NFL Draft Predictions: Players Who Will Free Fall on Draft Day

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2012

Janoris Jenkins, Ryan Tannehill and Luke Kuechly were all once called top-15 selections in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Come April 28, they’ll suffer a draft-day tumble.

Whether it's injury issues, off-the-field concerns or just being not that good to warrant a high selection, these three players will fall later than draft pundits expect.

Read on to find out why Jenkins, Tannehill and Kuechly will be stuck in the green room.


Janoris Jenkins

Questions of Janoris Jenkins' off-the-field activities have reportedly erased his name from several draft boards.

The former National Champion and Freshman All-American at the University of Florida has three run-ins with the Gainesville police, including two charges for marijuana. Most recently, it has been reported that Jenkins continued to smoke at Northern Alabama—the same reason that got him kicked out at Florida.

There are no concerns over Jenkins’ on-field capabilities.

Talent-wise, he may be the best man-to-man corner in this draft class. His defiant nature, however, is a red flag for most NFL coaches, especially when the NFL substance abuse policy comes into play.

No NFL GM wants to spend its first draft choice on a Ricky Williams.

Expect Jenkins to go on the draft’s second day.


Ryan Tannehill

Early April is the usual time for the NFL Draft media firestorm.

Ryan Tannehill, following in the footsteps of Jimmy Clausen, has gone from questionable top-20 talent to draft darling.

The junior QB out of Texas A&M is no sure thing, especially in his first year. Unlike Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, scouts are reporting there’s no way Tannehill can be expected to start next season.

Teams searching for immediate quarterback help, such as Miami and Cleveland, would rather stick with their current young starters than test their fortunes on a signal caller who then played wideout a year ago.

Tannehill will get selected in the first round, but those clamoring for him to go in the top ten will be disappointed.


Luke Kuechly 

Inside linebackers have lessened in importance as the NFL has shifted to a passing-centric league.

Pass–rushing ends and defensive backs that can affect the passing game have more value than any other defensive position.

With a glut of 3-4 ends that are worth a first round selection (I count at least 5), teams looking for defensive help will look to gain an edge to thwart opposing quarterbacks.

If an inside linebacker is a liability on passing downs, why risk a top pick on a defender who isn’t an every-down player? 

Luke Kuechly may have averaged a ridiculous 14.5 tackles per game at Boston College, but he won’t be putting up those numbers guarding tight ends and running backs on third downs.

That’s why viewers won’t be seeing Kuechly drafted until 15th to Philadelphia, at the earliest.