2011 NFL Draft: Five Players Who Will Have Jimmy Clausen-Like Drops

Chris LeydenCorrespondent IIMarch 24, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Five Players Who Will Have Jimmy Clausen-Like Drops

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    The NFL Draft is only a month away, and there are still a lot of uncertainties about who will go where, including who the first overall pick will be.

    If last year's draft is any sign of what is to come, the best mock drafters will be wrong about a few players this year, who will drop like stones out of the first round.

    Last year's prime example was Jimmy Clausen, who was expected to easily be a first round pick, and possibly even a top 10 pick. Instead, Clausen fell out of the first round and into the second before the Carolina Panthers selected him.

    There is obviously no exact science on how to pick a player who will be the surprise drop come draft day, but there are a few signs, including weak pro days and a lot of "this player has potential" talk.

    This slide-show picks five players who are expected to be drafted pretty high right now, but could drop significantly on the big day.

    Feel free to comment below on what players you think will drop or why these players won't drop.

Von Miller: Texas A&M

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    Von Miller currently looks like a sure top 10 pick, but the Butkus winner could potentially drop if teams find him to be a bit overrated.

    Miller had a dazzling combine in which he proved just how fast he can be coming on the edge and how quickly he can get to the quarterback.

    All of this being said, Miller may have looked so great in college because his speed rush worked well against college offensive tackles. When you put Miller up against NFL tackles who are much quicker, Miller may not be able to duplicate his success.

    Another knock on Miller is that he is too skinny to be an NFL linebacker, and is going to be a weakness against the run for the team that drafts him.

    Overall, it seems unlikely Miller will drop out of the first round, but he may go later in the round than most people predicted.

Patrick Peterson: LSU

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    Patrick Peterson could be the first cornerback ever to go number one in the draft, as Mel Kiper Jr. currently has him as the first player on his big board.

    Peterson is an amazing player on the field, and if teams are basing their picks strictly on that performance that I don't think Peterson will fall past the Denver Broncos at number two.

    The biggest dent in Peterson's coat is an off-the-field red flag, but not the type that most of us are used to hearing about.

    Peterson reportedly scored in the single digits on the Wonderlic, a test NFL teams use to calculate players intelligence and design making.

    How much teams read into this test is a question that is up for debate, but his very low score may stop teams from picking him so high.

    The later first round teams would be stupid not to pick Peterson, but he could drop out of the top 10 or 15.

Cam Newton: Auburn

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    No one has moved around mock drafts more than Cam Newton, who at times has seemed like a sure first overall pick and at other times he has seemed not even worthy of a first round pick.

    Everyone knows the story regarding Newton by now, and everyone is aware of the risk/reward of drafting him. The two big questions: Will his dominant college style of play transfer over to the NFL? Will all his off the field issues go away in the NFL?

    A lot of mock drafters have moved Blaine Gabbert above Newton in a class that really has no superstar quarterback.

    Going into draft day, I doubt we will know where Newton is going to go, but most people will have him in the top 10. The problem I see is that he is not going to instantly contribute in the NFL and may never turn into a franchise quarterback.

    With these two issues in mind, teams may pass on Newton for one of the more NFL ready players in the draft, and Newton could be the Jimmy Clausen of this draft.

Da'Quan Bowers: Clemson

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    No player has already started a free fall more than Da'Quan Bowers, who at one point was a likely top three pick.

    Bowers has still yet to work out, as he is continuing to recover from knee surgery. Teams are sure to begin to raise questions about how serious this injury really was, and if he will ever be able to recover.

    The second biggest problem that teams have with Bowers is that he was a defensive monster for only one year. Teams are going to wonder why he didn't have this amount of success all four years, or at least for more than a single season.

    Bowers became a well known name after his stock moved so high, and similar to Clausen he could tumble out of the first round and maybe even further if his health issues keep up.

    In a draft full of stud defensive linemen, any team that is looking for one will be able to find and draft one and many may pick the next guy in line, as opposed to taking the risk on Bowers.

Adrian Clayborn: Iowa

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    Adrian Clayborn is another player who looked very good in college, especially his junior year, but who brings questions about how this will transfer over to the NFL.

    Clayborn has what some would consider a down season this year, and questions of his consistency and work ethic have to come to mind for scouts of NFL teams.

    Like I mentioned for Bowers, this draft class is full of talented defensive ends and defensive tackles, and teams will really have their pick when it comes to who they want to draft.

    If teams find any problem with Clayborn's work ethic they may look elsewhere in the draft.