The 25 Biggest Red Flags in the 2012 NFL Draft Class

Chris KouffmanContributor IApril 4, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates as he runs off of the field after they won 41-38 in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As we get closer to NFL Draft weekend, here we take a look at some of the biggest and most obvious red flag players in the 2012 NFL Draft. The red flags are usually associated with character or injury, although our first example carries a different sort of red flag.

 

1.  QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: Age

At 28 years old, Weeden is four years older than his primary competition for the title of being the third best quarterback in the draft. The age may be over-emphasized by some, but clearly it has a place in the valuation process.

 

2.  QB Stephen Garcia, South Carolina: Character

Garcia was dismissed from the South Carolina program due to a pattern of bad behavior spanning all the way to his freshman year. Teams will question whether he has grown up.

 

3.  RB Foswhitt Whittaker, Texas: Injury

Whittaker is a prospect that should interest many teams with his combination of speed and fearlessness, but his knee injury is serious and he has yet to work out for scouts.

 

4.  RB Jonas Gray, Notre Dame: Injury

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 29:  Jonas Gray #25 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is hit by (L-R) Caleb King #57, Chris Ferguson #23 and Wave Ryder #8 of the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on October 29, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Gray would be ranked significantly higher in the tailback rankings had he not suffered a severe knee injury late in his 2011 season.

 

5.  TE Orson Charles, Georgia: Character

Even prior to his recent arrest for DUI, Charles displayed a disturbing pattern of behavior, from his last-minute waffling on the decision to prematurely enter the NFL Draft, to his inability to take directions at the combine and tendency to not take it seriously.

 

6.  TE Josh Chichester, Louisville: Character

Chichester's infamous "me first" attitude and tendency to blame anyone but himself for lack of production have turned some people off.

 

7.  WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina: Character

Weight and work ethic issues plagued Alshon's career at South Carolina. He has lost a considerable amount of weight during the process, but it comes off as disingenuous.

 

8.  WR Dwight Jones, North Carolina: Character

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 02: Alshon Jeffery #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks makes a catch during the Capitol One Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Florida Citrus Bowl on January 2, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Being kicked out of his own school's pro day is not a way to endear himself to scouts, even if they are to assume Jones did not deserve the punishment.

 

9.  WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma: Injury

A torn ACL ended an otherwise brilliant career at Oklahoma. The injury figures to drop him down the NFL Draft a significant amount.

 

10.  OC Peter Konz, Wisconsin: Injury

A left ankle injury finished Konz's 2011 season and has kept him from working out for scouts for over four months.

 

11.  OT Andrew Datko, Florida State: Injury

Multiple severe shoulder injuries have torpedoed his draft stock, and it is up to him to show that they will not be a problem moving forward.

 

12.  OG Rishaw Johnson, California (PA): Character

Multiple character issues showed up at the combine, suggesting that being kicked out of Ole Miss by Houston Nutt was not a coincidence.

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Jermaine Thomas #38 pats Christian Ponder #7 on the head as he is held by Andrew Datko #67 of the Florida State Seminoles after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florid
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

 

13.  DE Jack Crawford, Penn State: Character

An apartment where Crawford supposedly resides (he claims he moved out in December) was searched and found to be hiding marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

 

14.  LB Bruce Irvin, West Virginia: Character

Serving a stint in juvenile jail as a high schooler was bad enough, but his recent arrest for destruction of property for an incident that happened at a sandwich shop begs for flagging.

 

15.  DE Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina: Injury

Declaring early for the draft with a torn ACL is not the way to see yourself given a clean and un-flagged grade by scouts.

 

16.  DE Frank Alexander, Oklahoma: Injury

Combine medical checks gave Frank the scare of his life, suggesting that he had a serious heart condition. Further testing suggests those tests may have been mistaken. Teams will make sure they know the truth.

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 30:  (L-R) Travis Lewis #28 and Frank Alexander #84 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrate after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sooners defeated the Hawkeyes
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

17.  DT Josh Chapman, Alabama: Injury

Chapman played much of the 2011 season on a torn ACL which may endear him to tough guys in the room but will surely send medical staffs scrambling to see if there was any permanent damage.

 

18.  LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State: Character

Burfict has had a disastrous offseason that has highlighted bad character. He reportedly had bad interviews at the combine (and followed up with bad interviews with the press). Attitude has become such a problem that his work ethic is now in question as Vontaze ran several times far worse than expected for an athlete of his caliber.

 

19.  CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama: Character

Kirkpatrick's recent arrest on charges of marijuana possession will have scouts scratching their heads and digging deeper into Dre's past.

 

20.  CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska: Injury

Dennard has suffered hip and shoulder injuries that have prevented him from working out for the scouts since the Senior Bowl.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama gets ready to run the 40-yard dash during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

 

21.  CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama: Character

Multiple marijuana charges as well as other questionable off-field choices led to his dismissal from the University of Florida.

 

22.  CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia: Injury

A broken leg suffered in mid-January has prevented him working out for the scouts.

 

23.  FS Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State: Injury

Markelle has yet to work out for the scouts this offseason due to a lingering knee problem.

 

24.  FS Janzen Jackson, McNeese State: Character

A litany of bad signs include being forced to transfer from Tennessee due to off-field conduct, declaring for the NFL Draft early and running a 40-yard dash time much slower than expected, may point to work ethic issues in preparation.

 

25.  SS Mark Barron, Alabama: Injury

A bilateral hernia is only the latest injury in Mark's medical file, with other injuries including hurt ribs in 2011 and a torn pectoral muscle in 2010. According to him, he was still only about 80 to 90 percent when he ran at his pro day in late March.