The 2013 NFL Draft is swiftly approaching and it’s time to take a look at potentially high-risk, high-reward players who are generally considered safe picks due to their status as household name prospects.
Every year during NFL draft season, prospects are looked at by numbers produced at the NFL combine and pro days. This year, there are plenty of solid big names that will have a great future in the league, but there are also big-name players teams should be wary of come draft day.
This is not to say that these players should not be drafted, but teams should take a step back to consider the risks that come along with these selections.
We all know his baggage is plenty by now and it’s a shame at how quickly the highly touted linebacker fell from the graces of scouts.
It started with a less-than- impressive performance at the 2013 BCS National Championship against Alabama. Arguably his worst performance came in the biggest game of the season, as he uncharacteristically missed several key tackles.
He had a chance to silence the critics at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine to prove that he deserves to be picked in the first round.
He hardly received a passing grades in the 40-yard dash and did not participate in the bench press, leading to further speculation about his once-surefire status as a first-round pick.
During his 40-yard dash, he clocked in officially at 4.82 seconds. It isn’t that bad of a time, considering his size and his sample of work at Notre Dame but he gave the appearance of indifference at the 40, as he often did throughout the process in Indy. Take a look at the video.
This raises yet another huge red flag for a player widely regarded as top-10 pick a couple months ago.
With a chance to improve his draft stock in front of an eager nation wanting to see what he could do, he proved the doubters right. This was not the Te’o who was considered to be one of the best players in college football last season.
To try and justify the poor performance at the combine, he said he’ll "obviously" run faster at his pro day.
That’s like blowing a coverage that allows a touchdown and then saying, “'Obviously’ I’ll get it right next time.”
Te'o may all but guarantee a better showing on pro day, but nothing seems certain in this roller-coaster ride of an offseason for the former Notre Dame star.
Barkevious Mingo has drawn comparisons to pass-rusher Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and for good reason. Mingo is a freakishly athletic outside linebacker.
Although athleticism goes a long way in making a successful pass-rusher, whichever team drafts Mingo is taking on full knowledge that he is still very raw at his position and needs time to develop.
He’s also very lanky and needs to put on 10-15 pounds of muscle to his 241-pound frame to increase his potential to be successful.
That said, if he fails to develop quickly, he will drawing comparison instead to 2008 New York Jets bust Vernon Gholston (a sixth overall pick) rather than Smith.
That probably won't happen, but there is an outside shot that Mingo will go off the board as early as Gholston, in spite of a slighter build and less production.
Teams shouldn’t draft a player just because he has the potential to be a great player, especially in the first round. They should draft a player because he is already viewed as a great player.
That’s the key here. Mingo is a great athlete but, as of now, he has yet to prove he can succeed at an NFL level.
He is a high-risk, high-reward prospect. Teams who need immediate contribution, including "rebuilding" teams drafting within the first 10 picks of the draft, should stay clear. He needs two or three years before he can tap into his potential.