2011 NFL Draft: 10 Players Sure To Bust in the NFL

Matt MillerNFL Draft Lead WriterDecember 25, 2010

2011 NFL Draft: 10 Players Sure To Bust in the NFL

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    We are four months away from the 2011 NFL Draft. Exciting, huh?


    Over the next 120 days we will look at over 500 players, weighing the pros and cons of each as an NFL prospect. Small numbers and factors will separate a first-round pick from an undrafted free agent. Two tenths of a second too slow in the 40-yard dash, or one inch too short and a player's life can be changed forever.

    With the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine just around the corner, we take a look at 10 players sure to bust in the NFL.

Leonard Hankerson, Wide Receiver, Miami (FL)

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    Where he will be drafted: Early- to mid-second round

    Why he will bust: Hankerson is rated by many as the top senior wide receiver in the draft class. Some analysts even list him in the first round of their recent mock drafts. We do not think as highly as others.

    Hankerson is a big body (6'3", 208 lbs), but he is also a slow mover with stiff hips. Hankerson might be good in jump-ball situations, but he does not have the speed to run away from NFL cornerbacks. On top of a lack of speed, Hankerson does not have the quick burst or agility to make moves at the line of scrimmage to get free from press coverage. Want another negative? His route running is weak.

Aaron Williams, Cornerback, Texas

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    Where he will be drafted: Late first round

    Why he will bust: Williams is one of the more overrated Texas Longhorns we have seen in some time. While he is tall and athletic, he lacks general coverage IQ. Williams is slow to react, poor at recognizing routes and generally unimpressive in zero coverage.

    Williams is a talented athlete, but he is not a true cover man. A move to free safety would save his NFL career before it even starts.

Stephen Paea, Defensive Tackle, Oregon State

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    Where he will be drafted: Late first round

    Why he will bust: The term "workout warrior" applies to Stephen Paea. His weight room numbers are impressive: vertical jump (30"), shuttle (4.37), 225-pound bench (44 reps), bench press (500 lbs), squat (600 lbs), power clean (365 lbs); but his play on the field is less than stellar.

    Despite being a stud in the weight room, Paea is small for a defensive tackle at only 6'1". Too short to play in a 3-4 defense, Paea will be appealing to only half the teams in the NFL who run the 4-3 defense.

    Paea projects as an under-tackle, lining up in the guard/center gap and trying to "shoot the gap" to pressure the quarterback. While he is strong in shorts and t-shirts, Paea is not "field strong" and will be dominated in the trenches.

Greg Little, Wide Receiver, North Carolina

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    Where he will be drafted: Mid-second round

    Why he will bust: A running back move to wide receiver at North Carolina, Little reminds us a lot of former LSU running back/wide receiver Josh Reed. Expect the same career path for Little.

    Not only is he a wide receiver that will most likely be relegated to the slot only, Little does not provide much value as a special teams player.

    On top of this mounting list, Little is a very raw player who will need time and patience to develop as a receiver.

Ricky Stanzi, Quarterback, Iowa

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    Where he will be drafted: Late second round

    Why he will bust: A second-round pick is not normally considered a bust unless there are large expectations on that player. Quarterbacks drafted in the first three rounds are expected to become a starting quarterback at some point. Stanzi does not have the look of a starting quarterback.

    Fans love the tough, gritty, athletic Stanzi, but his style of play does not translate well to the NFL. This is a quarterback who is very erratic and prone to multiple-interception games.

Dontay Moch, Linebacker, Nevada

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    Where he will be drafted: Mid-second round

    Why he will bust: Moch is regarded in circles as college football's fastest defensive end, and he certainly has the numbers to back it up. Rumors over the summer placed Moch's 40-yard dash time at 4.38, which he backed up in a summer workout with a timed 4.28. That time is impressive for a cornerback! For an outside linebacker/defensive end the numbers are simply crazy.

    Moch is a speed demon, but he is a one-trick pony. At the college level he can simply run around offensive tackles. In the NFL he will be chipped, double-teamed and asked to drop back in to coverage.

Mark Barron, Strong Safety, Alabama

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    Where he will be drafted: Second round

    Why he will bust: Barron is a huge liability in coverage for the Crimson Tide. During his sophomore season of 2009, Barron looked like a future star in a loaded secondary. Playing with fewer experienced players in 2010, Barron looked lost.

    He is a hard-hitter, which fans love, but he is slow to react and has poor man coverage ability. As a strong safety he will be asked to stop the run, where he must get better at taking proper angles and attacking the ball carrier.

Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

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    Where he will be drafted: First round

    Why he will bust: Read five mock drafts and you will see Marcell Dareus' name all over the board. Some like him in the top five and a contender for the first overall pick. Others see him as a late first-round pick who can be lazy.

    Dareus has not shown himself to be a very motivated player, something that will haunt him in the NFL. For Dareus to have any chance at succeeding he must learn to work hard on every play.

Cameron Heyward, Defensive End, Ohio State

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    Where he will be drafted: First round

    Why he will bust: What do you do with a defensive end who is built like a defensive tackle, but weak as a run defender? That is the same question NFL scouts are asking themselves when thinking of Cameron Heyward.

    He is big (6'5" and 288 lbs), but he is not fast enough to play defensive end in the NFL (4.98 40-yard dash). Some will suggest moving him to defensive tackle in a 4-3, or defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, but Heyward has not shown the ability to stop the run consistently enough to play in an anchor position.

    Heyward is a player with no position.

Terrelle Pryor, Quarterback, Ohio State

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    Where he will be drafted: First or second round

    Why he will bust: Pryor will be drafted much, much higher than he should be. Inevitably, some NFL general manager will see a big, strong quarterback who can move outside the pocket and think he has the next great quarterback. They thought the same about Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell.

    Pryor, like Russell before him, is a physically imposing player with a very strong arm and some mobility. Like Young, he is a play maker who excites coaches and owners, but lacks the fundamentals to succeed at the position.