5 Most Overhyped Prospects in 2014 NFL Draft

Dan Tylicki@DanTylickiAnalyst IFebruary 5, 2014

5 Most Overhyped Prospects in 2014 NFL Draft

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    RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press

    Every year, writers and other media personalities like to latch onto a handful of players and hype them non-stop. Whether it's due to immense college success or a great story, these players end up becoming huge names before they are even drafted.

    The end result is players not only having to prove themselves much more than they had to originally, but players ending up drafted higher than they might have been. Two years ago, Robert Griffin III's hype became so great that he almost overtook Andrew Luck for the first overall pick in the eyes of some, including Merril Hoge, despite Luck essentially being a sure thing.

    There are several players in a similar situation this year, players who have been so highly regarded that their reputations and names are being looked at before all else.

    These players are all talented, and I would be happy to have any on my team. They are still more hyped than they should be, and these five players have such hype that it may be doing a disservice to their careers.

5. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

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    Khalil Mack has rocketed up draft boards all season long, and he has continued that trend even after the season has ended. I have firmly been on his bandwagon since the Ohio State game to open the season, and I see him as a future star in the league.

    Why is he on here, then? We are all used to small-school prospects being diamonds in the rough since they aren't seen as often, but that has shifted in recent years.

    Now, because he was a small-school prospect in Buffalo, it seems that he is being overvalued and his lack of competition is being cast completely aside. Yes, he was dominant against Ohio State, but that's one game, and he had few opportunities like that over four seasons.

    On the one hand, it's nice that Mack's skill set is being looked at rather than being dismissed due to not playing tough competition, but going too far the other way would just be detrimental to a player who may need a bit of time to adjust to the NFL.

4. Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

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    The big man out of Notre Dame was a huge name leading up to this season. That has trailed off somewhat, yet he remains a high first-round projection.

    Tuitt had 12 sacks his sophomore year, and 7.5 his junior year despite dealing with a sports hernia. Playing for Notre Dame has gotten him a bit of extra visibility as well.

    While he does not have the media hype of others on this list, he has been a huge name in scouting circles, drawing comparisons to Richard Seymour. Though he has a great combination of size and speed, he's somewhat of a tweener. He does not have the elite pass-rushing ability to be a great 4-3 defensive end, and while he is a good run defender, he is not going to put up big-time numbers in the NFL.

    That's fine since that's not the kind of player he is, but it means that there is a high possibility of fans being disappointed if he doesn't put up those numbers, which is not really fair to him.

3. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

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    A year ago, nobody outside of SEC fans knew who Greg Robinson was.

    A year later, he is not only being touted as a first-round pick, but he has gone from a hidden gem to someone who has rocketed up draft boards.

    At this point, he has risen too quickly.

    He went from being underrated to overrated seemingly overnight. CBS Sports' Rob Rang has Robinson third overall in his latest big board.

    While Rang notes his upside and physicality, he also notes a major issue: "Auburn's reliance on the running game, however, has given Robinson few opportunities in pass protection, meaning he could struggle initially in this role."

    If Robinson has only been able to develop one part of his game, then being touted as a potential top-10 pick is a stretch at this point. A tackle selected that high should be able to flourish immediately, and that may not be the case with Robinson, even though his other attributes appear sound.

2. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

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    Jadeveon Clowney has gone from being the top high school prospect to a possible first overall draft pick after a dominant career at South Carolina.

    His stats were great to start off. While they took a dip this past season, it was the result of being double-teamed nonstop, as even in the SEC teams struggled to hold him off. He still looks like the best defensive end to come out of college in some time.

    Rather than being a sure thing, as one would expect from a top pick, Clowney is this year's biggest boom-or-bust candidate, in my opinion. Yes, his ceiling is through the roof and he could become a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he could just as easily flame out if his work ethic slips.

    There are a slew of great players on the front seven in this year's draft class, yet Clowney is the only one who seems to get noticed outside of draft circles. It makes sense given his ability, but he's not a sure thing.

1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Everybody has an opinion on Johnny Manziel. Some love him, some hate him, and even those who are not sports fans at least know the name.

    Does he live up to the hype?

    For that to be the case, he would have to be a sure thing, and suffice to say, he's not. Even with Russell Wilson winning a Super Bowl, Manziel's height will remain a concern, and if he is in an offense not suited to his strengths, that could be an issue.

    Breitbart asked if Manziel was the next Tim Tebow, and on the surface it's a valid comparison. In fact, this may be an understatement.

    Tebow was a great college athlete who was accepted as a reach in the first round. Manziel, however, could easily go first overall, even though he may not be the best quarterback in the draft. Winning a Heisman, having a huge bowl comeback, and having no problem being in the spotlight will have that effect.