NFL Draft 2012: 7 Players Whose Stock Has Tumbled the Most
Now that pro days are winding down and the draft is less than a month away, teams are finalizing their draft boards and have begun to plan out how they will attack the draft.
With the player evaluation process just about over, some players have lost millions of dollars because of bad workouts and off-field incidents. This year, a player has gone from a possible first-round pick to being hardly worth a draft pick.
Here are the players who have lost the most stock during the draft process.
Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
Highest Projection: Mid First Round
Current Projection: 7th - Undrafted
I have never seen a player fall so far out of favor in the eyes of NFL evaluators. Burfict, known for his aggressive and passionate play, was often unable to control his emotions on the field and was out of position more often than not.
Even if you take away his mental mistakes, he was not as talented of a football player as his reputation would suggest. He was easily blocked and was a liability in coverage.
Going into the combine, all he had going for him was his supposedly elite athleticism—then he bombed just about every drill, coming in last or next-to-last in most categories. He ran a horrific 5.1 on his second trial on the 40-yard dash.
Perhaps some team will take a chance on him in the sixth round, but it would not surprise me if his name was not called at all.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Highest Projection: Mid-Late First Round
Current Projection: Third Round
Dennard was viewed as one of the top cornerbacks in the draft early in the process.
Then, the Senior Bowl happened.
Dennard put about as bad a performance as possible during the week of Senior Bowl practice. His lack of elite speed was exposed and he was getting beat by even the lesser receivers on a fairly consistent basis. He injured himself before the actual game, which foiled his chances of redeeming himself.
For now, his physical limitations put a ceiling on his upside. He looks to eventually develop into a No. 2 corner at best.
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Highest Projection: Top 10
Current Projection: Late First, Early Second
Brockers had a very good chance to be taken within the first 10 picks with his intriguing upside. He did not provide much of a pass rush on tape, but he was perceived to have elite athleticism that could help him develop those skills at the next level.
However, an underwhelming performance at the combine put a damper on expectations for Brockers to blossom into an elite player in the NFL. He is still a quality run player and would probably fit best as a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense, but such a position does not warrant anything near his previous top-10 projection.
Chris Polk, RB, Washington
Highest Projection: Mid-Late First Round
Current Projection: Mid-Late Second Round
Polk was never the flashiest of backs, but he produced with consistency at Washington and was originally thought to be one of the safer picks in the draft.
However, at the Senior Bowl, he was exposed as nothing more than a solid runner with limited upside. He shed some weight for the combine and appeared a bit faster, but this is a case of just not being an explosive enough player to warrant a first-round pick.
If you are going to take a runner in the first round, he needs to be an exceptional athlete that has the potential to change the game with a single carry. Polk lacks that capability.
Polk may very well wind up being a quality NFL player, but there are just too many more enticing options ahead of him at the position.
Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Highest Projection: Late First, Early Second Round
Current Projection: Late Second to Late Third Round
Charles may be the most well-rounded tight end in what is a pretty thin class for the position. He is a bit raw as a route-runner, but with some time, he can become a quality NFL tight end.
However, it is not talent that is the reason for Charles' massive drop in stock. On March 9th, less than two months before one of the biggest days of his life, Charles was charged with a DUI.
Now, Charles is not the only player in this draft with a DUI on his record. Receiver Michael Floyd got one earlier in his college career, but has since shown the maturity and a major attitude change that will allow for scouts to look past it.
Getting a DUI is serious enough in itself, but it is the timing of it that makes it so concerning. Charles could not keep himself clean in the two months of his life where keeping clean is of the utmost importance.
Not only did he show a serious lapse in judgement driving drunk in the first place, but the fact that he was willing to risk everything he worked for in college shows an immense amount of immaturity. He will pay for it on draft day.
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Highest Projection: Top 15
Current Projection: Late First, Early Second Round
After a dominant performance at the Senior Bowl, Adams shot up draft boards to be the second offensive lineman taken in many mock drafts.
However, it seems as if the success went to his head a bit, as he showed up at the combine in terrible shape, erasing all of the positive vibes surrounding him after the Senior Bowl.
In fact, his combine performance is a better parallel to what he shows on tape, as he is inconsistent and gets overpowered by stronger defensive lineman. He has some upside, but his risk factor may push him out of the first round.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Highest Projection: Late First Round
Current Projection: Mid-Second Round
Sanu started to gain some momentum heading into the draft, as he was mentioned in the bottom of the first round on several experts' mock drafts.
As it turns out, Sanu was another victim of the combine stopwatch, as his 40 time, a 4.65, was simply not up to par of a first-round pick. Sanu does not play very fast on tape in the first place, but he is not a good enough at creating separation to make up for it at the next level.
Without raw speed to build on, there is concern that Sanu's ceiling is too low for a first-round pick, which will probably cause him to fall deep into the second round on draft day.