The transition from NCAA football to the NFL is often a humbling one for many of the college game's biggest stars.
That sobering feeling usually begins during the pre-draft process. That is when they realize their Saturday accomplishments may not hold a ton of weight with NFL decision-makers.
Among those who have gone from major college star to mid-to-late round pick are USC's Matt Barkley (selected by the Philadelphia Eagles), Syracuse's Ryan Nassib (selected by the New York Giants) and Florida's Mike Gillislee (selected by the Miami Dolphins).
Though they will have a shot to make an impact at some point, those three prospects didn't land in the best spot to play right away.
Who will see the field first?
Barkley would figure to be behind Mike Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon in Philadelphia.
Nassib will most certainly be behind Eli Manning in New York. Good luck getting some snaps there. Eli hasn't missed a game in eight years.
Gillislee is staying in-state, but the Dolphins already have Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. It may be difficult to find carries there.
Those three situations may not have a ton of potential for immediate gratification, but the following three players landed in more favorable situations.
Tyler Wilson—Oakland Raiders—Fourth-Round Pick—112th Overall
Wilson came into the 2012 season as one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the country. The Arkansas Razorbacks had a disappointing season finishing 4-8 and Wilson's numbers declined in almost every major category.
That had a lot to do with him slipping here.
Even though 2012 wasn't exactly a great year for him, 2013 could be much better. I'm not a big believer in Matt Flynn as a starting quarterback. Wilson will have a good chance to see the field as a rookie.
Hate my guy Tyler Wilson going to Oak. Respect MFlynn. BELIEVE in VYoung. But stand by this: TWilson a BIG STEAL.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 27, 2013
Although Terrelle Pryor is an exceptional athlete, Wilson's experience in a pro-style offense at Arkansas may still have him ahead of Pryor.
He will benefit from his time in Bobby Petrino's offense at Arkansas. Love him or hate him, Petrino ran a system that conditions quarterbacks to make quick adjustments on the fly.
I wouldn't be shocked to see Wilson with a chance to contribute as a rookie.
Barrett Jones—St. Louis Rams—Fourth-Round Pick—113th Overall
I love Jones' intangibles and leadership on a team full of NFL prospects at Alabama. His approach and presence is a great fit for Jeff Fisher's culture in St. Louis.
Fisher loves to run the ball and Jones can have a great impact on a team's running game. He's also a cerebral player, which is always a major plus for a center in the NFL.
Still think the Bama steal of the draft is Barrett Jones. Decorated CFB player on a top team goes in 4th rnd. Shows how much injuries matter— Tom Annino (@tomannino) April 27, 2013
The position requires players to have high awareness and the ability to make adjustments.
The Rams have Scott Wells at center, but Jones' versatility could allow him to see time at another position along the offensive line. He is recovering from a foot injury that occurred late in the season.
But I really like his long-term and short-term potential.
Denard Robinson—Jacksonville Jaguars—Fifth-Round Pick—135th Overall
But in the NFL draft, he had to wait 134 selections to hear his name called.
Robinson still landed in a great spot. He'll likely never be a quarterback in the NFL, but Robinson has the potential to make an immediate impact on special teams.
He has the speed and shiftiness to be a dynamic return man. That is an element the Jaguars don't have on their roster. As a team without a ton of offensive weapons at their disposal, field position will be important to the Jaguars.
Robinson could be a major weapon for them in that regard.
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