NFL Draft Projections: 5 Players Whose Draft Position Won't Match the Hype

Jeremy SickelContributor IIIApril 10, 2012

NFL Draft Projections: 5 Players Whose Draft Position Won't Match the Hype

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    Although it seems as if there is always some sort of NFL mock draft taking place year round, the actual NFL draft is just weeks away. And right now, everybody is a draft expert.

    Whether you are involved in an online mock draft representing your favorite team or just enjoy keeping up with the latest trends to forecast where certain players might be drafted, you have to be thrilled around this time of year.

    While it has been a foregone conclusion for months that the Indianapolis Colts will select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick, the rest of the first round is filled with countless names that will either live up to the hype or be labeled as busts on some level.

    Here are five players whose first-round draft projection will not match their hype.

Robert Griffin III, Baylor Quarterback

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    Ever since the Washington Redskins traded away the farm to acquire the No. 2 overall pick from the St. Louis Rams in this year's draft, it was common knowledge that Robert Griffin III would be the next quarterback of the Daniel Snyder era.

    Griffin will come right into the NFL with the training wheels off the bike and with no true mentor to show him the ropes. The fact that Snyder and company don't exactly have a perfect track record when scouting or developing quarterbacks means that Griffin will be riding solo to fortify the name he has made for himself.

    It is not to say that what Griffin has accomplished isn't a direct correlation to being drafted so high. But the circumstances surrounding Washington owning the No. 2 pick, and what they had to give up to acquire it will make it very difficult for RG3 to live up to the lofty expectations. 

Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State Wide Receiver

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    It is hard to argue the fact that the projected No. 1 wide receiver off the board won't have his chances to equal the hype he will have coming into the NFL. But no matter what team drafts Justin Blackmon, he will likely come in with the pressure of being that team's main target from day one.

    Standing at just 6'1" and 215 pounds, Blackmon isn't your prototypical go-to wideout. And although he peeled off an official 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, questions will still arise about his production in college with an offense that was centered around him.

    There seems to be a learning curve for rookie wide receivers, and that will go a long way towards Blackmon's development if he can be eased into his role. How much room he is given to grow will depend on what team drafts him, and if it's a team like the Rams, the margin for error will be very slim. 

Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M Quarterback

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    Ryan Tannehill might be the most talked about prospect this side of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. His rise up draft boards is certainly based more on potential than of results shown thus far.

    Originally a wide receiver at Texas A&M, Tannehill was converted into a quarterback during the 2010 season.

    Far from having refined skills, Tannehill is considered a project with major upside. But the rise into the top half of the first round points toward him possibly coming into the NFL as a starter right out of the gate, and most teams that are in dire need of a quarterback typically do not handle similar situations very well. 

Dontari Poe, Memphis Defensive Tackle

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    The 2012 NFL draft's resident workout warrior, Dontari Poe burst onto the scene at the combine by posting some eye-popping numbers for such a big guy. At 6'4" and 346 pounds, Poe was clocked in the 40-yard dash at an unofficial 4.98 seconds and also put up 44 reps on the 225-pound bench press.

    Often times, coaches and general managers get wrapped up in this freakish type of athlete at the expense of letting more polished football players slip through the cracks.

    Although the jury is obviously still out on Poe and his prospects as a legit player in the NFL, the earlier his name is called the more likely expectations for immediate results will rise.

Jonathan Martin, Stanford Offensive Tackle

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    Known for protecting the blind side of eventual No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, Jonathan Martin is part of a secondary group of offensive tackles that are projected to be taken in the first round.

    With organizations on a perpetual quest for pass protectors, Martin will benefit by playing the premier position. However, Martin occasionally struggles with lateral movement against quicker edge rushers resulting in not-so-favorable results for the quarterback.

    Although Martin played left tackle in college, it might be best suited for him to undertake the less stressful right tackle position to hone the raw talents that he possesses.

    Contact Jeremy at jeremy@popflyboys.com, on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy and read more at popflyboys.com.