Adrian Clayborn and teammate Da'Quan Bowers were at one point consensus top-10 picks. But Clayborn's health and Bowers' tendency to disappear from plays caused their draft stocks to plummet.
Tampa Bay took a gamble on both, but their roll of the dice could pay off greatly despite a terrible defensive effort in 2011. Clayborn provided a rare bright spot amid the dark 10-game skid to end the season.
Clayborn recorded a respectable eight sacks in his rookie season, but what's more impressive is that he generated 42 pressures on top of that. He did play in over 400 pass-rushing snaps, so that may not seem very impressive at first glance.
But in fact, it is. A 12 percent sack rate doesn't seem like much, but it's comparable to elite pass-rushers such as Jared Allen (11.48 percent) and Julius Peppers (12.94 percent). It's also more successful than rushers such as Elvis Dumervil (10.04 percent) and Jason Pierre-Paul (10.02 percent).
If Clayborn begins to cash in on his opportunities in the form of sacks and tackles for loss, he could put up huge fantasy numbers.
Does this mean I would target Clayborn ahead of the aforementioned? Of course not. But with a young and talented defensive front that includes Gerald McCoy, Michael Bennett and Bowers, the ceiling is very high for the Iowa product. At the right price, he could turn into a very reliable DE2 next year.
For more NFL analysis, follow me on Twitter @Dan_Ciarrocchi