NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players Facing Draft Day Free Falls

Bobby DaleContributor IIApril 25, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players Facing Draft Day Free Falls

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on as he stands on stage during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Every year the NFL draft comes around, and as always, that is the case this year. We will see hyper-analysis and players getting over drafted, snubbed or being found irrelevant.

    This year we'll look at five guys who will be victimized by this process, despite having been considered for an early selection (first or second round) sometime during this draft process.

1. RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Running back Mark Ingram of Alabama looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    In the draft through the years, running back has been a glamor position. But more and more coaches are realizing that you can take a back later in the draft and still get production. In fact, this year the NFL's leading rusher, Houston Texans Arian Foster, was not even drafted.

    That being said, Ingram who lacks many of the bells and whistles of recent blue-chip running backs will fall in this draft. As he has been unable to distinguish himself significantly from Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams and Illinois Mike Leshoure.

    Projected Selection Area: Late First Round (20th or later)

2. DE Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)

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    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Cameron Heyward #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes chases after quarterback Matt McGloin #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Having an NFL pedigree, his father is former New Orleans Saints running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, is not enough for teams to overlook the talented Ohio State stars troubled injury history.

    In fact, these days it is getting tougher and tougher to justify taking a player with injury concerns as guys who tend to stay hurt in college, tend to get hurt in the pros.

    Projected Selection Area: Early Third Round (68th or later)

    

3. DT Marvin Austin (North Carolina)

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 7:  Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels warms up before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    For some reason, and I do not know why, this guy has Tank Johnson written all over him.

    While he has been a model citizen in front of coaches and personnel types around the league, and played well in front of coaches in his only opportunity this year, common logic says it's a bad idea to take a guy who has been out of football for over a year.

    I think Mike Vick cannot even be considered as an exception to this argument, as he had the benefit of at least having played football at the professional level for several seasons prior to his hiatus.

    Projected Selection Area: Mid Second Round (45th or later)

4. LB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Akeem Ayers of UCLA works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Ayers, at one point, was hyped as being the stud linebacker for this draft and somewhere a long the way guys like Von Miller and Robert Quinn, blazed past him in the eyes of scouts and coaches across the league.

    After watching more tape and seeing him in person, less are impressed. This could be a tough night for Ayers and his family, but perhaps the impetus he needs to have a successful career.

    Projected Selection area: Early Second Round (35th or later)

5. DE Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28:  Defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson sits on the bench during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Depending upon who you ask, Bowers is the next coming of Julius Peppers or Gaines Adams. With that much skepticism and major injury concerns, a potential degenerative knee condition is weighing on the minds of many decision makers across the NFL.

    If you take that into account and also add in the fact that this years crop of defensive ends is extremely talented, you could imagine that Bowers could drop a long way. This is sad considering he could have been the top pick in the draft.

    Projected Selection Area: Late First Round (23rd or later)