The first round of the NFL draft annually produces surprises—some good, some bad. One thing is certain, though, there will be a handful of players who will finish their NFL career with the “bust” label.
Here are five players who seem certain to be drafted in the first round and end their careers with such a label.
QB Matt Barkley, Southern California
Coming into his senior season at Southern California, Matt Barkley seemed like a certain Top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Noted NFL draft analyst Russ Lande always says that “players who regress in their senior season are guys to stay away from come draft time.”
Such is the case with Barkley. The only reason he could be selected in the first round is because quarterbacks always rise in the draft—at least over the past two or three seasons.
It will likely be the same song and dance for this Southern California quarterback as it has been for Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez.
QB Matt Glennon, North Carolina State
Glennon’s future as a first-round pick is as certain as Barkley’s for the exact same reason. Like Barkley, Glennon is a stay-away guy whose tools make him enticing. Some unfortunate team is going to take him two rounds too high.
OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Put on the tape of the Alabama offensive line for yourself and the rhetoric of big, physical and nasty offensive line turns into average physicality with average talent. The same can be said of Barrett Jones, who seems less certain to land in the first round.
Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina has a better NFL future than Warmack, yet some team will overdraft Warmack based on the simple rhetoric stated above.
S Eric Reid, LSU
Reid is a player who would not be considered a bust in the future if drafted in the second or third round. If a team selects him in the first round, though, he will qualify as yet another draft bust.
He is not a super physical player in the mold of former Tiger LaRon Landry, nor is he the equal of great coverage safeties like Earl Thomas and Ed Reed.
The tools are there, though. The result will be a player with all the potential in the world, but production that does not match.
OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Caution was thrown to the wind with this selection. It’s hard to imagine Jones even being drafted in the first round with the state of his neck; he has spinal stenosis, a rare condition upon which the spinal column is narrowed. Players with injury history always fall come draft time.
Still, Jones has a world of talent. Many NFL personnel people consider Jones among the top talents in this draft. The concern here is not Jones’ neck, but a contention with the status quo regarding his talent.
He is a one-trick pony who excels at running straight ahead around unsuspecting tackles. From film observation, he does not appear to be a guy with a counter move, or any moves for that matter.
Unless he quickly gains some pass-rushing techniques, Jones will bust out of the NFL—regardless of his football health.