2012 NFL Draft Predictions: 5 Players Who Will Struggle to Adapt to the Pros

Jon Siddoway@@JSiddowayCorrespondent IApril 17, 2012

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks carries the ball during the second half against the Wisconsin Badgers at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

For a few football players, the transition from college to the NFL will be a smooth ride, but for most, it will be full of bumps and bruises.

The following first- and second-round prospects, in particular, will struggle the most to adapt. If they figure it out, though, the wait will be well worth it.


LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

Yes, he juked out a lot of people, but most of his success on the ground was a result of being flat-out faster than everyone else on the field. That won't be the case in the NFL—where linebackers run 4.4 40-yard dashes with ease.

At a slight 5'8" and 194 pounds, he will need to bulk up in order to be a featured back. Otherwise, he's destined to be nothing more than a situational back.


Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

Brown stands 6'1", 244 pounds, runs a 4.50 40-yard dash and lifts 22 repetitions of 225 pounds. He also registered a 33.5" vertical leap and a 9'8" broad jump.

He is an athlete, a freakish athlete.

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 10:  Zach Brown #47 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts to making an interception against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Kenan Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As a football player, however, he is a question mark.

Brown has always relied on speed to blow by blockers but will have to work on his pass-rush moves and technique in order to succeed at the next level.


Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida

There's a difference between "the fastest man at the combine" and "the best prospect at the combine."

Robinson was the former.

He can run with anyone, but his tackling and football instincts leave a lot to be desired. Proper coaching is required before he becomes a shutdown corner.


David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

The future is bright for this young back, but his first couple of seasons may be somewhat dim.

Wilson has top-end speed—clocked a 4.40 40-yard dash at his pro day—and can really accelerate in and out of breaks. The problem is he dances around too much instead of attacking holes.

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 18:  Mike Adams #75 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks for his blocking assignment against the Ohio Bobcats at Ohio Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

He also had a bad case of fumble-itis last season, coughing up the ball seven times. Defenses will attack that weakness until he learns to protect the ball.


Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Adams hurt his stock with a disappointing performance at the combine. He benched a surprisingly low 19 repetitions and followed it up with a sluggish 5.40 40-yard dash—alarming numbers for a player who is supposed to protect the quarterback's blind side.

Game tape reveals an inconsistent talent. At times he is dominant—others, not so much. He also has a hard time keeping up with speed rushers, so a move to right tackle is not out of the question.

Either way, Adams, who excels as a run-blocker, will need to work on pass protection before becoming a full-time starter.