2012 NFL Draft Results: Analyzing Potential Draft Busts, Steals and Surprises

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IApril 29, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Results: Analyzing Potential Draft Busts, Steals and Surprises

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    The 2012 NFL draft has been an exciting experience.

    Some teams have significantly upgraded their roster with smart picks that will make an immediate impact.

    Others, like the Seattle Seahawks, made questionable decisions in early rounds.

    Some players came off the board way too early, while others were absolute steals.

    Here are the biggest potential busts, steals and surprises in this year's draft. 

Bruce Irvin

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    The Seahawks shocked the NFL landscape with the selection of controversial prospect Bruce Irvin in the middle of the first round.

    Irvin is an explosive pass-rusher, but he comes with major question marks.

    The West Virginia product has had more than a few run-ins with the law, even spending a stint in a juvenile jail.

    Irvin is very raw. Outside of his pass rush, Irvin lacks any elite qualities as a football player.

    The outside linebacker was a major risk. Not only is he a subpar run defender and coverage man, but he also comes with some serious character concerns.  

Ryan Tannehill

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    Ryan Tannehill is a bust waiting to happen.

    The Dolphins reached for him in the draft, selecting him eighth overall.

    Tannehill has talent, but his draft stock was merely dependent on his potential.

    The Texas A&M product has barely any experience. He started only 19 games in his college career.

    With such a small sample size, it is hard to truly know what kind of player Tannehill will be at the next level.

    The quarterback certainly was not worth a first-round pick, and the pressure of being the Dolphins franchise quarterback might be too much for him to handle. 

Quinton Coples

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    Quinton Coples has all the talent in the world, but his character issues can not be overlooked.

    Coples is arguably the most talented defensive player in this year's class. However, his so-called lack of effort in his senior campaign at North Carolina dropped him down draft boards.

    Coples seemed uninterested at times last season, and his production dropped as a result.

    The Jets made a major risk by spending their first-round pick on the defensive end.

    If Coples can not put in his full effort for Gang Green, then he could easily be the next Vernon Gholston. 

Cordy Glenn

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    The Bills continued to upgrade their roster this offseason with the selection of dynamic offensive lineman Cordy Glenn in the second round.

    Glenn is a monster of a man, and was one of the biggest steals of the draft.

    The Georgia product has the versatility to play both tackle and guard at the next level.

    The 6'6", 345-pound offensive lineman is terrific in both pass and run blocking. He can get upfield with the best of them, despite his huge frame.

    Glenn is a future star, and he will be the vocal point of a strong Bills offensive line for years to come.  

Stephen Hill

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    The Jets redeemed themselves from the questionable selection of Quinton Coples in the first round with the pick of Stephen Hill in the second round.

    Hill is easily one of the biggest steals in this year's draft. The wide receiver boasts all the physical attributes to be a stud at the next level.

    The former Georgia Tech star immediately gives the Jets the deep threat they have desired since the departure of Braylon Edwards a few years ago.

    Hill has tremendous size and outstanding speed. With the correct coaching, Hill will be one of the most dangerous pass-catchers in the NFL in a few seasons.  

Alameda Ta'amu

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    The Steelers had an unbelievable draft, as things just managed to fall their way.

    With their fourth-round selection of Alameda Ta'amu, the Steelers found the replacement for aging nose tackle Casey Hampton.

    Ta'amu is massive (6'3", 348 pounds) and has tremendous strength.

    The Washington product will be one of the finest run-stuffers in the NFL from the moment he steps on the field.

    Ta'amu was a steal late in the draft. He will have a very successful career at the next level. 

Lamar Miller

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    The plunge of Lamar Miller was one of the biggest surprises of this year's draft.

    The former Miami Hurricanes star was projected as one of the top running backs in this year's draft, but he amazingly lasted until the fourth round. 

    Miller was the eighth runner off the board.

    Miller possesses excellent speed and sensational quickness.

    He should provide the Dolphins with a nice change-of-pace option and should benefit Miami's offense from the moment he steps on the field.

    It is a surprise that so many teams passed on the talented running back. 

Bobby Massie

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    The unexpected free fall of Bobby Massie was another surprise in this year's draft.

    Many experts believed Massie would be off the board by the middle of the second round, but he lasted until the late fourth.

    Massie has prototypical size for the tackle position and he possesses superb strength.

    The Mississippi product provided the Cardinals with terrific value, and he should make an impact immediately.  

LaMichael James

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    I'm a fan of LaMichael James, but this was an odd selection by the 49ers.

    San Francisco already has three solid running backs on the roster.

    Frank Gore is unequivocally the team's starting rusher, and bruising runner Brandon Jacobs was recently signed to take over goal-line duties.

    Along with Gore and Jacobs, Kendall Hunter is coming off a solid rookie season and is thought to have a firm grasp on the third-down role. 

    In all, James will have to really work to receive touches for years to come.

    The 49ers should have gone with another need position in the second round instead of stacking the depth chart at running back.