Every draft produces huge busts, without exception. Even players like Aaron Curry who are seen as "sure things" have the potential to completely tank at the next level, and the 2012 NFL draft class is sure to produce its fair share of duds.
Here are three first-round talents who are going to be draft busts.
We've seen highly productive, so-so athletes tank in the pros. Kuechly has great instincts and he's a form tackler, but he's not a guy who is going to be able to take on blocks and run sideline to sideline at the next level.
We saw Dan Connor plummet down draft boards for this very reason. Kuechly is up against the best middle linebacker class in years. With Vontaze Burfict and Manti Te'o headlining the class, Kuechly is constantly going to be compared to them.
Kuechly may slip in the draft, which is actually the best case scenario for him. Joining a decent team at the back end of the first round is a far better scenario than being selected above one of the aforementioned linebacker locks.
Dre Kirkpatrick is a huge, 6'2" corner. He doesn't have a problem getting into receivers coming off the line, and he's great in run support. The problem is, he doesn't have the burners to turn and run with receivers who have blazing speed and he has to fit into a particular scheme.
At best, he's an ideal No. 2 press corner. Fans are going to be expecting far more from their No. 1 pick and Kirkpatrick isn't going to provide it. He's a terrific college corner, but he'll be a glorified version of Nate Clements at the next level.
Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III had more touchdowns than incompletions at one point this season. He's got Michael Vick athleticism, but he's still an accurate pocket passer. He's got the character, a 6'2" frame and the leadership teams are looking for in a franchise QB.
The problem is that teams who aren't able to land Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley or Landry Jones are going to panic and select RGIII. He's destined for a struggling team, and he's more than likely going to be asked to be "the guy" from day one.
Which of these players has the biggest bust potential?
Griffin is an incredible athlete and has all the tools to succeed, but he's coming out in the best quarterback class many of us have ever seen. Fans will have lofty expectations for him after he's drafted in the first round.
Given the success Cam Newton and Andy Dalton are having and the rookie season Sam Bradford had a year ago, fans are more impatient than ever. Even slightly struggling when he first gets into the league puts him on the fast track to earning the bust label.