2012 NFL Draft Projections: Andrew Luck and Studs Who Won't Meet Expectations

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal stands on the field against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL draft is coming fast, but there are many questions that need to be answered before the final picks are made.

While there are studs and locks all through this draft, many of the picks deemed NFL ready may actually be the furthest thing from it at this point.

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Justin Blackmon are all huge names that won’t live up to the hype, and here’s why.


Andrew Luck

The No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft comes with enough pressure already, but add the fact that Luck will have to back up or replace a future first-ballot Hall of Famer in Peyton Manning, and the job is damn near impossible.

Luck has all the things NFL teams are looking for: the strong arm, the pocket presence and the field vision to make the right play in key situations. Judging from his film at Stanford, Luck looks ready to play in the NFL right now.

The problem is that no matter how good he is, the comparisons to Manning will always be there. The expectations set forth by the organization for Luck will be based off what Manning was doing under center. That may be too much for Luck to handle.


Robert Griffin III

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears poses with the trophy after being named the 77th Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winner during a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 10, 2011 in New York City.  (P
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III showed this season that he can be the most dominant college football player in the nation, but a Heisman Trophy won’t save him from crushing expectations in the NFL.

When a coach like Mike Shanahan gets his hands on a dual-threat quarterback like Griffin, he will throw the book at him. As it always is, the problem with Shanny is that he tries to outsmart everyone, and that will kill Griffin’s chances of being a successful NFL quarterback.

After time in Washington, I could see the star reviving his career elsewhere, but he will not succeed in D.C. with the kind of expectations Shanahan and the organization will put on him.


Justin Blackmon

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys catches a first down pass on a fourth down play against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ar
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The Oklahoma State Cowboys' star wide receiver is one of the best wide receivers to come out in the last five seasons. His size and ability to catch anything thrown his way will make him a valuable asset to whichever team grabs him.

As good as Blackmon is, he showed that when he is caught against a tough coverage cornerback he can be shut down. There are many good cornerbacks in the NFL on every team, so if he had trouble in college, I imagine the issues will carry over.

While he can turn into the slot receiver type Anquan Boldin has become in Baltimore, Blackmon will end up on a bad team with a terrible quarterback situation. With a whole new level of coverage and a lack of playmaker at quarterback, expect a rough start to Blackmon’s career.


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