NFL Draft 2013: Hyped Prospects Who Must Be Avoided in Round 1

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2013

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 03:  Tavon Austin #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers carries the ball against the TCU Horned Frogs during the game on November 3, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  TCU defeated WVU in two overtimes 39-38.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Warning—results may vary when it comes to highly-touted prospects in the NFL Draft.

Year after year the league's draft continues to be one of sports' most intriguing spectacles. NFL teams spend untold amounts of money, time and resources year-round to figure out how various college players will perform at the next level, yet every draft has its share of first round busts.

The price of a blown pick can cost a franchise dearly. Even with the new collective bargaining agreement in place, a great deal of financial resources are invested in first round picks and the most successful teams are the ones that don't miss on these picks.

Whether it be unrealistic expectations or massive reach potential, these are the prospects that are sure to be touted as first round picks that are destined to become busts. 


Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Austin is an explosive receiver that has put up jaw-dropping numbers in the Mountaineers' wide-open Air Raid attack, but he's not a first round selection.

The 5'9" 172-pound receiver is small for an NFL wide receiver and could struggle with the more physical man-to-man coverage that he is sure to see at the next level. Proponents of Austin will be quick to point out that he could have success in the slot, but even at that he'll need more bulk if he wants to survive the hits that come with constantly going over the middle.

Austin will be a good return man in the NFL. He has great speed and moves that will serve him well in the open field. However, he can't run block, which makes him a liability on first and second down.

A receiver like Austin can be successful, but he has to be in just the right system and is a niche player at best. If you spend a first round pick on a wide receiver, you need more than a great return man.


Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State

Glennon wasn't a heralded college star, but he's been a favorite in early mock drafts to go to someone in the first round—potentially as a top-ten pick.

There's plenty to like about Glennon. He has prototypical size for an NFL quarterback. He's 6'5" and 235 pounds, possesses a very strong arm and appears to make all the throws you want to see from a prospect.

However, his college track record has to raise concerns.

College success isn't always an indicator of pro success (ask a Jets fan what they think of Mark Sanchez's USC career), but failure to succeed in college must be seen as a red flag at the quarterback position.

Glennon's tenure at North Carolina State certainly didn't turn the Wolfpack into a contender, they were just 7-6 and a non-factor in the ACC title race. Glennon is a great project quarterback but shouldn't be expected to come in and turn around a franchise right away, he didn't do it in college and he won't do it in the NFL.


Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

A running back going in the first round is becoming more and more rare every season. Even two going in the first round last season was only because Trent Richardson and Doug Martin were such phenomenal athletes.

However, Bernard is not worth a first round selection.

Make no mistake, Bernard is a solid back who has a future in the NFL. He's not the next Ki-Jana Carter or anything like that. He has the ability to return kicks and had great production during his time at North Carolina.

The problem with taking Bernard is that he isn't going to immediately become a star. He is a talented back, but the difference between him and a running back like Joseph Randle or Stepfan Taylor is not great enough to justify using a first round selection on him.

Throw in the fact that Bernard tore an ACL in 2010 and could be an injury risk, it's clear that Bernard is much more suited to be a second round selection.