NFL Draft 2012: 5 Prospects Who Just Can't Stay Healthy

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2012

NFL Draft 2012: 5 Prospects Who Just Can't Stay Healthy

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    How often do you hear this saying when it comes time for the NFL draft?

    "He has the potential to be so good, if he could only stay healthy."

    It's one of the most common sayings to come out of the mouth of Mel Kiper Jr. Todd McShay or any other NFL draft TV analysts for that matter.

    In the upcoming April NFL draft, there are a number of players who can attest to that very statement. But where will those players be selected?

    Are NFL teams scared off by these injuries, or are they put aside in hope that certain players can rise up and meet that potential?

    Let's break down five prospects in this year's NFL draft that just can't seem to stay healthy.

    Bleacher Report Style!

Nick Toon

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    Several early-season mock drafts had former Wisconsin wide receiver Nick Toon being selected as early as in the first round of the upcoming 2012 NFL draft. However, several injury concerns have come
    about with Toon, and now, his stock has certainly taken a hit.

    Toon had an exceptional sophomore season at Wisconsin, hauling in 54 catches for over 800 yards through the air. But then in his junior year, injuries began to pile up, and Toon was forced to miss three games because of both a turf toe injury and a nagging thigh bruise.

    Toon came back and put up some nice numbers this past season, much in part to the improved quarterback help in Madison with Russell Wilson under center. But still, he wasn't 100 percent healthy, still battling foot problems that actually kept him out of the Indiana game and held him to limited duty against Michigan State.

    Toon figured to be over the injuries after the Badgers concluded their season with a loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl, but again, Toon faced another foot injury, which caused him to miss playing in this year's Senior Bowl.

    The talent and the up-side is certainly there when talking about Toon, but the question of whether he can stay healthy and get that foot fully healed remains to be seen right now.

Jared Crick

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    Remember hearing some people make this outrageous statement at the beginning of the college football season.

    "Jared Crick is as good as, if not better than Ndamukong Suh."

    Really, people? Really?

    Crick has a ton of talent, make no doubt about it. But this guy certainly isn't in the same mold as Ndamukong Suh, and a torn pectoral muscle that caused Crick to miss the second half of the season certainly didn't help his cause.

    Crick was a standout for the Cornhuskers before his injury, picking up a combined 19 sacks in 2009 and 2010. But now, because of the injury, his draft stock will take a big hit. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.99 seconds at the combine, which is a descent score, but his other testing scores were nothing to write home about.

    Look for Crick to be a middle round pick because of his ongoing injury problems this past season.

Peter Konz

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    It looks like Nick Toon isn't the only Wisconsin Badger who has some major injury concerns heading into next month's NFL draft.

    Konz is known as being the top center in this year's draft class, there is no argument there. But, the former Badger center does have some injury concerns attached to his name after missing three games this past season due to an ankle injury.

    But wait, that's not it when it comes to Konz.

    He also missed two games in both 2009 and 2010 with an injury.

    The problem here is that ankle injuries are especially tough on offensive linemen because the heavier the person is, the more weight is put on that ankle.

    Fortunately for Konz, he had a great bowl game to close out the season, he had a solid showing at the combine and, last but not least, there really isn't any other player at his position to challenge him for the first center to be taken off the board in the draft.

    Don't be surprised to seen Konz be a late first-round selection, despite the ongoing injury questions.

Andrew Datko

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    Andrew Datko was one of the most promising offensive tackles in college football during his first two seasons on campus at Florida State. But then, injuries began to take a toll on Datko's health, and now, as he prepares for the NFL draft, it will be interesting to see what team will take a chance on this former freshman All-American.

    Datko started every game in his freshman and sophomore seasons, but then a shoulder injury caused him to miss three games in 2010. Datko rushed back from the injury and continued to play throughout the duration of his junior year with that injury, which required surgery in that following offseason.

    After the surgery, many believed that Datko would return healthy and to his old form, but the injury kept acting up, and he was only able to play in four games in his senior year before shutting it down for good.

    Scouts will have to question doctors and take a deep look at the health of Datko's injured shoulder before committing to him too high in this April's 2012 NFL draft.

Marcus Forston

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    Marcus Forston was one of the top recruits in the country when he came out of high school four years ago, and it looked like he was on the fast path to greatness after being named a freshman All-American in
    his first season playing at the "U."

    But then shortly after that, things began to take a turn for Forston.

    The 6'3", 300-pound defensive tackle played in three of the first four games of the 2009 season before going down with a season-ending injury.

    Forston came back from the injury to have a solid 2010 campaign, where he recorded 37 tackles, 12 of which were for loss. He also added three sacks and an interception that year.

    Last season had the makeup of another breakout year for Forston as he started and played well in three games, but then suffered another season-ending injury. This injury was to his knee, which would call for a lengthy recovery period.

    Forston certainly has the talent to be drafted in the second or third round, but his injury history could lead to him being a late-round selection in the upcoming April NFL draft.