How Low Will They Go? 10 Draft Picks That May Fall Lower Than Expected
The 2010 NFL Draft is a mere week away, and with the speculation growing close to bursting point I think you'd pretty much agree that once this year's Draft is over, we're in for a very boring offseason
I trust that you all have pretty much put forward your mock drafts one way or another, and guessed just who is going where and why that certain player is a great pick for a certain team, right?
Well it's time to think again, as this year's draft has curveball written all over it, and instead of offering up the boring Top 10 of who will go where, I've decided to do the opposite, and see who will fail to meet expectations, and plummet to the second round or below.
So without further ado, here's a look at The Top 10 Players that may fail to make the cut.
10. Toby Gerhart - Stanford
Projected Draft Round: 1st
Toby Gerhart is no doubt a talented running back. At Stanford he became the premier player to wear the red and white, and although his early choice to enter the 2010 Draft caused a bit of a stir, it seemed Gerhart had entered the Draft for all the right reasons.
Strength and power are Gerhart's main credentials, and although he is a possible future Frank Gore type running back in the NFL, he does lack speed at times, and his catching ability does leave a lot to be desired.
Although these are both minor things that can easily be worked on, they are issues that NFL scouts and NFL owners will look at when considering Gerhart. So far, Toby seems to be a picture perfect fit with teams that currently don't own a decent running game. Teams such as Detroit, Kansas City, and Seattle come to mind.
However, don't be surprised to see Gerhart drop lower than expected come next week. He may not fall totally toward the second round, but the possibility of him going in the top 10 or even top 20 is unlikely.
9. Anthony Davis - Rutgers
Projected Draft Round: Mid 1st
Anthony Davis is amongst the top offensive lineman in the Draft. Green Bay leads the cause right now for a lineman, and Anthony Davis fits Mike McCarthy's needs perfectly.
Aside from where Davis may end up though, it's his ability to gain great composure off of the line that keeps him amongst the top lineman in the nation. When Davis goes into battle with a defensive lineman, rarely will you see him forced backwards, and that is due to his strength and power.
Weaknesses don't plague Davis, but he does struggle to sometimes get out of his stance and engage in contact quickly. Davis also struggles to read the blitz at times, and for a team like Green Bay that was sacked time and time again last season, this simple fact alone may keep teams like the Packers away.
8. Taylor Mays - USC
Projected Draft Round: Late 1st Round
The speculation in regards to Taylor Mays has been quite large. The predominant favorite to take on Taylor Mays at this point is the Green Bay Packers, although other worthy teams are beginning to step into the spotlight in regards to signing the USC star.
At the moment it's hard to criticize Taylor Mays, as his athleticism on the field draws your attention, even when you are watching at home. Taylor Mays is one of the few players that has the ability to make a play on any area of the field, and can manipulate opposing offenses really quite easily.
Weakness wise, Taylor Mays has one fault, and unfortunately for him it is a big one. When watching tape of Taylor Mays, big hits are a constant. Bonecrunching hits in the air seem to be Taylor's intent on just about every play, and although this is great at the college level, the NFL is a totally different place.
Therefore, when teams are considering drafting Mays, that factor alone may be enough to put them off. Can he actually play the position without trying to be the next A grade star, or will he go for big hits and miss and allow touchdowns?
Those are all questions team will consider when looking at Taylor Mays, and one way or another the answer may not favor the USC free safety.
7. Joe Haden - Florida
Projected Draft Round: Late 1st, possible early 2nd.
Joe Haden had an exceptional year for Florida last season. Over time, Haden developed into one of the premier cornerbacks in the nation, and more importantly helped Florida out numerous times against lethal passing attacks such as Alabama and Cincinnati.
Draft wise, Haden isn't exactly set to struggle as his strength and endurance may be enough to get him a lucky signing with any given team. Aside from that possible note though, there is the chance that Haden slips through the cracks a little, especially since the speculation in regards to Haden has been so dismal.
I won't predict that Haden will slip too much, as he still has the potential to go high, but I do see him possibly going lower than expected.
6. Terrence Cody - Alabama
Projected Draft Round: Late 1st, early 2nd.
In case you missed Terrence Cody's field goal blocking melee last season, you missed quite a show. Terrence Cody is nothing but brute force off of the line, and when he does get going he can really do some damage.
As for what Cody isn't good at, well it isn't a whole lot. The only issue is Cody's stamina, and to tell the truth he is only really a two to three down defensive tackle. Given Cody's size, he is a force, but he can also be a liability at times, especially if he were to get injured.
In the NFL, many teams are seeking key defensive tackles such as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins. All of these teams have high draft picks this April. Cody may get lucky in terms of where he lands, but it is ultimately a huge guess.
5. Jermaine Gresham - Oklahoma
Projected Draft Round: Late 1st
If you look up Jermaine Gresham on NFL.com, you'll instantly see a cocky photo of a young man that is set to make an impact in the NFL.
Unfortunately though, Jermaine Gresham isn't set to make an impact on the NFL draft, as a season ending knee injury right before the 2009 season began is set to hold him back a little from his full potential.
Realistically, Jermaine Gresham is very underrated, but at the same time very overrated on his skills. Yes, he is a great tight end that has a bright future, but his route running does need some work and his blocking is also below par.
The biggest issue though is of course the knee injury, and the fact that Gresham does lose focus at times on the field. Teams simply don't want a player that is not 100 percent committed, but at the same time injury prone. It is a shame to say it, but Jermaine's skills may go to waste in the NFL if he isn't careful.
4. Jahvid Best - California
Projected Draft Round: 1st
Jahvid Best, well what can I say about him? In the NFL Draft, Jahvid has managed to turn a few heads recently, especially with the majority of trades going two weeks prior to the due date.
However, Jahvid Best is underrated. Maybe it's due to him going to an under performing 2009 California team, or the fact that the quality of running backs is noticeable this season, something seems to be holding back Jahvid Best from his well... best.
Game wise Best is great. He resembles a young Chris Johnson, and is often agile on his feet and tends to make quick cuts to throw defenders off balance on his way to the end zone.
The strikes against Jahvid though vary, some will say that he lacks in size and will fall victim to the hard hitting linebackers of the NFL. While others say that Jahvid simply doesn't have enough power to become an all down running back, and instead would be better off playing on a team that already has a running back, and can alternate between the two.
Whichever opinion you stand by, it is ultimately holding Jahvid back. He is a prospect, yes, but he also struggles a lot, mainly with criticism by fans and analysts.
3. Tim Tebow - Florida
Projected Draft Round: 1st
Before the NFL Combine or the Senior Bowl for that matter, Tim Tebow seemed a shoe in to be one of the top QBs drafted in 2010. Unfortunately, Sam Bradford had something to say about that, and now Tebow finds himself in a spot of bother as he watches his Draft stock fall.
Quarterback wise, Tim Tebow is a good quarterback, but far from a great one. He makes great deep passes when it counts, and his ability to scramble out of the pocket is uncanny, however Tebow's accuracy is the main concern for teams when considering Tim, and it ultimately may send Tebow to the second round.
Personally, given Tim's highly respected college years, I just don't see him slipping that far. But I do see him struggling at least for the first year in his NFL career, especially if the criticism is poured on a little heavy.
The harsh reality for Tim Tebow is that the NFL has seen enough inaccurate quarterbacks, and NFL fans don't want another Ryan Leaf on their hands. Tim needs to improve immensely for next season, and knowing him he is trying his darndest in doing so. But in the long run Tebow may be set for a surprise in a week's time.
2. Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame
Projected Draft Round: Early 1st
Dear Donovan McNabb, thanks for screwing up Jimmy's plans. To quote Seinfeld, "Watch Jimmy jump, watch Jimmy score, Jimmy's the best!". Sorry Jimmy, but you simply aren't the best, and due to the NFL's newly appointed trades, your draft stock has suffered a wound.
Fortunately for Jimmy, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and although Sam Bradford is now the overall top prospect, Jimmy can easily still be the second. Teams that arise to take on Jimmy are Seattle and St. Louis, but Clausen is the sort of quarterback that needs to feel comfortable with an offense, before he really shows us what he is capable of.
In 2010, I expect big things from Jimmy, possibly even the Rookie of the Year Award, but before we get too ahead of ourselves it is important to realize that Clausen is a gamble for any team, and whether or not he excels in the NFL is totally up to him.
For the most part Clausen looks great, you only have to look at the tape to know that. But he does have a tendency of releasing the ball a little low, and in a league full of highly talented defensive backs, that type of throwing is only going to lead to interceptions.
It's a minor criticism, but one that yet again owners and teams will look at.
1. Colt McCoy - Texas Longhorns
Projected Draft Round: Mid 1st
The first word that comes to mind when thinking of Colt McCoy is injury. Like Jermaine Gresham, his injury in the BCS Title game is going to cost McCoy a higher ranked position than he once had.
Texas fans might not like it, and I'm sure many NFL fans don't either, but unfortunately that is the cold hard truth when it comes to McCoy.
On the bright side of things, McCoy is an excellent passer, and that will get him far in the NFL. Whether it's short to intermediate routes to former roommate Jordan Shipley, McCoy's passing ability was dually noted throughout his college career.
Now for the negatives, and the first and only really predominant one is McCoy's lack of a deep ball threat. McCoy struggles at times to loft the ball over defenders, and as a result costs his offense some easy points. In the NFL, the deep ball isn't everything, but it is a factor that coaches would like to have on their side whenever possible.
It may not cost Colt McCoy too much, but the injury already has. Probable to be taken in the 1st round, sure, but in the Top 10? Well, maybe. Injuries are a costly, and if McCoy does drop too significantly, it may add salt to an already open wound.
So where will Colt land? My guess is St. Louis. The Rams need a quarterback, and one that can be solid and just deliver. Colt McCoy fits that persona, and even though the deep ball and injury concerns are there, it shouldn't keep the Rams from signing him.