams, OT - Ohio State
An iffy work ethic and involvement in TattooGate certainly don't help the stigma that Adams underachieved at Ohio State. With all the tools in the world, Adams never quite dominated the college game the way he could have. While he is still likely worth a second- or third-round pick, Adams is not a first-round talent and may need a brilliant offensive line coach in the NFL to tap into his real potential.
Kellen Moore, QB - Boise State
The winningest quarterback in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision history (50-3 overall) is one of the most accomplished college football players to have ever lived. It's a fact that can never be denied. But in terms of possessing the tools to become a professional NFL quarterback, Moore is severely lacking. He is undersized. He lacks the athleticism and arm strength to play the position at the next level. As legendary a player as he was at Boise State, Moore will struggle to find a role in the NFL.
Janoris Jenkins, CB - North Alabama
Jenkins is an elite cover corner prospect with off-the-charts red flags. He was dismissed from the Florida Gators football program after three drug-related arrests, including two in three months. Coming to the forefront now is the fact that Jenkins has seen fit to follow in the footsteps of Antonio Cromartie and Travis Henry, having fathered four children by three different women. Terry Bowden and North Alabama took him on for his senior season. Jenkins has plenty of talent, but will he be worth the headaches?
Dontari Poe, DT - Memphis
Look, we all love a good workout warrior every now and then, but the hype surrounding Poe is becoming nearly farcical. The guy did not do much of anything in college. Game tape does not lie. Having said that, neither do Combine numbers. Poe's 4.87 40-time and 44 bench presses of 225 are very impressive and do indicate that Poe is a special athlete. He possesses great physical attributes. But can the guy play football?
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