NFL Draft 2012: Dontari Poe and 10 Other Players with Rapidly-Falling Stocks

Vincent FrankCorrespondent IApril 13, 2012

NFL Draft 2012: Dontari Poe and 10 Other Players with Rapidly-Falling Stocks

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    Every single year, there are plenty of prospects that see their stock fall dramatically in the lead-up to the NFL draft. There are multiple reasons for experts selling these stocks, and some are predictable. 

    Take Janoris Jenkins for example. We all knew that character concerns were going to be a major factor when teams drew up their final big board, so it isn't surprising that he has gone from a mid first-round pick to probable second-round selection.

    Other falls are less predictable. Remember Donovan Warren, the former Michigan All-American was projected to go in the first or second round of the 2010 NFL draft? As the annual event approached in New York City, his stock rapidly fell and Warren ended up not getting drafted at all. 

    This article is going to focus on Dontari Poe and 10 other players who have seen their draft stock fall in short order. 

11. Alfonzo Dennard, Cornerback, Nebraska

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    Most scouts understood that Alfonzo Dennard wasn't the best man cover guy around. He struggled with this at Nebraska, eventually leading many to believe that a player of his talent is better suited to play safety. 

    With that said, a wide array of different "experts" had Dennard going in the late first round just a few months ago. For the purpose of full disclosure, I had the former Cornhusker going in the middle of the first round when I published my initial mock draft back in December. 

    I wasn't alone in that regard. 

    It now appears that Dennard is destined to be drafted in the back end of the second round, or possibly later.Bleacher Report's very own Matt Miller has him as the 11th-best corner in the draft right now, putting him in the bottom half of the second round. 

    This is a pretty steep drop if you ask me. 

10. Nick Perry, Defensive End, Southern California

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    This is where it gets interesting. Some individuals have Nick Perry ranked as a top-20 player, while others see him as a late first-round prospect. 

    Perry is very good at getting to the quarterback, but there are a ton of holes in his game that may lead teams to pass over him in the top half of the first round. 

    Mel Kiper has the USC alum dropping to the Green Bay Packers with the 28th selection of the 2012 NFL draft. Personally, I have Perry dropping completely out of the first round. 

    Others, like Matt Miller, have him as a top-10 pick. 

    I guess we will just have to wait and see. 

9. Courtney Upshaw, Defensive End/Linebacker, Alabama

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    Initially, it was thought that Courtney Upshaw translated well to playing outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. While this may still be the case, there are a lot of questions about his ability to drop back into coverage from the middle of the front seven. 

    This has sparked speculation that Upshaw isn't going to be as highly valued as we first thought when the draft comes around. 

    There were some that had Upshaw as a top-10 pick just a month ago. Now it seems that the former Alabama standout is more of a mid to late first-round pick. 

    While Mel Kiper and websites like Draft Tek believe that Upshaw is going to go to the New York Jets at No 16, which would still be a steep fall, that isn't guaranteed at this point. 

    One thing is for sure: Upshaw will not get past the San Diego Chargers or Cincinnati Bengals if the Jets do decide to go in another direction. 

8. Michael Brockers, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana State

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    We were all enthralled by the massive frame of this young defensive tackle. After all, you just don't see 6'6", 306-pound young men on the football field too often, especially at the ripe age of 21. 

    But this initial captivation wore off as we got a better understanding of the chinks in his armor. 

    Michael Brockers struggled a great deal at the combine in Indianapolis before turning in a pedestrian pro day performance in Baton Rouge. Now he has dropped out of the top 10 and into the second half of the initial round on most boards.

    There is no telling if the LSU product is going to pan out, but it is pretty apparent he isn't ready to make an immediate impact. With that said, you cannot deny the talent, however raw it might be, that he possesses. 

7. Zach Brown, Linebacker, North Carolina

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    It was just a few short months ago that Zach Brown was considered a top-20 pick. Scouts were intrigued by his ability to swarm to the ball and go from sideline to sideline in a heartbeat.

    Those days are long gone. 

    Scouts are now focusing on his inability to shed blocks, consistently questioning his ability to make an immediate impact at the next level. 

    Mel Kiper doesn't have Brown going until the middle of the second round to the Philadelphia Eagles in his most recent mock draft. I currently have Brown No. 47 on my big board as well. 

    Whatever team does pickup the North Carolina product later this month can expect a tremendous learning curve for the talented linebacker. If he gets it all figured out, Brown will be a real steal in the second round. 

6. Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford

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    Jonathan Martin is still a first-round pick in my book. He was tasked to protect the blindside of Andrew Luck over the last few seasons and came out smelling like roses. That has to mean something in the grand scheme of things. 

    Still, Martin has struggled a great deal in postseason events. He was, by no accounts, a stand out at Stanford's pro day in Palo Alto. 

    Martin also struggled a great deal in the position-specific drills at the combine. He is going to struggle early against speed-rushers, which doesn't bode well for his ability to protect the blindside of a NFL quarterback. 

    You have to realize that the NFL is a much different monster than the average Pac-12. 

    Originally considered a top 10-12 pick, Martin has seen himself fall to the bottom of the first round on some boards. Other experts have him outside of the initial round altogether. 

    You can still expect first-round play for Martin because he plays a position that is so highly regarded in the NFL. 

5. Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, Memphis

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    I am somewhat confused as to why Dontari Poe is falling the way he is. We already knew that he didn't go up against elite competition in college at Memphis. Why has this become such an issue recently? It isn't like this is any new information.

    This massive nose tackle is a workout warrior. This is usually a cop-out by individuals unable to explain why they are criticizing a particular prospect. 

    Either way, Poe has dropped from a likely top-10 pick to the middle of the first round, if not later. 

    I fully understand that he has some issues in regards to technique at the point of contact. But Poe isn't going to get into the offensive backfield or go after the quarterback on a consistent basis. Rather, he is more of a gap cog up the middle in the tradition of a true 3-4 nose tackle. 

    Mel Kiper is "remaining firm" on Poe going to the Carolina Panthers at No. 9, while Todd McShay has him going to the Dallas Cowboys at 14. 

    Poe could still go in the top 10, but he could also fall to the 20s. 

4. Orson Charles, Tight End, Georgia

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    A combination of character concerns stemming from a DUI arrest and poor performances in postseason events has caused Orson Charles to see his draft stock plummet. 

    When the former Georgia standout declared for the draft, rather late I might add, he was considered the top tight end in the class. 

    Now that Coby Fleener has performed extremely well at both the combine and at Stanford's pro day, he has overtaken Charles as the No. 1 tight end in the 2012 NFL draft. 

    It doesn't stop there. I have just moved Ladarius Green (Louisiana Lafayette) past Charles on my position rankings, making the latter the No. 4 tight end on my list. 

    What started out as a promising 2012 draft for Charles has now turned into something of a nightmare. He might not even go in the first three rounds after being considered a late first-round pick just a month ago. 

    He wasn't found in Mel Kiper's most recent two-round mock draft and is rated No. 95 on the CBS Big Board. This doesn't even take into account other media publications that are following the same theme. 

3. Janoris Jenkins, Cornerback, North Alabama

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    You had to see this coming. Teams aren't just going to ignore multiple character concern issues when it relates to a prospect and then spend a high draft pick on him. 

    That just isn't going to happen. Well, unless you are Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell. 

    Times have definitely changed in the NFL, and these prospects with character issues are surely going to suffer the most as it relates to the changing landscape. 

    I have no problem with this. 

    Janoris Jenkins was considered a lock to be drafted in the top 20 just a month ago, and I am not entirely sure why. To be honest, I had him rated around there too. 

    It is entirely plausible that Jenkins falls out of the first round and continues to see his draft status drop in day two. Matt Miller has him falling to the New England Patriots with the 48th pick in the second round of the draft. 

    On Thursday night, reports surfaced that Jenkins continued to smoke marijuana while playing for North Alabama last season. This is yet another sign that the troubled young player is still facing his own demons. This also cements his status on this list and indicates that Jenkins will definitely not be a first-round pick. 

2. Nick Foles, Quarterback, Arizona

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    Probably a surprise addition to this list for many readers, Nick Foles has seen his stock drop as much as any prospect in the 2012 draft. 

    He was originally considered a lock to go in the second round and was even receiving some premature talk of being a late first-round pick. 

    No longer. 

    Foles struggled a great deal with accuracy at Arizona's pro day and didn't show much of anything at the combine in Indianapolis. He is now my eighth-ranked quarterback prospect after starting the postseason at number four. 

    CBS Sports currently has Foles pegged to go in the later rounds.

    Talk about a dramatic drop-off.

1. Vontaze Burfict, Linebacker, Arizona State

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    We haven't seen a drop like this in the NFL draft in ages. 

    Not only did Vontaze Burfict place blame about his poor 2011 performance on his coaching staff, but he has consistently showed little in terms of ability to actually play at the next level. 

    When the 2011 season ended, it seemed to be a sure bet that Burfict was going to be a top-15 pick. In fact, many people concluded that the explosive linebacker would be among the best defensive players in the draft.

    While I took a consistent stand that he was extremely overrated, the lowest I had Burfict going in any of my early mocks was the second round. 

    Now, it appears that the troubled linebacker prospect is going to be a late-round pick at best. In fact, there has been some talk that he might not get drafted at all. 

    It is sad to see a young man self destruct the way Burfict has. I can only hope he moves forward understanding full well that the NFL doesn't need him so he can prove himself once more. 

     

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