Robert Griffin III and 9 NFL Rookies Who Are Destined to Fail
With the NFL draft well behind us and the NFL regular season quickly approaching, it is always interesting to look at the incoming rookies and how we think they will fare this year.
Will they become the next Ryan Leaf and live forever in the depths of drafting busts forever, or will they become the next Tom Brady and come out of nowhere to steal the hearts of football fans... and one smoking supermodel?
I focused on the first half of this year's NFL Draft for this list, but here are 10 NFL rookies that are destined to fail.
Brandon Weeden: QB, Cleveland Browns
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Drafted: 1st Round, 22nd Overall
A lot of people were surprised when they heard Brandon Weeden's name come off the board so early, and he has absolutely no time to lose. The fact of the matter is that he is already 28 years old, and has at the most one year to fully learn the playbook and perform before Browns fans have had enough.
Cleveland has had arguably the worst luck of any professional sports fanbase over the last decade, and Weeden has to understand the pressure that he will have to turn a desperate franchise around. He will have fellow rookie Trent Richardson there to help distract the attention, but all eyes will be on Weeden come kickoff.
Justin Blackmon: WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Drafted: 1st Round, 5th Overall
You want to know a great way to start your NFL career? By not getting a DUI. Apparently no one told this to Justin Blackmon, as he was arrested on the morning of June 4, 2012 for aggravated DUI. He blew three times the legal limit, a .24, after reportedly going 60 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Hopefully this isn't the start of worse things to come, but throw in the fact that there isn't much of a quarterback in place in Jacksonville and you have the full equation of a rookie that is destined for bad things and a short NFL career.
Dont'a Hightower: ILB, New England Patriots
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Drafted: 1st Round, 25th Overall
It was no surprise that the New England Patriots decided to go after defense in the 2012 NFL draft, and Hightower was arguably the best defensive player on the board when he was taken at the 25th overall pick.
He has proven in college that he can play solid defense in a zone coverage, but his large frame has shown an inability to consistently cover in man-on-mann coverages that range outside of the box. Add the fact that the Patriots struggled immensely defending the pass last year, and Hightower is really put in a tough spot.
He will more than likely be a solid linebacker, but if Patriots fans were hoping he'd be a big piece to fixing their problem with defending the pass, then he is destined for failure.
A.J. Jenkins: WR, San Francisco 49ers
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Drafted: 1st Round, 30th Overall
Absolutely no surprise that the 49ers went out and drafted somebody who they thought would help their passing attack, but I don't see Jenkins as being that guy.
Many had him projected as going mid-to-late second round, yet the 49ers grabbed him late in the first round. ESPN actually had Jenkins as the lowest rated pick in the entire first round.
He is undersized at 6'0" 192 lbs and his effort has been called into question before. The 49ers hard-nosed coaching staff will not tolerate a player who takes a few plays off, so Jenkins could very easily watch his stock fall from the get go.
Ryan Tannehill: QB, Miami Dolphins
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Drafted: 1st Round, 8th Overall
I admire the Dolphins for trying to go out and grab a position player early in the draft with the hopes that they can turn the franchise around, but Ryan Tannehill is just not the guy. He is a guy that needs a solid mentor in order to become a great QB, but that comes with time.
Miami needs someone that can start now, and if they expected Tannehill to be that guy in his first or second year, disaster may be forthcoming. His competition is looking like Matt Moore and JP Losman—two guys who I don't believe he will learn much from.
Tavon Wilson: FS, New England Patriots
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Drafted: 2nd Round, 48th Overall
I promise that I am not trying to pick on the Patriots, but the pick of Tavon Wilson was one of the bigger head-scratchers in the first couple of rounds. Wilson would have probably been available anywhere from the fourth-sixth round, but the Pats decided to go all-in and take him with the 48th overall pick.
Wilson is a versatile player, and Bill Belicheck has a pretty solid track record in drafting players, but this one is a huge risk, and Wilson is put into a very difficult spot.
Derek Wolfe: DT, Denver Broncos
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Drafted: 2nd Round, 36th Overall
I don't think that Wolfe was a bad selection by the Broncos considering that they needed to fill the void at defensive tackle and Derek Wolfe was still available at the 36th pick. What worries me about him is that he is going to need to be ready to start immediately.
Wolfe's biggest knock is that he has been slow off the ball at the times, and if he is able to adjust quickly to the speeds of the NFL after playing in a weak Big East conference in college, then he will be just fine. But if he fails to take advantage of his time in camp and still a step behind when the regular season starts up, he could get down and out very quickly.
Brian Quick: WR, St. Louis Rams
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Drafted: 2nd Round, 33rd Overall
Brian Quick had some hype heading into the draft, and he is in a solid position considering that there is a talented, young quarterback throwing the ball his way. But there are still a few major concerns.
One of them being that the Rams are going to need their wide receivers to perform immediately, and his inexperience could be killer as the regular season approaches. Another problem is that he has never proven that he can compete against top-notch corners at the college level because he went to Appalachian State.
NFL corners are going to eat him alive in my opinion.
Bryan Anger: Punter, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Drafted: 3rd Round, 70th Overall
Bryan Anger is going to spend his whole career trying to prove that he was deserving of being selected in the third round.
No amount of punting will ever prove that.
Robert Griffin III: QB, Washington Redskins
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Drafted: 1st Round, 2nd Overall
First off, let me say that I believe that RG3 is going to be a very solid quarterback in the NFL and is going to have a solid career; however, there is so much hype on him that it may be impossible for him to ever meet his expectations.
The huge trade by the Redskins to move up to the No. 2 slot, winning the Heisman Trophy, the record-breaking rookie season that Cam Newton had last year all equate into an anticipation that Griffin will immediately turn around the Redskins franchise.
If he doesn't win a Super Bowl, and/or fails to perform to the likes of Cam Newton and Andrew Luck, he will be considered a failure. These are very difficult expectations to meet.