Which NFL Players Are Most Likely to Report to Camp out of Shape?

Nick Kostora@@nickkostoraContributor IIIJune 12, 2012

Which NFL Players Are Most Likely to Report to Camp out of Shape?

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    Not every NFL player has the dedication and work ethic of a guy like Jerry Rice.

    In fact, some players prove to be downright lazy, unmotivated and uninspired.

    This proves especially true during the doldrums of the offseason, when coaches and teammates are not always around to play babysitter.

    Here are the players most likely to report to training camp out of shape this season.

5. Phillip Merling

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    Phillip Merling has the potential to be a nice addition to the Green Bay Packers defensive line.

    The problem is that he reportedly could not even participate in some OTA's because he is overweight and out of shape.

    Merling has underachieved since breaking into the league with the Dolphins and could really use a solid 2012 outing to revitalize his career.

    Green Bay's defense was less than spectacular last season, and there should be plenty of competition along the defensive line.

    Merling would be smart to get into shape quickly to stand a chance in that competition and avoid being cut.

4. Martellus Bennett

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    Injuries to Jake Ballard and Travis Beckham should mean more opportunities for Martellus Bennett to showcase his talent within the New York Giants passing game.

    But that opportunity may be squandered before it even begins if Bennett cannot get his weight down to where coach Tom Coughlin and his staff want it.

    According to ESPN, Giants tight ends coach Mike Pope thinks Bennett is too heavy at his current weight of 291 lbs., and Coughlin would like to see him hovering in the 270 lbs. range like he did last season.

    Bennett has a long way to go to achieve that goal.

3. Vontaze Burfict

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    Vontaze Burfict went undrafted, so you cannot really fault the Cincinnati Bengals for allowing him to join the team for minicamp and seeing what he can provide.

    After all, he was a top-tier talent during his collegiate career with the Arizona State Sun Devils.

    Plus, Burfict has reportedly dropped 15 lbs. since he showed up severely overweight at the NFL combine.

    Still, he is far from making an NFL roster and proving he can avoid trouble off the field.

    Burfict is as unpredictable as an athlete can be, so sudden weight gain heading into training camp would not come as a shock to anyone.

2. Joe McKnight

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    Joe McKnight has refused to become an important piece of the New York Jets offensive puzzle since joining the team.

    It appears that trend has continued into this offseason, as McKnight has reportedly gained 16 pounds (and we are not talking about added muscle here folks).

    The Jets have hungry players behind him on the depth chart in the likes of Bilal Powell and Terrance Gannaway.

    McKnight would be smart to take his conditioning a little more seriously before he is forgotten about altogether.

1. A.J. Jenkins

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    It appears A.J. Jenkins is doing nothing to dispel the notion that the San Francisco 49ers reached for him in the first round of the NFL draft.

    According to Pro Football Talk, Jenkins showed up to 49ers minicamp out of shape and sluggish.

    San Francisco does not exactly have great role models at the position for Jenkins to look up to.

    After all, Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree have never exactly been regarded as hard workers.

    It is still early and Jenkins has a long career in front of him, but his first impression on Jim Harbaugh has certainly not been impressive.

    Perhaps he should run Jerry Rice's famed hill once or twice before the season starts.