It is inevitable. With every NFL Draft there will be some amount of picks that simply do not live up to their expectations and/or their hype. It is a natural occurrence that every team hopes it can avoid.
Busts are what make teams lose sleep at night. They can implode a team's draft value and eventual long term plans. It does not matter what position or team, there are 10 players who will be busts from the 2010 NFL Draft class. Here is a look at 10 players who could fit that billing.
The former University of California defensive tackle went 10th overall, nearly two rounds earlier than most draftniks pegged him. Alualu has a lot to live up to in order to fill a need for a position that has been home to numerous Jaguars draft picks over the years.
The Jaguars track record of taking defensive tackles high off the board has been consistent and productive. That gave the Jaguars the confidence to reach for Alualu, but can the Jaguars prove all the scouts and draftniks wrong? Chances are Alualu holds true to his pre-draft stock as a third rounder.
It feels like every year there is one offensive lineman taken high on the board that inevitably fails to live up to expectations. The Washington Redskins are hoping Williams is not that guy as they look to him to guard Donovan McNabb's blind side for the foreseeable future.
Williams is a big, hulking lineman who developed his craft in the wide-open, run-and-shoot offenses of the Big XII. Now, he'll be thrust into an NFL offense that is going to be a blend of passing and running than he is used to. Williams will hold down the job, but not be the franchise, cornerstone lineman that the Redskins envision.
Pierre-Paul was widely considered one of the best pure athletes and the biggest "physical freaks" in the draft. he will run into trouble, however, because he has comparative less on-field experience than most first round picks.
The Giants are lucky that they can keep Pierre-Paul third on the depth chart heading into the season, but physical freaks don't always turn out to be the best professional prospects.
The Giants should have a quality defensive end in their grasp, but they want an impact guy who can lock down one end. Pierre-Paul has a long learning curve to experience before getting there.
Weatherspoon is another one of the athletically gifted but physically questionable prospects that went in the first round. Weatherspoon is a bit undersized for an outside linebacker, meaning the Falcons will have to work on his conditioning and size.
Scouts praised Weatherspoon for his speed and tackling ability before the draft but knocked him for his size. "Undersized" and "linebacker" are a combination that rarely work in the National Football League.
Wide receivers in the first round are always a tricky scenario. There have been countless first round, wide receiver busts over the years (Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, Peter Warrick, David Terrell to name a few) and that pattern is likely to continue in the future.
Demaryius Thomas was ranked as the top or second wide receiver prospect before the draft with the Broncos selecting him over Dez Bryant. Thomas has good size and speed, but does he have the quarterback to get him the ball and avoid becoming a bust? In the short term, that answer is "no."
Speaking of Broncos quarterbacks....
The Broncos made a significant statement by reaching up and grabbing Tim Tebow with the 24th overall pick. The pick and the following money invested in the former Florida quarterback means that he will see the field, and likely regularly, in 2010.
Tebow has undergone a lot of work to fix his mechanics and make him more prepared for the NFL. Tebow will have a future in the NFL, but as a starting quarterback over a 16-game schedule? Tebow still has a long way to go to make believers out of fans and observers.
The days of draft running backs high in the draft are disappearing. Thus, when a team commits to a running back in the top half of the first round, that running back better become a significant weapon and long-time franchise piece.
The Chargers are hoping they get all of those characteristics out of running back Ryan Mathews. The Chargers chose the Fresno State product 12th overall and expect him to help fill the void left by LaDainian Tomlinson.
However, it is difficult to buy into an every down back that is only six feet tall and hovering around 215 pounds. The Chargers will find a way to make Mathews an intricate part of the offense, but a franchise running back as his draft position decrees? His tale of the tape says otherwise.
The Ravens selected Cody with the 57th overall pick with the thinking that his big body will clog the middle of the defensive line. Well, Cody has already clogged his own way onto the training camp field, having already been sent home because of his weight.
Cody is back in camp now, but the red flag on Cody prior to the draft was his weight which reportedly eclipsed 375 pounds before the draft. Cody is on the field, but his weight could be his undoing in the future.
The New England Patriots have continually sought the replacement for Asante Samuel ever since he left following the 2007 season. Three drafts later and the Patriots hope they finally have their man in McCourty who they selected with the 27th overall pick.
McCourty was better known for his special teams prowess while at Rutgers and not so much for his coverage ability. Expectations are already tempered for McCourty who is not expected to be an instant impact defensive back in coverage.
The Patriots have drafted numerous defensive backs over the last few years (Darius Butler, Leigh Bodden) but none have panned out so far. The Patriots track record does not bode well for McCourty.
The Chiefs grabbed McCluster with the 36th overall pick and hope to use him as a versatile weapon as a running back, pass catching back and special teams player. The only problem is that McCluster stands 5'8" and struggles to get his way in the 170-pound range.
That's small. That's incredibly small for the National Football League and one has to question just how McCluster will persevere through the punishment. The Chiefs can only hope that McCluster makes enough guys miss.