The world is full of optimists, and the world is full of pessimists. But unfortunately, sometimes this does not matter in the world of the National Football League.
We have seen many young men enter the draft either as underdogs or as so-called “messiahs.” Many of them have gone on to make us wonder why we predicted their future success or failure.
The 2010 college football season gave us plenty of issues to talk about, on and off the field. We saw the birth of many stars, many of whom are looking to take their talents to the NFL.
But with every good comes a little bad, so let us look at the top five players entering into the draft who have the potential to become busts.
Personal issues can hang over a player like a dark cloud, and Austin has quite a few of them stemming from his past. After missing the entire 2010 season, many wonder if he can perform up to expectations in the NFL. He does not lack talent, as he is a strong player, but he lacks a show of team dedication.
He has only started 24 of the 38 games he has played in, but does have impressive stats from his junior year (42 total tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble).
Luck is on Austin's side, as the defensive prospects in the draft are not very impressive, and only a few will give him a run for his money to becoming a top defensive pick. An NFL team takes a huge risk by drafting Austin, because he unfortunately has a lot of potential to be a bust down the road.
After being the potential top quarterback prospect at the conclusion of the 2009 season, Locker decided to return for his senior year. He is now the third- or fourth-ranked quarterback, and sees his draft potential slipping.
Locker's decision making continues to be questioned, along with his ability to perform under pressure. Not only were his senior year stats down significantly from his junior year, but many NFL teams are also reportedly concerned with how his development as an elite quarterback has seemingly halted.
While there are many teams in need of a tough and athletic quarterback, he does not seem to match up well with his competition. There is little positive hype surrounding him compared with the likes of Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert. Locker has all the makings to become a bust in the NFL.
The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner has been drawing comparisons to legend Emmitt Smith as of late. In addition, although he had a mediocre 40-yard dash time, his overall combine performance was a positive influence on his draft potential. But his weak showing of agility is coupled with his disappointing junior year performance after a breakout sophomore year.
He still stands as the number one running back, however. However, Ingram is not only prone to injuries, but also to being inconsistent.
The Miami Dolphins, who are apparently very interest in drafting him with the 15th overall pick, would be settling with him as their first draft choice. His athleticism is not what is being questioned, but his potential as an effective NFL running back is.
The former Pittsburgh star has been praised for his speed and size, and his ability to be a threat down the field. He has also been compared to Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald, who was once a star at Pitt himself.
However, he has concerns both on and off the field. Baldwin only had five receiving touchdowns and 822 yards in his junior season, compared to eight touchdowns and 1,111 yards his sophomore season. These stats do not put him in the elite category of wide receivers in his class.
He also has questionable character, stemming from a 2009 incident with a female student. Although the three charges were eventually dropped, the NFL does not want to deal with more immature events that could eventually affect performance.
The NFL is completely different than the Big East, and Baldwin’s inability to keep up may make him a potential bust.
The Hurricanes are known for producing great defensive players, and Harris has all the makings to become the next one. Harris is currently the third-ranked cornerback in the draft, and has shown his ability to become a top pass defender, especially in man-to-man coverage.
Harris has the potential to be a late first, early second round pick. However, his junior year performance was down from his sophomore year, which was not necessarily superb anyway. Over the three years he played for Miami, he only had four interceptions (one last year), 129 tackles (44 total last year) and three forced fumbles (one last year).
Although stats do not tell a whole player’s story, if he is not amassing much more impressive stats against some of the nation’s best receivers in college, how will he fare in the NFL? He has the potential to make a small impact down the road, but as of now, is a strong possibility to be a bust.