There are several teams in a position to take a gamble on a talented player with character concerns. While other teams will justifiably pass on certain players, alarmed that their issues may derail their career, these teams can take that leap of faith.
This slipping stock means these players will offer a higher ceiling than those around them, and that means they will be a high-risk/reward pick. Here are the teams that should take a gamble and suggestions of a potentially good fit.
The Bengals have two first-round picks and a wealth of early picks in the next two drafts. This luxury affords them the ability to get bold with one of their picks.
They will have ample opportunities to play it safe with their other picks. They need to shoot for the moon while they can and grab a player with big time potential.
Whom They Should Target
With its second pick, Cincinnati should set its sights on CB Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins is a supremely athletic corner that has all the potential to be a No. 1 corner on a roster.
He is going to slip in this draft due to his character concerns. He was kicked off Florida after being arrested twice in three months and was arrested once the month before.
Pete Carroll has quickly transformed the Seahawks roster. He now has a lineup full of young players that have fallen through the cracks and become available at rock-bottom prices. This is especially true on defense.
With all of this young talent and a keen eye for the scrap heap, Carroll can afford to look for the perfect fit for his upcoming defense, even if that fit has character flaws.
Whom They Should Target
Vontaze Burfict is the interior linebacker that could propel this defense into one of the league's elite units. He is a hard-hitting player that can move sideline to sideline, shed blocks and blow up plays.
He can also blow up plays after people aren't playing anymore. The knock on Burfict is that he lacks discipline and can't keep himself from making stupid extracurricular penalties.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are an intense franchise from top to bottom. That is an infectious attitude. You are hard-pressed to find a player on that team that does not play with passion, and it will be hard for any player to enter into this franchise and not leave it all on the field.
These traits make them a great candidate to get the most out of players that are dogged by concerns over effort.
Whom the Steelers Should Target
Kelechi Osemele has the tools to be one of the best right tackles or guards in the NFL. He would instantly help the Steelers in the ground game and could be a centerpiece for years to come.
What is going to hold him back in this draft is the perception that he does not play with heart and passion. This is the exact kind of thing that the Steelers are in a position to instill into a young player.
2012 NFL Draft Order (through divisional games)
No. 1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14)
No. 2. St. Louis Rams (2-14)
No. 3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13)
No. 4. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
No. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
No. 6. Washington Redskins (5-11)
No. 7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
No. 8/9. Carolina Panthers (6-9) No. 8/9 to be determined by coin flip.
No. 8/9. Miami Dolphins (6-9) No. 8/9 to be determined by coin flip.
No. 10. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
No. 11/12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) No. 11/12 to be determined by coin flip.
No. 11/12. Seattle Seahawks (7-9) No. 11/12 to be determined by coin flip.
No. 13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
No. 14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
No. 15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8)
No. 16. New York Jets (8-8)
No. 17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland Raiders 8-8)
No. 18. San Diego Chargers (8-8)
No. 19. Chicago Bears (8-8)
No. 20. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
No. 21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
No. 22. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta Falcons 10-6)
No. 23. Detroit Lions (10-6)
No. 24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
No. 25. Denver Broncos (8-8)
No. 26. Houston Texans (10-6)
No. 27. New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints 13-3)
No. 28. Green Bay Packers (15-1)
No. 29. New York Giants (9-7)
No. 30. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
No. 31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3)
No. 32. New England Patriots (13-3)
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!