2012 NFL Predictions: 10 Rookies Who Will Disappoint This Season
The NFL draft is the most scrutinized event in the sport of football.
Every player goes through drills, interviews and all sorts of other mind-boggling tasks all to prove that they're the guy that every NFL franchise needs.
All this hype leads fans to believe that these guys are just ready to throw the pads on and be at full speed...which simply isn't true.
There's a learning curve from college to the pros, and that causes a few guys to disappoint in their rookie year.
It's not all bad though.
Considering all things, Peyton Manning was a disappointment his rookie season in Indy, throwing 28 interceptions and winning just three games.
Just because you disappoint your rookie season, doesn't make you a bust. It just means you better get your act together a lot quicker.
Andrew Luck / QB / Indianapolis Colts
Don't lose your mind Colts fans, everything's going to be OK.
In fact, Luck has been looking pretty good so far in training camp, completing 27-of-32 passes on Sunday afternoon.
But when looking at Indy's 2012 offensive roster, it leaves a lot to be desired. It's actually even worse than the offense Peyton Manning inherited in 1998 that featured future Hall of Famers Marvin Harrison and Marshall Faulk.
Luck will step into an offense that features two rookie tight ends (one in which he's very familiar with) and an over-the-hill Reggie Wayne as his leading receiver. Couple that with a defensive switch to a 3-4 and it's going to be a rough season in Indianapolis.
All is not lost though.
I still think Luck will have a great career and has the potential to be one of the best to ever play the position. But with the help he'll be getting this year and the pressure of taking over for a legend, it could be a long season for the former Cardinal QB.
Trent Richardson / RB / Cleveland Browns
Again, this really has nothing to to with Trent Richardson as a player. He's one of the most talented running backs to enter the league in the last decade.
But he has the misfortune of playing on an offense that could end up being one of the worst in that same time frame.
The Browns clearly are looking to rebuild their team around Richardson and his abilities as a runner and receiver, but the team has done little to put quality talent around him on the offensive side of the ball.
Richardson also now plays in an AFC North division that contains three of the top 10 defenses against the run in the National Football League.
Add this all together and it doesn't look like the former Alabama slammer will be cruising his way through defenses in 2012 like he did with the Crimson Tide in previous years.
Richardson should still have a very good career, but his team needs to give him some help.
Justin Blackmon / WR / Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Blackmon has just not gotten off on the right foot to start his NFL career.
Blackmon had previously been arrested for a DUI before entering the professional ranks and shortly after being drafted, was charged with the same offense.
This hasn't endeared Blackmon to his teammates or Jaguar fans very much and has left him still seeking a contract in Jacksonville. But it's not the only (or probably biggest) reason he'll struggle to find success in 2012.
That comes in the form of the Jaguars' quarterback situation—Blaine Gabbert.
According to Vito Stellino (Florida Times-Union), Gabbert finished Monday's practice with one completion in 12 passing stats. This was obviously a less-than-stellar performance by the second-year QB.
Blackmon has already missed five days of Jaguars training camp due to the contract situation, which is five days he could be building a report with his quarterback and team.
It would be hard for me to imagine Blackmon living up to his potential this season. He'll have to work his tail off once he finally gets into camp just to earn a starting job.
Dontari Poe / NT / Kansas City Chiefs
OK, so I have shredded Poe since his name first started popping up in the top 10 of mock drafts. Why would I stop now?
Poe has been touted for his combination of size and speed but lacked a lot of football skills on the field and was only a second-team performer on a Conference USA team, tallying 22 total tackles and just one sack.
And now, he's supposed to the the anchor of the Chiefs' defensive line?
I'm not buying it.
I did say that their were a few teams Poe could find NFL success with and Kansas City was on that list. Romeo Crennel is a defensive mastermind, and generally, gets the most out of his players, but that doesn't mean Poe will find immediate success with the Chiefs.
Kansas City would be wise (much to the dismay of their fans) to have Poe sit a year until he's absolutely ready to play. We wouldn't want another Glenn Dorsey or Tyson Jackson on our hands now would we?
Chandler Jones / DE / New England Patriots
Chandler Jones saw his draft stock soar following impressive combine and pro day workouts and finally landed with the Patriots at pick No. 21.
But Jones' college production doesn't match up with the spot New England took him.
Jones recorded just 4.5 sacks in seven games for the Orange last season and never recorded more that four in a season before that.
According to the Boston Herald, Jones has shown good explosion during his time in camp, but remember, this is against guys in shells and shorts where most veteran guys aren't giving it their all. So take the good reports with a grain of salt.
What scares me more is Jones' lack of college production combined with a complicated Bill Belichick defense that will see him bouncing back and fourth between end and outside linebacker.
Jones may be a freak athlete, but I can't see him recording more sacks than he did his senior year at Syracuse. That would be a major disappointment for most Patriots fans.
Brandon Weeden / QB / Cleveland Browns
Like his fellow rookie teammate Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden has the misfortune of being drafted to a team with little to no talent surrounding him.
Unfortunately for Weeden, the biggest lack of talent lies at wide receiver.
But the lack of talent in Cleveland isn't the only reason I feel Weeden won't succeed in 2012.
Heading into the draft, one of the biggest knocks on Weeden (besides his age) was his inability to be productive when teams turned up the pressure. Now, he'll be playing in a division where his biggest rivals combined for 128 sacks in 2011, and that's coming on a down year for the Steelers (35 sacks).
The biggest problem from all of this for Weeden is that he really can't afford to get his career off to a bad start.
Weeden will turn 29 years old during the season, making him one year younger that Ben Roethlisberger, two years older than Joe Flacco and five years older than Andy Dalton, all of whom are division foes and all of whom have been to the Playoffs.
Weeden will have to learn the system and have success quick because just about three months after being drafted, he'll already be in his prime.
A.J. Jenkins / WR / San Francisco 49ers
Jenkins was one of the more surprising picks at the end of Day 1.
So with Jenkins having so much competition, you'd think he'd be lighting it up to earn a spot.
Not so fast.
According to Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat, Jenkins has struggled early in 49ers camp, while Moss and the other new additions have looked pretty darn good.
Jenkins will have to quickly catch on in an attempt to fight for the already-limited balls the 49ers throw around (Alex Smith: 27 pass attempts per game in 2011).
I can't see him being more than the teams No. 4 receiver in 2012—a disappointment for any first-round pick.
Harrison Smith / S / Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Smith was a born leader and hit like a linebacker at Notre Dame, but all reports out of Vikings camp are that the team's second first-round pick has been struggling.
Even to the point that he's not running with the first team, according to Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Now, obviously, it's not uncommon to see a rookie not working with the first team in training camp, even if he is a first-round pick. But with players like Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond pushing him for time on the Minnesota depth chart, one would expect Smith to shine a little brighter.
My guess is that Smith is struggling in coverage, something that plagued him during his time with the Irish, and he'll have to correct that quickly if he wants to be starting for the Vikes come Week 1.
David Wilson / RB / New York Giants
I have to say I was a little surprised when the Giants took Wilson with the final pick in the first round of the 2012 draft, but he's a guy who fits their system.
Wilson is the clear No. 2 on the depth chart behind Ahmad Bradshaw and probably won't even pull goal-line duties.
It's true that, in the past, the Giants have loved to run the ball. But with the way New York's offensive line has deteriorated over the last few seasons, they've moved to a more pass-heavy offense.
According to Alex Raskin of CBS Sports, Wilson has been doing well at Giants training camp and has a bright future with the team but don't expect to hear his name constantly in 2012.
Mike Adams / OT / Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Adams is a very interesting case.
He's everything you look for in a left tackle prospect. Adams has the size (6'7", 323) and length every offensive line coach in the world desires. Add to that his nimble feet and great athleticism and Adams should have been taken in the top five picks.
But his on-field play doesn't match up to what you see on paper. And his off-field transgressions have made it even worse for the former Buckeye.
At Ohio State, Adams was part of the tattoo scandal that cost him four games of his senior season.
Things got worse for Adams at the combine when it was reported that he failed his drug test and tested positive for marijuana.
If any team can correct off-the-field issues, the Steelers have to be among the head of the class, and it's true that Adams personally sought out Pittsburgh to rectify the failed drug test situation.
However, if Adams returns to his old ways and fails to live up to his potential on the field, Pittsburgh will waste no time in sending him packing.