NFL Draft 2012: 10 Underrated Prospects NFL Scouts Are Watching

Akiva GoldenbergContributor IApril 3, 2017

NFL Draft 2012: 10 Underrated Prospects NFL Scouts Are Watching

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    Every year the NFL Draft proves to everyone how unpredictable it is.

    Each draft has many underrated players that are drafted in a later round or signed in free agency.

    The next Tom Brady, Jared Allen, or Dashon Goldson could be taken after the first three rounds, and consequently many general managers will be left baffled by the success of a player they did not believe in.

    Scouts have taken notice of these failures and after every season they try to hone their skills to find those "hidden gem" prospects that could significantly impact their respective franchises.

    Here are 10 highly underrated prospects that NFL scouts will be watching before the draft.

10. B.J. Coleman, Quarterback (Chattanooga)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/233 lbs.

     

    Statistics

      Passing Yards Passing Touchdowns Interceptions Completion percentage
    2011 1527 9 9 60.9%
    Career 6892 52 31 57.3%

     

    Potential Suitors

    Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers

     

    Analysis

    An athletic quarterback prospect that has the ability to make all the throws but struggles with his decision-making.

     

    Expected Role in the NFL

    A project prospect that is three years away from being ready to start.

     

    Projection

    Coleman will be drafted in the seventh round. 

9. T.J. Graham, Wide Receiver (NC State)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 5'11"/188 lbs.

    40-yard dash: 4.41 s

    3 Cone Drill: 6.77 s

     

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Receiving Yards Catches Touchdowns
    2011 757 46 7
    Career 1453 99 12

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Every NFL team

    Analysis:

    He is a fast, quick, and explosive play-making wide out who is willing to fill any role he's assigned (highly motivated), but displays ordinary route running and lacks the strength to play across the middle.

    Graham has very good catching ability, is effective on deep passing routes, and can contribute as a returner on special teams (four career kickoff/punt return touchdowns at NC State).

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    A slot receiver that could develop into a starter with proper coaching.

    Projection:

    Graham will be drafted in the sixth round.

8. Terrance Ganaway, Running Back (Baylor)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 6'0"/239 lbs.

    40-yard dash: 4.67 s

    3 Cone Drill: 7.15 s

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Rushing Yards Attempts Average Yards/Carry Rushing Touchdowns
    2011 1547 250 6.18 21
    Career 2057 364 5.65 28

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Analysis:

    This running back prospect has a large and heavy frame, but can block, catch, and run effectively (rarely fumbles). He lacks the speed to be an every down back.

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    A two-down running back that would contribute as part of a multiple-back rotation.

    Projection:

    Ganaway will be drafted in the fifth round. 

7. Nick Foles, Quarterback (Arizona)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/243 lbs.

     


     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Passing Yards Passing Touchdowns Interceptions Completion percentage
    2011 4334 28 14 69.1%
    Career 10068 67 33 66.9%

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers

    Analysis:

    Nick Foles is a pocket passer that can make all the necessary throws but lacks mobility and needs to improve in his decision making.

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    Backup quarterback that could eventually develop into a trading piece, if trained in a west coast offense (i.e. Kevin Kolb).

    Projection:

    Foles will be drafted in the fourth round.

6. Jarius Wright, Wide Receiver (Arkansas)

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    Physical Attributes:

    Height/Weight: 5'10"/182 lbs.

    40-yard dash: 4.42 s

    Vertical Leap: 38.0"

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Receiving Yards Catches Touchdowns
    2011 1117 66 12
    Career 2934 168 12

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Every NFL team

    Analysis:

    This wide receiver prospect is fast, quick, excellent route runner, and has good hands, but needs to get stronger.

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    Wright could be an effective slot receiver in the NFL right away and could develop into a starter in a year or two.

    Projection:

    Wright will be drafted in the fifth round.

5. Robert Turbin, Running Back (Utah State)

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    Physical Attributes:

    Height/Weight: 5'10"/222 lbs.

    40-yard dash: 4.50 s

    Bench Press (22 lbs.): 28 reps

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Rushing Yards Attempts Average Yards/Carry Rushing Touchdowns
    2011 1517 249 6.10 19
    Career 3315 565 5.87 40

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Analysis:

    He has an excellent frame for a running back, displays good patience (allowing for plays to develop), has good hands, and is fast, but he demonstrates a complete lack of blocking ability.

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    This running back prospect could be a primary tailback in a rotation of backs.

    Projection:

    Turbin will be drafted in the fourth round.

4. Josh Chapman, Defensive Tackle (Alabama)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 6'1/316 lbs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



    Statistics:

      Tackles Sacks
    2011 23 1
    Career 88 2.5

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets

    Analysis:

    Filled a thankless role by clogging running lanes and opening up holes in the opposing offense's protection. This allowed the Alabama linebackers and defensive ends to rush the passer and stop the run. 

    Lacks athleticism, but demonstrates significant strength.

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    A backup nose tackle that could contribute in a rotation of 3-4 defensive tackles. Could eventually develop into a starting nose tackle.

    Projection:

    Chapman will be drafted in the fifth round. 

3. Janzen Jackson, Safety (McNeese State)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 5'11"/188 lbs.

    40-yard dash: 4.64 s

    Vertical Leap: 36.5"

     

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Tackles Interceptions Forced Fumbles
    2011 26 2 1
    Career 129 8 2

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Arizona Cardinals,  Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers

    Analysis:

    This safety prospect has very good man coverage skills, excellent acceleration, great closing burst, loose hips, impressive hands, and good footwork but has poor tackling technique and a frame that is too lean.

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    Jackson has the ability to start right away at free safety. 

    Projection:

    Jackson will be drafted in the fifth round.

2. Audie Cole, Inside Linebacker (NC State)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 6'4"/246 lbs.

    Bench Press (225 lbs.): 15 reps

    3 Cone Drill: 6.96 s

     

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Tackles Sacks
    2011 108 5.5
    Career 276 14.0

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

    Analysis:

    Cole is an intelligent player with exceptional instincts against the rushing offense and has a fighter's attitude (he's actually a Golden Gloves boxing champion).

    He's willing to be aggressive against defensive linemen and to fill whatever role his coaches ask of him (has played both inside and outside linebacker during his time at NC State).

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    A second starting inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or backup inside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.

    Projection:

    Cole will be drafted in the fourth round.

1. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver (Oklahoma)

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    Physical Attributes

    Height/Weight: 5'10"/192 lbs.

    40-yard dash (est.): 4.49 s

    Arm Length: 33"

     

     

     

    Statistics:

      Receiving Yards Catches Touchdowns
    2011 1157 83 10
    Career 4586 349 45

     

    Potential Suitors:

    Every NFL team

    Analysis:

    This versatile prospect is arguably the most talented football player to have missed this year's NFL combine. Broyles is a fast, quick, and explosive play maker who is most dangerous in open space.

    He's capable of adjusting his body to any ball thrown near him, can run virtually any route, has a high football IQ, and exceptional catching ability but could be injury prone (recently suffered from an ACL tear).

    Expected Role In The NFL:

    Could start as a number two wide receiver right away.

    Projection:

    Broyles will be drafted in the fourth round.