5 NFL Rookies Who Fell Flat on Their Faces at NFL Minicamps
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
This time of year, most NFL storylines are positive. However, there are also negative stories out there, many of which involve rookie minicamps.
It happens every year. There are, of course, the rookies earning rave reviews who are destined to be stars. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are the disappointing rookies who will never make it in the NFL.
Sound like hyperbole? Well, it is.
But the stories are still out there, and the reports on some players aren't so positive.
Quinton Patton, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Many draft analysts praised Quinton Patton as an NFL-ready wide receiver with limited upside. That may not be the case, however.
Patton hasn't looked great in minicamps, and his route-running requires further refinement. With lackluster physical tools, Patton needs to excel as a route-runner in order to get open.
When Michael Crabtree went down with a torn Achilles, some were hoping Patton would be the guy to step up. That may be overoptimistic at best and downright crazy at worst.
Landry Jones, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
This shouldn't be a surprise. Landry Jones was drafted in the fourth round not because of present ability but because of potential.
The 6'4", 225-pounder has a strong arm and starter upside but has struggled with accuracy, and he needs to adjust to a pro-style offense. Fortunately, with Ben Roethlisberger on the team, there is no early pressure on Jones to succeed.
Jones' early struggles shouldn't be overly concerning, though the Steelers would have loved for him to have immediately dominated.
J.J. Wilcox, S, Dallas Cowboys
It's never good when a coach says a player is light-years away.
That's exactly what Cowboys defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said about third-round pick J.J. Wilcox, whom Dallas would like to compete for a starting safety spot.
A big, 215-pound safety, Wilcox is naturally talented. Clearly, though, Dallas isn't pleased with his current skill level, and he may not be ready to compete.
Rarely are coaches so negative so early, and this can't be a good sign for Wilcox's chances at early playing time.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
A third-round pick, Terrance Williams is talented, but he apparently has "a long way to go."
Now, it's not like Williams was a first-round selection, but Dallas is hoping for contributions from him. The 6'2", 208-pounder has a chance at earning the team's No. 3 wide receiver position.
However, it looks like Williams will have to improve before he is worthy of such consideration. He has struggled with drops early—that was a negative of his in college—and he will need to develop more consistency.
Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets
Though he still has a shot at the Jets' starting quarterback job, Geno Smith's career in New York didn't get off to a great start. The second-round pick gave himself an "F" after his first practice, and he didn't exactly amaze spectators.
Between firing his agents and getting off to a rough start in a ruthless city, Smith's NFL career isn't going as well as he might have intended. Admittedly, the reviews on his play have been somewhat mixed, and it is extremely early.
It's impossible to say just how Smith's rookie season will play out—one thing is all but certain, though.
It will be interesting.