10 NFL Rookies Fans Want to See Fail

Mike KernsCorrespondent IIISeptember 9, 2011

10 NFL Rookies Fans Want to See Fail

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    "It's nothing personal."

    That's usually the reply most people give when you ask why they don't like a certain athlete. Be it because they're a fan of an opposing team or he did their team in when they were in college, plenty of rookies come into the league with plenty of people who want to see them fail.

    And as much as they say it isn't personal, it usually is.

    Myself, I've always been able to separate my Saturday's from my Sunday's, so the college thing has never been a problem for me. It's a clean slate once you enter the NFL in my book.

    About the only time I can remember ever just wishing a guy to fail at the next level was if either he was drafted by a team within my division, or he had a nasty holdout situation or demanded a trade because he refused to play for the team that drafted him.

    There has been no such situation this year, so I have no one on this list whom I'd like to see fail, truthfully. But from what I've gathered talking to others around the league, there are plenty of fans who feel differently. Some reasons make sense, and some are just for the silliest reasons I've ever heard.

    And I'm going to share some of the humorous answers that have come in defense of their hatred.

    Here are 10 guys certain fans around the league seem to be wanting to see go down in flames their rookie seasons in the NFL.

Cam Newton, QB (Carolina Panthers)

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    Whenever you're the top overall pick in the NFL, you're going to have your fair share of doubters.

    But Cam brought with him a national title at Auburn, a Heisman Trophy, a whirlwind of controversy and accusations.

    We still don't know for sure how much of the NCAA scandal and accusations were legit, and we may never know. But Newton has brought a lot of heat with him to the NFL for all of the above reasons.

Julio Jones, WR (Atlanta Falcons)

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    When you play in the SEC, people are going to know who you are—especially when you're a yearly title contender at a big school like Alabama.

    But it seems like everyone outside of Atlanta is wanting Julio Jones to fail in his new home because of the draft day trade that landed him opposite Roddy White.

    Everyone has their opinions of that big trade, and not too many of them are positive, which is why it seems most are hoping the move blows up in the Falcons' face just so they can say they were right in proclaiming it a stupid move.

Jake Locker, QB (Tennessee Titans)

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    The Titans went out and signed veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck so Jake Locker could come along naturally and not have to be rushed into playing.

    But some, myself included, think he'll be taking the reins before the end of the season.

    One thing you'll learn with this list is that if you are a quarterback taken higher than where most figured, people seem to not like you. There were rumors that some teams had him graded as low as a third or fourth-rounder, yet he goes in the Top 10.

    This is always going to draw irrational emotions out of some.

Nick Fairley, DT (Detroit Lions)

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    Before the draft, Fairley was rated anywhere from the top overall pick to the mid-teens. But he was unfortunately labeled with "character issues" and the "lazy" label by some NFL scouts. So when he fell all the way to the Lions at 13th overall, many wondered if this was true.

    Honestly, I think he's going to be a hell of a combo with Ndamukong Suh, but Fairley has his group of haters. Being from the same team as Cam Newton, he has been lumped into that same group of SEC fans who want to see him fail at the next level.

Jimmy Smith, CB (Baltimore Ravens)

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    I was one of the ones before the draft saying Jimmy Smith would end up being the best cornerback taken in this draft when all was said and done. This all depended, of course, on where he was drafted. The guy just couldn't stay out of trouble in college, which made a lot of people not exactly the biggest fans of him.

    As much as these folks who have already made up their minds about the young man want to see him fail, he couldn't have been drafted into a better situation. Having defensive leaders like Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis will help him keep his nose clean.

Mark Ingram, RB (New Orleans)

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    This one is kind of tricky, because Ingram has an incredible story. His father was a former NFL player and Super Bowl champion, but gets more notice for his legal troubles. For some reasons, the sins of the father have trickled down to the son.

    Then you count in the aforementioned SEC heat that has followed him to the NFL. Personally, I think people are just jealous that Drew Brees has gotten yet another weapon in an already-stacked offense.

Brooks Reed, OLB (Houston Texans)

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    Now, I told you that some of these were just funny.

    For some reason if you have long blond hair and your name isn't Clay Matthews, people seem to hate you.

    Silly, right? I've seen more stuff on Twitter of people just angry that he has hair similar to Matthews. It makes little sense to me, honestly.

Blaine Gabbert, QB (Jacksonville Jaguars)

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    Add another one to long blond hair envy.

    Honestly, I haven't heard too many people talk about his hair as much as just how much of an overrated prospect he is. Again, if you're a quarterback taken in the first round, people love to predict how your future will go.

    With the release of David Garrard, not many believe Luke McCown is going to hold the reins in Jacksonville for long. Gabbert will get his chance to fail or not to fail soon.

Andy Dalton, QB (Cincinnati Bengals)

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    This one just flat-out confuses me.

    Dalton played at a school (TCU) that doesn't usually bring along a bunch of college heat into the NFL. And it isn't like the Bengals are a franchise that is hated or anything.

    Yet many are not only fully expecting him to fail, but it seems like they want it.

    Ever since Ndamukong Suh body-slammed him in the preseason, he's been the punchline to a lot of stereotype jokes that I won't repeat here. I actually really like the kid, having seen him play for Katy High School out here in Texas.

Ryan Mallet, QB (New England Patriots)

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    I remember before the draft hearing how Ryan Mallet could be the most talented quarterback in the class. Rumors of partying habits and drug use, combined with already having an arrest for public intoxication, saw him fall all the way to the third round of the draft.

    But it was who drafted him that really earned him a lot of negative feedback.

    Let's be truthful, no other franchise out there seems to have as many people outside of their own fanbase that gets as much hate as the Patriots.

    Ever since "Spygate," the backlash has been out of this world. Tom Brady might be the most hated player in the NFL in some markets, and while they respect him, Bill Belichick doesn't have a lot of fans outside of the upper Northeast.

    The fact that the Patriots now have a guy with such a high ceiling to learn from Brady, along with a coach who won't let him get out of line, it seems like the string of success in New England could last even after Brady rides off into the sunset.