2012 NFL Draft: 5 Most Overrated Prospects

Clint DalyContributor IINovember 16, 2011

2012 NFL Draft: 5 Most Overrated Prospects

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    It's never too early to start looking forward to the NFL Draft. Mock drafts are popping up everywhere, as college football is in full swing and NFL teams are being assessed.

    Does your favorite team need a quarterback? Linebacker? Offensive lineman?

    Here are five draft prospects that are rated a little too high.

    If your team is leaning toward these players, you may end up disappointed.

5. LaMichael James RB University of Oregon

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    LaMichael James is an absolute blur. Now a junior at the University of Oregon, James has rushed for over 4,000 yards in his career in Eugene.

    James has also caught passes for over 500 yards and has 51 touchdowns so far.

    So, shouldn't those statistics carry over to the NFL?

    Be careful here.

    At just five 5'9" and 185 pounds James is a bit undersized and he has been nagged with minor injuries.

    When you look at his stats against top competition it may change your opinion. Against LSU in 2011 he only managed 54 yards on 18 carries. In 2010 he was held to just 49 yards in the National Championship game against Auburn. Ohio State kept him to just 70 yards and no touchdowns in 2009.

    James may be electrifying as a third down back or a special teamer.

    I just hope your team doesn't draft him as an every down back. You may be disappointed.

4. Janoris Jenkins CB University of North Alabama

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    Janoris Jenkins is a cornerback from the University of North Alabama that is being projected as a high first rounder in the NFL draft.

    Jenkins was a Parade magazine All-American when he signed with the University of Florida in 2008.

    While playing for the Gators, Jenkins had eight interceptions and recorded 121 tackles in three season.

    However, in 2009 Jenkins was arrested in Gainesville for fighting and resisting arrest.

    In 2010 Jenkins was dismissed from the team for two marijuana possession charges within just three months.

    Jenkins transferred to North Alabama for his senior season where he has been great on special teams but just average on defense.

    So far this season, he has returned two punts for touchdowns. He has averaged 28.6 yards on kickoff returns. He has 48 tackles, one sack, one interception and has even returned a fumble for a touchdown.

    Hopefully Jenkins' legal problems are behind him, but it's a little easier to keep your nose clean in Florence, Alabama.

    If not, you may be drafting a kick returner who is more trouble than he is worth.

3. Donte Paige-Moss DE University of North Carolina

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    We hear the word "tweener" used in basketball. Too slow to be a guard, but not quite big enough to be a force inside.

    Paige-Moss may end up being a "tweener."

    He plays extremely strong at the defensive end position at North Carolina and he will use his bull rush to get to the quarterback from the edge.

    The problem is that he isn't fast enough to play outside in the NFL. And, he isn't strong enough to play inside against the big boys in the NFL.

    He's going to have to develop either more speed or more strength inside.

    Otherwise, he is going to really struggle at the next level.

2. Cordy Glenn OL University of Georgia

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    Cordy Glenn can play at the NFL level. He stands 6-foot-6 and is 348 pounds, yet still maintains pretty good athleticism.

    I just hope your team doesn't use an early first round pick on him.

    He is most likely going to have to play guard as he doesn't have the explosiveness to play tackle against NFL speed.

    Glenn is a solid pick in the second to fourth rounds.

    If you select Glenn early thinking he is going to be the next Joe Thomas or Jake Long, you may not be happy with the results.

1. Matt Barkley QB University of Southern California

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    Matt Barkley may very well end up being a solid quarterback in the NFL.

    He plays in a pro-style offense at USC and has all the physical tools that NFL scouts love.

    My biggest concern with Barkley is that due to the sanctions placed on USC by the NCAA, we haven't had as many opportunities to see Barkley play against top defenses.

    So far this year, the Trojans have yet to face even a top 20 defense.

    He has in fact only faced three top 20 defenses in his career with mixed results.

    Last season Barkley faced the 18th ranked defense when he faced Cal. He was stellar that day going 25-for-37 for 352 yards and five touchdowns.

    He also faced the No. 5 ranked defense in 2009 against Ohio State. Barkley struggled in Columbus going 15-for-31 for just 195 yards and an interception with no touchdowns.

    That same season the Trojans played against the 13th ranked defense from Arizona State.

    Again, Barkley had a tough day going just 7-for-22 for 112 yards.

    Barkley has put up some amazing numbers at USC. He just hasn't done it against very good defenses.

    Don't be surprised if the NFL defenses prove to be too much for him.