Tony Mandarich, Mike Mamula, Akili Smith, Cade McCown. Four players who looked the part, acted the part and collected millions in the NFL for doing one thing - nothing.
We all know the NFL is a crap shoot when it comes to the NFL Draft and finding the right fir for your franchise. For every Andrew Luck, there are 30 Heath Shulers. There is no rhyme or reason for success of failure, only that it happens often in the league.
These 10 players look the part and are gaining plenty of recognition, but could be busts when it is all said and done.
Blake Bortles, Quarterback, Central Florida
He has a strong arm and a nice delivery. Can throw the deep ball with authority. But, in many eyes (like mine) he is a won-year wonder. Part of me wishes he stayed in school for his senior year to prove he could do this one more season.
Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh
He is only 6-foot tall, but at 285 pounds he can move like a cat on the line. The ACC Defensive Player of the Year has some game in him, but teams had better hope he can play on the inside and outside and be the next Elvis Dumerville or he has not place in the NFL.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback, Eastern Illinois
The last quarterback from Eastern Illinois to play in the NFL was Tony Romo. We all know what kind of career Romo has had. Garoppolo is bigger and stronger and looks to be the NFL part. While he has been impressive so far in post season all star games, can he translate to an NFL starter in his rookie season?
Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M
I think there are many schools of thinking on Manziel in the professional game. If he can play at full speed and make the game come to him, he will be very successful. But this is the NFL where everything is bigger, stronger and faster and I just do not see that happening for a player his size and with defenses ready to pounce on him.
Louchiez Purifoy, Defensive Back, Florida
When the college season started, he was thought to be a first round draft pick. Now, he may fall to the second or third round. The jury is all over the board on him. Purifoy is a big time hitter, but will he play man coverage in the pros and be successful?
Michael Sam, Outside Linebacker, Missouri
In college, he played standing up on the line. Because of his size, he plays in a 4-3 standing up as an outside linebacker. I loved the dominance Sam had in the SEC against teams like South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Playing in the NFL is a whole other story. I hope he is not the second coming of John Bosa or Eric Kumerow.
De’Anthony Thomas, Running Back, Oregon
He was the featured back in the Oregon offense before he got injured. Thomas has the skills to be an elite back for an NFL team. I worry when a running back is injured, but more than that, I wonder if he has the physical stamina to be a top-flight player in the NFL.
Stephon Tuitt, Defensive End, Notre Dame
He is 6’6” and 318 pounds and moves with agility against smaller opponents. What happens when he faces offensive linemen who are just as big as he is. Tuitt - who comes out early for the draft - could be manhandled at the line of scrimmage. Does he have the leverage to move a larger pile backward.
Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
Here is the thing about Watkins. He was a tremendous talent at Clemson and has speed to burn. But I do not see teams falling head over heels to draft him. He could be a pick of the Rams at No. 2 or he could slide as far as nine to Buffalo. There is a good player without a true team to call his own.
James Wilder, Jr., Running Back, Florida State
He has a good pedigree, can run through a wall and should have stayed in school to assure he would be a first round pick. Wilder, like his father, James Sr., is as accomplished as they come. He has nice size but never had to carry the load in college. Can he do it in the pro game?