2012 NFL Mock Draft: Quinton Coples and Stars Who Will Underwhelm on New Teams

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2012

Every team that lands a player in the first round of tonight's 2012 NFL draft expects that player to be someone who'll make a big impact in the NFL.

First-round picks aren't just shots in the dark, they are carefully made investments chosen after months of heavy research.

A team's plan can be flipped on its head when the clock ticks down and the guy they wanted isn't on the board, but that is all part of the game that is the NFL draft.

Unfortunately, underwhelming players is part of the draft as well. Here are some guys who will have trouble living up to expectations and will underwhelm teams.


1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14): Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

No worries here, Andrew Luck is going to be a star.

2. *Washington Redskins (5-11): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Things aren't as sure with RGIII, but the Heisman Trophy winner has the potential to be truly special.

3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13): Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The USC tackle is going to be better than his Pro Bowl brother in Carolina.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12): Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The only way Richardson ever underwhelms is if injuries become a problem.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

He'll get picked on like all rookie cornerbacks do, but he has elite potential and can help in the return game as well.

6. *St. Louis Rams (2-14): Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

Even if Blackmon isn't the next Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green, you can bet he's going to be pretty damn productive in the NFL.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

There is a ton of bust potential here for Ingram, a lot of boom too, but a lot of bust.

The South Carolina star burst onto the scene this and displayed great pass-rushing skills each and every Saturday. But he's a positional 'tweener, although it appears he's more suited for a 4-3 scheme, and where ever he plays in the NFL it will take him some time to adjust.

He could easily never adjust either.

8. Miami Dolphins (6-10): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

If Tannehill goes to Miami there is a good chance Mike Sherman gets the most out of him, but if he goes anywhere else all bets are off.

9. Carolina Panthers (6-10): Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

There is nothing underwhelming about Kuechly—he'll be a Day 1 starter.

10. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Gilmore's star has risen because his best football is ahead of him, but there is no guarantee he'll reach his full potential. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now though.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9): David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

Like Kuechly, DeCastro will step on the field as a day one starter and not lose his spot for at least a decade.

12. Seattle Seahawks (7-9): Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

How great does Quinton Coples want to be? That is the question that needs answering and will be the determining factor for which team will select him.

The Seahawks have a need for a pass rusher in their 4-3 and only time will tell if Coples can reach his potential, which entails him rushing from the inside like Justin Tuck does for the Giants.

His motor and desire to get better will determine everything and unfortunately that doesn't bode well.

13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8): Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Reiff may never be elite, but he'll be rock solid for a long time.

14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Barron is an interesting candidate to underwhelm. At No. 14 overall he is expected to be star player in the NFL, not just another guy.

The consensus All-American will come step onto the field as a starter from day one and be a help to the Cowboys, but his potential is extremely limited—he'll struggle mightily covering tight ends one-on-one.

Depending on what you're asking for, Barron is a guy who'll start for a while, but may never reach Pro Bowl level and at No. 14 overall that could be considered underwhelming.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Brockers has so much raw potential and has done so well so far in his brief career that it is hard to root against him.

16. New York Jets (8-8): Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

Similar to Barron, Upshaw has limited upside, but he's a better all around football player who has a knack for making the big play in the big games. He's simply too talented a football player to entirely underwhelm.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK 8-8): Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

There is a bit of doubt surrounding Floyd's ability to separate, but he's so gifted in the air that it is hard to doubt him.

18. San Diego Chargers (8-8): Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse

Too early to tell what Jones' NFL career will be like. He has a ton of upside with his combination of length and athleticism, but he's a complete boom-or-bust guy.

19. Chicago Bears (8-8): Nick Perry, DE, USC

Perry at least has a rather solid body of work at his back and has great potential too. Playing opposite Julius Peppers will help anyone's career.

20. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State

Cox has so much versatility that even if he falters at or doesn't excel at one spot, he'll still keep finding a way onto the field.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Crimson Tide corner leaves something to be desired when it comes to ball skills, but he'll be one of the best tackling cornerbacks in football before long.

22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL 10-6): Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Wright's a great athlete with good football skills and potential. There is a question about how much he'll be able to contribute immediately, but with time he should live up to the hype.

23. Detroit Lions (10-6): Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia

Versatility and athleticism defines Glenn's overall game and he'll be a boost to whichever team selects him.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Hightower is an instant starter and perfect fit for the Steelers.

25. Denver Broncos (8-8): Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

So much potential, but Hill has a lot to learn too. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

26. Houston Texans (10-6): Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Poe was once a potential top-10 pick following his dominant performance at the combine, but his stock has since cooled off and he's back in the latter portion of the first.

Teams went back to the tape and saw that Poe is the definition of a workout warrior, a guy who simply hasn't dominated competition the way he should with his combination of physical gifts.

If he didn't do it in Conference USA what makes you believe he can do it in the NFL?

27. New England Patriots (via NO 13-3): Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State

Extremely hard worker with incessant motor, McClellin will be just fine in the NFL.

28. Green Bay Packers (15-1): Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

Like Jones, we'll give Mercilus the benefit of the doubt, but he he has huge bust potential too.

29. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Martin is smart, talented and has fixable traits that sent him tumbling down the board. He'll fix things and be a starter in the NFL before long.

30. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

Another instant starter, Zeitler will plug in at guard and stay for quite a while.

31. New England Patriots (13-3): Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut

Reyes won't always show up on the box score, but he's a football player who'll be an immediate help in the front seven.

32. New York Giants (9-7): Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

There is some potential for Fleener to underwhelm, especially as a blocker, but if used correctly he'll create mismatches with ease. 

*Rams trade No. 2 overall pick to Redskins for 2012, 2013, 2014 first-round picks and 2012 second-round pick.


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