NFL Draft 2013 Predictions: Top Players Who Will Slide on Draft Day

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2013

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 22:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Maryland Terrapins during the game on September 22, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  WVU defeated Maryland 31-21.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Every year, one player expected to be taken early in the NFL draft ends up sliding down boards as teams continue to pass on him. There is a good chance that will happen again this time around.

This drop is even worse when the player is in attendance and the agony has to be shown on national television.

Of course, being a part of this situation does not always lead to a poor career. Aaron Rodgers fell from the potential first pick to No. 24 overall, and now he is one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

These players might end up with solid careers, but they will have to wait a while before hearing their name called in the draft.


Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 

Since the end of the college football season, Geno Smith has been projected as a top-five pick. As the top quarterback in the draft, this is a reasonable assumption in most years.

However, the biggest problem in this draft is a lack of need. While there are still many teams who could use a franchise quarterback, most solved this issue with temporary fixes during the offseason.

The Kansas City Chiefs acquired Alex Smith, the Oakland Raiders traded for Matt Flynn and the Arizona Cardinals added Carson Palmer.

If the Jacksonville Jaguars do not make a bit of a surprising move and select Smith with the No. 2 pick, the quarterback could last a while before a team is willing to take him. 


Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

If you watched Jarvis Jones play football at Georgia, you could tell that he was a dominant defensive player. He led the nation last season with 14.5 sacks and was a general nuisance for opposing quarterbacks throughout his career.

Unfortunately, his production without pads is what has teams concerned.

After missing the scouting combine, he struggled in his pro day at Georgia and looked slow with a 40-yard dash time of 4.92 seconds. In addition, a history of neck injuries will also cause general managers to pass in favor of less risky prospects. 

Jones still has loads of potential, but teams often want to be safer in the first rounder. This will cause the linebacker to fall on draft day.


Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame

At the time Manti Te'o was a finalist for the Heisman trophy, he was also considered one of the best prospects in the NFL draft.

Since then, his stock has plummeted due to a poor showing in the national championship game, off field issues and less-than-stellar numbers at the combine and pro day.

The linebacker's production at Notre Dame is nothing to scoff at, and his instincts will help him be successful in the NFL. The problem is that teams do not trust that this will outweigh his negatives.

As a result, players with less baggage and similar abilities like Kevin Minter and Arthur Brown are likely to be selected ahead of Te'o in the draft.