The NFL Draft is all about potential. General managers, scouts and coaches spend countless hours reviewing film and interviewing future players for the Draft, but it doesn’t stop them from selecting busts.
The term bust can be applied to players for many different reasons. One reason is they could become a JaMarcus Russell or a Ryan Leaf. What I mean by that is they will never have any success in the NFL. Another reason is that they could be a Vince Young or a Ted Ginn Jr. In that situation, the two players have had success in the NFL, but their draft position doesn’t equal their performance on the field.
There are busts in every NFL draft, and this year is no different. Picking a player in the first round is risky business. If you miss on a player, it can set your franchise back.
A player with bust potential in this upcoming draft is Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill’s stock has been rising as he’s the top-rated quarterback behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
Like I said earlier, the NFL Draft is all about potential. Tannehill is the definition of potential. He’s a former receiver-turned-quarterback, and he only has 20 starts under his belt. He has good size for a quarterback at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, but his value may not be worth the investment.
Tannehill is expected to be drafted within the top 10, likely to the Miami Dolphins with the eighth pick. Considering he’s a project quarterback, it’s hard to trust that he will be successful at the next level.
Another player who is a possible bust in this draft is defensive end Quinton Coples from North Carolina. Coples is expected to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, but he might disappoint whoever drafts him.
The knock on Coples is that he often gave up on plays in college. If a player isn’t motivated enough to give it his all every play in college, what makes you think he’s going to give it his all in the pros after he signs a big contract?
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock also agrees that Coples has bust potential. On Path to the Draft Mayock said, "If I'm a general manager I'm not taking [Coples] in the first round, and I might not take him in the second round."
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers is another bust candidate. Brockers has potential to be a bust for the same reason as Tannehill – not enough experience.
Brockers is entering the draft with only one full season as a starter. It’s also hard not to compare him to former LSU defensive tackles Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, both of whom have not played up to their potential in the NFL.
Keep in mind that none of the players I have mentioned are necessarily going to busts; they just have red flags that owners need to be concerned about. The word potential is worth repeating. All of these players have the potential to become great athletes at the next level, but teams just need to remember to draft with caution.