2012 NFL Draft: 5 High-Risk, High-Reward Draft Prospects
"Potential" is one of the scariest words in the NFL draft evaluation process. It is very easy to overrate a prospect because of pure physical tools or just a handful of spectacular plays.
At the same time, you never want a potential star to go to the opponent, and predicting how these players will develop at the pro level is a tricky business.
Here are five players who have the most risk and upside.
Vontaze Burfict is as talented as just about any other linebacker in the draft. He's mean, tough and has a nastiness about him that coaches love in a defensive leader.
The issue with Burfict is that he lacks control and discipline that will get him abused at the pro level. Coaches will say they can teach him to be more disciplined, but when the lights go on, young players have a tendency to revert to their bad habits.
Still, if you can find a way to harness Burfict's ability, you may have a future star on your hands.
Robert Griffin III
RGIII has all of the physical tools you want in a quarterback: accuracy, arm strength, mobility, mechanics, etc. He has show the ability to take over games and has the potential to be a star on the next level.
There are just two issues with Griffin.
One, you must consider the level of competition he faced at Baylor; it wasn't like he was taking on an SEC defense every week.
There is also the concern that he may not be able to hold up running with the ball as much as he does.
Cam Newton gets away with it because he has the build of a linebacker. Griffin is more slim and will not sustain the hits he will take at the NFL level. He must prove that he can produce without using his legs.
Still, Griffin has enough talent to warrant the second overall selection.
Jeffery has a ton of potential and is an exciting downfield threat for any team looking for a wideout, but he has some bust potential.
Jeffery came into the 2011 season a bit overweight, and it showed a bit on the tape. He does not separate as well as you would like, and he did not adjust to his poor quarterback play.
He is as talented as any receiver in the draft, but there are plenty of red flags that have to have scouts and GMs worried.
Floyd has done a lot during his time at Notre Dame, but his several off-the-field issues, including a DUI, will cause him to plummet on draft day.
In addition, he lacks a lot of natural abilities; he does not exhibit the speed or jumping ability of some of the other elite receivers in the draft, which is more of a red flag than the off-field concerns.
Before his senior season, Jenkins was considered to be one of the top corner prospects in the draft.
However, he was eventually dismissed from Florida and transferred to North Alabama, where he was ejected and suspended for punching a player during a game.
Jenkins is still a very talented player, but he has not played good competition in a while because of his transfer to North Alabama. There are also too many character concerns that will limit his draft grade.
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