NFL Draft 2012: 13 Young Prospects with the Most to Gain
A number of players enter the NFL with a fair amount of polish, but a bulk of draftees need a lot of seasoning before they can have success in the league.
While these players have talents in some form of their game, they need a lot of work in some aspects if they want to be successful NFL players.
Look for a few of these players to have successful NFL careers if they can put it together. Here are these 13 guys.
QB Dan Persa
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Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa has the size of an NFL quarterback at 6-foot-5, and he can run the football as well as a lot of signal callers in the league.
Unfortunately, Persa has a lot of work to do in the passing game before he can contribute to a team.
Look for him to land in a place where an offensive coordinator can teach him the ropes and utilize his skill set.
RB Bernard Pierce
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This rusher out of Temple is 6-foot-1 and a sizable 218 pounds, but he comes from a somewhat small school and needs to prove his mettle at the next level.
He could be molded into a goal line back and make an impact in the NFL. He averaged about one touchdown per every ten attempts in college and was able to dominate his conference.
An NFL team will teach Pierce how to be the dominant back that he showed he can be in the NCAA.
RB LaMichael James
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James could get lucky and land with a coach like Norv Turner or Sean Payton, having the chance to then develop into a Darren Sproles type at the next level.
Look for James to improve a lot in the NFL as he'll have to become an elite pass blocker and a real receiver out of the backfield if he wants to last.
There is no doubt that this Oregon running back will learn the necessary tools and truly grow in the NFL.
RB Chris Rainey
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Similar to James, Rainey is one of the running backs in the draft who excels at breaking the play open and busting the run to the outside.
This Gator running back would be a great third down player and could learn a lot from NFL coaches.
Look for Rainey to be a difference maker in the correct scheme and, should he land on the right team, a productive player as soon as this year.
WR Stephen Hill
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Stephen Hill has all of the athletic tools to succeed in terms of size, speed and leaping ability.
Also, coming from a program like Georgia Tech that has recently produced top NFL wideouts Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, all the stars are aligned for Hill to succeed.
This athlete still needs to learn receiver-specific skills, including route running and catching, but he could be a good player in the future.
WR Ryan Broyles
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Once one of the most productive wide receivers in college football, Broyles tore his ACL this season and threw his draft stock out the window.
Now, Broyles attempts to recover from his injury and find a team that will afford him the opportunity to regain his old form.
This Oklahoma wideout would be well served to work hard in the weight room and show up healthy and fit at training camp this summer.
OT Mike Adams
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A 6-foot-7 behemoth, Adams can become one of the best linemen from this class if he really wants it.
He's got great strength and athleticism but below-average footwork and an even more subpar disposition.
If he goes to a locker room that will hold him accountable for his work and his off-field transgressions, he could develop into a real find for a team in the late first or early second round.
DE Donte Paige-Moss
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Playing across from Quinton Coples, a lot of people missed out on how good of a pass rusher that Paige-Moss was.
Unfortunately, he has a hot-and-cold motor as well as a bad attitude, having been benched after getting into two fights last season. Paige-Moss is also a non-factor in the run game.
With his questionable personality as well as his one-dimensional game, Paige-Moss might not even be worth the headache. He has rare pass-rush ability, though, and could find a home.
DE Vinny Curry
Another pure pass-rusher, Curry doesn't have the attitude issues of Paige-Moss and is a high second-round prospect.
He needs to learn how to drop into pass coverage and also how to be effective in the run game, but he seems very interested in furthering his craft.
Look for Curry to become an effective player in the NFL after he learns the way from defensive coaches in the league.
DT Michael Brockers
Fresh off of an appearance in the National Championship game, Brockers is one of the youngest players eligible for this draft but he is also one of the best defensive linemen available.
Young and somewhat inexperienced, this LSU product needs a lot of seasoning and can gain experience on the job in 2012.
Look for Brockers to be a disruptive force going forward after he gains knowledge from NFL coaches.
LB Mychal Kendricks
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When a linebacker like Kendricks has this elite a combination of athleticism and work ethic, he's certain to be a special player in the league.
A bit undersized at 5-foot-11, the Cal product needs to learn just how to make plays despite his small frame.
He can certainly learn a host of things from NFL coaches and sharpen his instincts as he makes the NFL transition.
CB Josh Robinson
Robinson took over at the scouting combine with a 4.32 40-yard dash but comes from a small school and has a lot to prove at the next level.
The UCF corner can be tricked by good route running and will have trouble trying to recognize plays at the NFL level.
After he lands in his new NFL home, he'll truly benefit from having time on the practice field to hone his craft against NFL receivers.
CB Chase Minnifield
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Minnifield is an impact player on special teams, and he can also play the nickel corner spot admirably.
He'll learn to be a factor all over the field when he gets to the NFL, refining his tackling ability as well as improving his coverage capabilities.
For more NFL and NFL draft analysis, check out Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Eli Nachmany's new blog Nachmany Football.