Nick Fairley and 4 Other NFL Youngsters Who Need to Get Their Acts Together

Love PatelContributor IIIJune 6, 2012

Nick Fairley and 4 Other NFL Youngsters Who Need to Get Their Acts Together

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    Adjusting to life in the NFL can be tough for rookies and young players.

    When players come into the league, responsibilities and expectations increase exponentially both on and off the field.

    Some players already know or learn how to deal with it, while others struggle and get the "bust" label without the possibility of a second chance.

    Here's a look at some of the NFL's young players that need pull it together.

Nick Fairley, Detroit Lions

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    Fairley has had quite an offseason.

    He was arrested twice this year, once for marijuana possession and then again for DUI and attempting to elude the police.

    Along with his off-field troubles, Fairley didn't even play a full season because of a foot injury he suffered before the season began.

    He still has a lot to prove, and having two run-ins with law in the span of two months isn't going to make that any easier.

    Fairley can't redeem himself with words or apologies. He'll only find redemption by excelling on the field and staying out of trouble. 

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Blackmon has been a part of the NFL for less than two months, and has already become somewhat of an off-field distraction for the Jaguars.

    He was arrested last week for aggravated DUI, according to  Kelly Hines of Tulsa World. This isn't the first time Blackmon has been through this.

    Contract negotiations with the Jaguars could change in the wake of this news, as Blackmon as has yet to sign his rookie deal.

    Jaguars fans feel they finally hit on a potential first-round star receiver this season. He'll have to work hard to prove he won't fall into the same trap former first-round Jaguar receivers Matt Jones, Reggie Williams and R. Jay Soward did.

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Gabbert needs to get his act together on the field, as he struggled throughout last season after being forced in early because of poor performances from Luke McCown.

    To be fair, Gabbert didn't have much to work with. His only real weapons throughout the season were Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis.

    However, he'll get more help this season. If Blackmon can get over his own issues, he'll become a huge target for Gabbert. New head coach Mike Mularkey will also help him develop and has already voiced his commitment to him.

    A year isn't enough to judge how good he can be, but he has some catching up to do. His draft classmates have already made strides. Andy Dalton helped the Bengals to the playoffs last year, Cam Newton had a record-breaking season, and Jake Locker looks promising and is making push for the starting job in Tennessee. 

LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Don't get me wrong. Blount has been pretty good for Tampa Bay so far. 

    He seems to have gotten his act together, for the most part. The only problem is Greg Schiano won't give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Tampa Bay recently signed one of its first-round picks, Doug Martin, according to Rick Brown of The Ledger. He'll provide some competition.

    Blount said before the draft he wouldn't be happy if they picked Trent Richardson, from Alabama, according to Will Brinson of It doesn't seem like he would be much happier about the Bucs picking any other back in the first round either. But he'll just have to continue to mature and improve. 

Titus Young, Detroit Lions

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    Young had an incident on the practice field that earned him a week-long ban from team facilities.

    Since then, he's apologized to his teammate and returned to participate in OTAs. The incident wouldn't seem so bad if the Lions' offseason hadn't been marred with off-field issues from several of its players.

    However, Young has other things to worry about as well. Broyles was drafted in the second round, and could provide some competition.