NFL Draft 2012: Prospects Who Have Fallen Hardest in April

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IApril 12, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin of Stanford participates in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

You know what they say: It's not how you start, it's how you finish.

As we approach the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26, some prospects are heading in the wrong direction, as NFL scouts scoff and draft experts shake their collective heads.

Here's a look at prospects who will still likely land in the first round, but have fallen drastically and dramatically, like an aging quarterback who complains about roughing-the-passer penalties.

3. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts next to  Rueben Randle #2 of the LSU Tigers during the second half of the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Streeter Le
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Dre Kirkpatrick was being called the second-best cornerback in the 2012 draft class for much of the past year, but his arrest in January for marijuana possession, combined with questions about his injury history and durability, have teams backing off a bit. In some circles, South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore has moved ahead of Kirkpatrick.

2. Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 19: Barry Brunetti #11 of the Ole Miss Rebels scrambles with the ball against Michael Brockers #90 of the LSU Tigers on November 19, 2011 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Heading into the NFL Combine, Michael Brockers was being placed anywhere from No. 9 overall to the Carolina Panthers to No. 25 overall to the Denver Broncos.

But frankly, his display at the NFL Combine was deplorable. He showed up way overweight, tied for last among defensive linemen in the bench press (19 reps) and ran an snail-like 40-yard dash (5.36 seconds).

Brockers has the length, size, strength and athleticism to be a difference-maker at the next level, but his combine performance raised many red flags for NFL teams.

1. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Jonathan Martin #55 and Richard Sherman #9 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrate after they beat the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Jonathan Martin was supposed to be an unquestioned top-15 pick heading into the combine, but he's dropped dramatically since then for many draft experts.

It's not that he's not a first-round prospect—he has the ability to become a reliable starter. He has the length and athleticism to be a solid tackle.

However, there are questions about Martin's strength, and even speed, at the next level. He only benched 20 reps at Stanford's pro day and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.33 seconds. He's a risk in that respect and some draft experts have him falling out of the Top 20.

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