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NFL's 10 Most Disappointing Rookies of 2012

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2012

NFL's 10 Most Disappointing Rookies of 2012

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    Perhaps some fun, end-of-the-season analysis is just what the mind needs as many of you awake from your self-induced holiday food comas.

    Hopefully the joy of the holiday season has not been half as disappointing as the rookies who compose this list.

    It's time to find out which first-year hype machines have been shooting blanks all season long and/or riding the pine as highly invested new additions to the league.

    Every player on this list was drafted among the top 100 guys for obvious reasons, these are supposed to be the guys that can really play at a high level in the NFL. However, many of these guys fall short of expectations, so here are the 10 most disappointing rookies of the year.

    I'm sure many of you will have your own take on who should and shouldn't be in this list. I welcome your thoughts and challenge you to state your case in the comment section.

Courtney Upshaw

2 of 11

    Round: 2nd

    Selection: 35th overall

    Position: OLB

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 27-45: Nick Perry (28th overall), Akeem Ayers (39th overall), Bruce Carter (40th overall), Brooks Reed (42nd overall), Koa Misi (40th overall), James Laurinaitis (35th overall), Ray Maualuga (38th overall), Clint Sintim (45th overall), Curtis Lofton (37th overall).

    Notable players the Ravens passed on in order to draft Upshaw: Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).

    The Skinny: Upshaw has been a decent rookie starter in some respects, mainly as a guy who can set and edge and make plays against the run. But the area I particularly expected much more out of Upshaw was in his pass rush, and he has only racked up two sacks in 15 games.

    Listing Upshaw as a disappointment in some ways could be seen as a complement to him considering my personal perception of his potential to be a dominant force in the NFL not just as a run-stopper, but as a pass-rusher as well. According to my big board, I had Upshaw ranked ninth overall. By this standard, he has failed to meet expectations.

    It's clear this kid is a decent football player and has value in this league, but if he doesn't step his game up in the pass rush department, he will forever be a disappointment in my book. But nevertheless, his worth as a second-rounder may be justified to some degree even without a dominating pass rush.

    Personally, though, I can see a lot of names on the list of guys who were passed up that may have more value than a 3-4 outside linebacker who cannot generate decent pressure on the quarterback.

David Wilson

3 of 11

    Round: 1st

    Selection: 32nd overall

    Position: RB

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 24-42: Doug Martin (31st overall), Mark Ingram (28th overall), Ryan Williams (38th overall), Donald Brown (27th overall), Beanie Wells (31st overall), Chris Johnson (24th overall).

    Notable players the Giants passed on in order to draft Wilson: Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).

    The Skinny: David Wilson has done a nice job returning kicks this year, but that is not why he was drafted in the first round. Wilson has been passed up on the depth chart by a journeyman RB by the name of Andre Brown.

    Wilson has had some issues with fumbling the ball, which may be the biggest reason for his lack of carries on the season. He has only carried the rock 56 times but to his credit, he has averaged over five yards per carry.

    Wilson has made this list mainly because of the position he was drafted in and the contrasting production from Doug Martin and Alfred Morris.

    But David Wilson has the speed and athleticism to be just as good if not better than any running back in this draft. He just needs to hold on to the ball and put all of his tools together.

Dre Kirkpatrick

4 of 11

    Round: 1st

    Selection: 17th overall

    Position: DB

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 10- 27: Stephon Gilmore (10th overall), Prince Amakamara (19th overall), Jimmy Smith (27th overall), Kareem Jackson (20th overall), Devin McCourty (27th overall), Malcolm Jenkins (14th overall), Vontae David (25th overall), Leodis Mckelvin (11th overall), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (16th overall), Aqib Talib (20th overall), Mike Jenkins (26th overall), Antoine Cason (27th overall), Darrelle Revis (14th overall), Leon Hall (18th overall), Aaron Ross (20th overall).

    Notable players the Bengals passed on in order to draft Kirkpatrick: Kendall Wright (WR), Chandler Jones (DE), Riley Reiff (OT), David DeCastro (OG), Dont'a Hightower (LB), Whitney Mercilus (OLB), Kevin Zeitler (OG), Nick Perry (OLB), Harrison Smith (Safety), Doug Martin (RB), Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB), Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).

    The Skinny: Dre Kirkpatrick does get some slack considering this has just been an injury-riddled year for the young  DB. No sooner than when his knee finally got healthy did he end up suffering a concussion only a few weeks later.

    Kirkpatrick has played 43 defensive snaps all season along with three tackles.

    Bengals fans may have to wait till next year to see what this guy is really capable of doing.

Jake Bequette

5 of 11

    Round: 3rd

    Selection: 90th overall

    Position: DL

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 82-100: Mike Martin (82nd overall), Sione Fua (97th overall), Cliff Avril (92nd overall). Brandon Mebane (85th overall), Ray McDonald (97th overall).

    Notable players the Patriots passed on in order to draft Beguette; TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB),

    The Skinny: The fact that Bequette has failed to dress up for all games except three is disheartening to say the least. The Patriots really like to give their younger guys a chance to get in the games and contribute. This leaves many wondering just how viable Bequette will be in the NFL. He has only played 29 snaps but still has yet to register a single tackle.

LaMichael James

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    Round: 2nd

    Selection: 61st overall

    Position: RB

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 53-71: Shane Vareen (56th overall), DeMarco Murray (71st overall), Ben Tate (58th overall), Montario Hardesty (59th overall), LeSean McCoy (53rd overall), Shonn Greene (65th overall), Ray Rice(55th overall).

    Notable players the 49ers passed on in order to draft James: Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).

    The Skinny: LaMichael James has only been active for three games this season and has only 20 carries for 76 yards to show for it.

    The worst part about his lack of production is that he wasn't even able to win the job as the team's main return option in punts and kickoffs. This shows that James has a lot of work to do if he is to become a good pro.

DeVier Posey

7 of 11

    Round: 3rd

    Selection: 68th overall

    Position: WR

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 60-78: Rueben Randle (63rd overall), Randall Cobb (64th overall), Golden Tate (60th overall), Jacoby Jones (73rd overall), James Jones (78th overall). 

    Notable players the Texans passed on in order to draft Posey: Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB),

    The Skinny: Posey has spent most of his rookie year inactive. So far on the season he has only accumulated five receptions for 71 yards and no touchdowns. This lack of production is amplified considering the Texans are still looking for a reliable No. 2 receiver opposite Andre Johnson. Kevin Walter is currently holding that position, but he has yielded only marginal success this season.

    Posey needs to step up if he hopes to remain on the roster longer than two years.

Michael Floyd

8 of 11

    Round: 1st

    Selection: 13th overall

    Position: WR

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 8-25: Kendall Wright (20th overall), Demaryius Thomas (22nd overall), Dez Bryant (24th overall), Michael Crabtree (10th overall), Jeremy Maclin (19th overall), Percy Harvin (22nd overall), Dwayne Bowe (23rd overall).

    Notable players the Cardinals passed on in order to draft Floyd: Michael Brockers (DT), Bruce Irvin (DE), Quinton Coples (DE), Kendall Wright (WR), Chandler Jones (DE), Riley Reiff (OT), David DeCastro (OG), Dont'a Hightower (LB), Whitney Mercilus (OLB), Kevin Zeitler (OG), Nick Perry (OLB), Harrison Smith (Safety), Doug Martin (RB), Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).

    The Skinny: Much of Michael Floyd's lack of production this year has to attributed to the terrible play of the offensive line and quarterback position. But it's worth noting that Floyd has even struggled to start for the Cardinals all season.

    The 13th overall pick has only tallied 396 yards receiving to go with only a single touchdown all year. Some level of struggling is understandable but Michael has still been an undeniable letdown for a guy drafted in the top 15 overall. Picks that high must be impact players in order for the franchise to develop properly.

    However, there's no telling what this kid can do with a solid group upfront and a quarterback who could actually get the ball in the hands of his playmakers.

Brandon Weeden

9 of 11

    Round: 1st

    Selection: 22nd overall

    Position: QB

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 18-36: Andy Dalton (35h overall), Colin Kaepernick (36th overall), Josh Freeman (17th overall), Joe Flacco (18th overall), Kevin Kolb (36th overall).

    Notable players the Browns passed on in order to draft Weeden: Riley Reiff (OT), David DeCastro (OG), Dont'a Hightower (LB), Whitney Mercilus (OLB), Kevin Zeitler (OG), Nick Perry (OLB), Harrison Smith (Safety), Doug Martin (RB), Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB),

    The Skinny: When you compare Weeden to the other rookie quarterbacks lighting up the scoreboard he have to feel a little bit left out. The 29-year-old rookie should have the experience and maturity to step in right away, but in reality, Weeden has been one of the least impressive signal-callers in the this year's rookie crop.

    Weeden has managed to start every game as a rookie which is an accomplishment in and of itself, but has only managed a passer rating of 72.6, which puts him just ahead of Mark Sanchez. He has also thrown 14 touchdowns passes to 17 interceptions so far this season.

    Brandon may be able to improve over the next couple of years, but by then Weeden will be 31 years old and nearing retirement.

Isaiah Pead

10 of 11

    Round: 2nd

    Selection: 50th overall

    Position: RB

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 42-60: Shane Vareen (56th overall), Mikel Leshore (57th overall), Toby Gerhart (51st overall), Ben Tate (58th), Motario Hardesty (59th). LeSean McCoy (53rd overall), Matt Forte (44th overall), Ray Rice (55th overall).

    Notable players the Rams passed on in order to draft Pead: Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).

    The Skinny: Pead was drafted fairly early in 2012 with the intent to share reps with the aging Steven Jackson, and eventually, to be his successor. However, Pead found himself third on the depth all season long as he was passed over in favor of seventh-round pick Daryl Richardson.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Pead has registered only 34 offensive snaps this year including five rushes and three receptions. Despite the limited action, Pead still managed to fumble the ball on one of his few opportunities he had.

    The jury is still out of Pead's career potential, but his rookie year will officially go down as a major disaster.

A.J Jenkins

11 of 11

    Round: 1st

    Selection: 30th overall

    Position: WR

    Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 22-40: Jonathan Baldwin (26th overall), Demaryius Thomas (22nd overall) Dez Bryant (24th overall), Percy Harvin (22nd overall), Hakeem Nicks (29th overall), Kenny Britt (30th overall), Jordy Nelson (36th overall), Dwayne Bowe (23rd overall), Robert Meachem (27th overall).

    Notable players the 49ers passed on in order to draft Jenkins: Doug Martin (RB), Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB),

    The Skinny: Jenkins was drafted to be an immediate upgrade to an offense lacking in explosiveness and big plays. His speed and nifty moves after the catch made him an attractive target for San Francisco last April. Unfortunately, reports had Jenkins struggling way back in minicamps.

    So far in his pro career AJ Jenkins has only logged 16 plays and has not caught a single pass in the regular season. He has only seen action in two games all season.

    No matter how you slice it, this is not the ideal start for a first-round draft pick on a team looking for playmakers at wide receiver. He may end up being one of the best in the game, but as of right now, he's been undeniably disappointing.

     

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