NFL Draft 2012: Ryan Tannehill and 3 Busts Waiting to Happen
Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Every Major League Sport can recount horror stories of players surrounded with giant expectations picked early in an entry draft only to fizzle out in a few seasons.
The Detroit Pistons selected 7'0" center/power forward Darko Milicic behind Lebron James and before some people you might have heard of: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. He now comes off the bench for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Oakland Raiders used the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft to take JaMarcus Russell out of LSU. A 65.3 passer rating and three disappointing seasons later, Russell is looking for an NFL contract.
It's hard to say if any players in this year's NFL draft will join the ranks of biggest busts of all time, but several players expected to be taken in the first round already have naysayers to prove wrong.
Ryan Tannehill, selected by the Miami Dolphins with the eighth overall pick, completed just over 60 percent of his passes in two seasons at Texas A&M. He finished last season with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
However, Tannehill started only 19 games in his career at Texas A&M. Much of his high draft projection is based solely on potential. While he might be a formidable NFL quarterback one day, he is not ready to start for the Dolphins and probably not worth a first-round pick.
Tannehill was projected as a fourth-round pick before the start of the season. His draft stock rose so dramatically simply because there aren't a whole lot of starting quarterback candidates after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
His size and the potential are there, but the Dolphins simply can't expect him to start as a rookie and turn around their 6-10 record from last season.
That being said, Tannehill isn't alone in his quest for potential bustdom.
DE - North Carolina Tar Heels
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
The 6'6", 284-pound defensive end recorded 59 tackles and 10 sacks in his junior season with the Tar Heels.
Those numbers dropped to 53 tackles and 7.5 sacks in his senior year, leaving his commitment and potential in question. His consistency is also an issue, seeming to take plays off at times.
He has the skill and size to play in the NFL and could be a big-time play maker for the Jets with continued growth and development.
CB - Alabama Crimson Tide
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Legal troubles already surround the Alabama product. He was arrested in early 2012 for marijuana possession, but police ultimately dropped the charges.
The NFL has its fair share of recreational drug enthusiasts (read: Santonio Holmes, Nick Fairley, etc.), and Kirkpatrick looks to be following in these footsteps.
Analysts compare the Alabama product to Antonio Cromartie, the New York Jets' lighting-fast Pro-Bowl corner back, but if he doesn't get his act together quick, he may fizzle out sooner rather than later.
The 6'2", 186-pound defensive back needs to get his head on straight if he wants to avoid the bust label.
QB - Oklahoma State Cowboys
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
With the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns picked quarterback Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State University.
In 13 games, Weeden threw for over 4,700 yards, 37 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions.
The reason the quarterback wasn't selected higher is the fact that he's 28 years old.
Before suiting up for the Cowboys, Weeden tried his hand at professional baseball, and was selected in the second round of the 2003 MLB draft by the New York Yankees. However, after a trade and some mulling around in the minors, Weeden realized he wasn't going to get the call for the majors anytime soon and enrolled at Oklahoma State.
Weeden's failure to crack a major league roster in baseball forces the question of his mentality. Is he able to handle the pressure and daily grind of a major league professional athlete?
Adding to the questions surrounding the 28-year-old are the fact that he'll be suiting up for the Cleveland Browns, a perennial NFL bottom feeder.
Perhaps his tenure in minor league baseball gave him some perspective and prepared him for a career as a professional athlete (albeit in a different sport), but another chapter of Weeden's interesting story is just beginning.