2012 NFL Draft: 8 Prospects That Need the Perfect Situation to Succeed
Not every NFL prospect is a "plug-and-play" type that is scheme-diverse and can have success on any team.
As we saw last season with players like Cam Newton, sometimes a player can be a superstar if he lands in the right place.
This year, there are a number of prospects in the same circumstance—we profile eight of them here.
QB Ryan Tannehill
Perfect Situation(s): MIA, BUF, PHI
Weaknesses: Tannehill's main weaknesses are his lack of experience and his inability to display elite-level mechanics when throwing the football.
The Texas A&M quarterback has a slight hitch in his elbow, which will tip off NFL defenders and also make it hard for No. 17 to get the ball where it needs to be.
Analysis: This signal-caller needs to be a backup for two or three years behind a good quarterback and an even better offensive-minded coach. He can find those circumstances in Miami, Buffalo and Philadelphia.
QB Brock Osweiler
Perfect Situation(s): KC, OAK, DEN
Weaknesses: Osweiler doesn't have NFL footwork and he has a very unorthodox delivery of the football, which is a recipe for disaster against top-notch pro competition.
Past that, Osweiler just can't get the ball where it needs to be—he seems to be off-center on a lot of routine throws.
Analysis: This field general is a true project. It's best for him to stay on the west coast (Kansas City is a stretch, I know) and sit behind a mature quarterback who is on the way out, like Peyton Manning.
RB LaMichael James
Perfect Situation(s): SD, TB, DET
Weaknesses: James is certainly an undersized back at just 5'9", and not too many NFL scouts are certain that he'll be able to run between the tackles at the next level.
With questions about his pass-protection ability and his durability, one of college football's most exciting players' draft stock is falling.
Analysis: After seeing the masterful job that Norv Turner did with Darren Sproles, look for James to make a similar impact in the NFL. Detroit, with a hurt Jahvid Best, is an option here.
WR Stephen Hill
Perfect Situation(s): HOU, NO, NE
Weaknesses: Hill hasn't shown us much in the way of his catching or route-running ability, as he played in an option system his entire collegiate career at Georgia Tech.
While he's a physical specimen, this wideout doesn't possess the polish that some other receivers in this class, like Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd.
Analysis: As long as he has a very good quarterback getting him the ball and a top-notch No. 1 on the other side of him, Hill could be an elite No. 2 pass catcher for a team.
NT Dontari Poe
Perfect Situation(s): CAR, NE, PIT
Weaknesses: Poe's lack of focus and the fact that this behemoth nose tackle takes plays off is a real concern for a lot of squads.
While his athleticism is undeniable, Poe's football skills are somewhat lacking and he has a tough time getting a push up front.
Analysis: This Memphis nose tackle just needs a motivating head coach who won't deal with him taking plays off—a 345-pound man that moves the way that Poe does is a true asset.
DE Whitney Mercilus
Perfect Situation(s): DET, STL
Weaknesses: Because he was an elite pass rusher in college, Mercilus receives undue consideration as a "3-4 OLB."
The NCAA sack king last year, this Illinois standout is not too stout against the run and he just doesn’t have the athleticism to stand up in a 3-4.
Analysis: Mercilus could be a real difference maker on a 4-3 team where he could comfortably slot in at defensive end and rush the passer.
MLB Vontaze Burfict
Perfect Situation(s): BAL, PIT
Weaknesses: For a lot of teams, a headcase like Vontaze Burfict is exactly the type of player that should be avoided by all costs—it's players like Burfict that make this article a hot topic.
This inside linebacker has issues with his work ethic and his temper, and he's a subpar athlete, as shown after posting below-average numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Analysis: Burfict needs to land in a place where the defensive leaders are already in place so that he won't slack off and waste his rare ability.
CB Janoris Jenkins
Perfect Situation(s): DAL, TEN
Weaknesses: If Janoris Jenkins was a more stable person, we might be talking about him (in the stead of Morris Claiborne) as the best cornerback in this class.
Owners don't want to invest millions of dollars in a player who has issues with drugs and his family.
Analysis: Wherever Jenkins goes, the players in the locker room need to show him how to be a more responsible man and how to take charge of his life in the NFL.
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