A.K.A. Prospects who dropped like a lead weight.
Anybody remember last year's draft? Remember how some top prospects seemed to just vanish? Remember James Brown, the OT from Troy? Opened some eyes at the senior bowl but became a UDFA. Who else became a UDFA? How about Levy Adcock? Another tackle, this time from Oklahoma State. I know a lot of people had him as a mid-rounder, possibly in the 3rd. Want a refresher on that?
Some players have medical concerns, off-field concerns, and scathing reports from scouts or even their own college coaches. Lets take a look at the descent of players in this draft
Tony Jefferson, Safety, Oklahoma Sooners.
In a deep safety draft, Jefferson looked like one of the stars. Here's an assessment of his strengths from cbssports.com.
Versatile performer and isn't restricted to a specific position, showing the defensive instincts to line up in the box or drop in coverage in both man and zone looks. Doesn't shy from contact and enjoys blitzing and making plays in the backfield (22 tackles for loss in his three-year career). He has loose hips and a balanced center of gravity to quickly change directions and close in a flash on the play. Reliable tackler who plays with good awareness. Extensive experience with 33 starts for the Sooners. Jefferson isn't considered an elite prospect for the next level, but has top 50 potential because of his natural awareness, defensive motor and football IQ.
Sounds pretty good, right? Now CBS sports has him projected as a fifth round selection. Back as early as January 10th he was mocked to the 35th pick of the Eagles by WalterFootball.com. Now... The fourth round, pick 103, right behind Shamarko Thomas. I would assume that if you were to tell someone a few months ago that Shamarko Thomas was a better safety prospect, people would tell you that you're fucked in the head. So what the hell happened?
Well... Jefferson does have off the field concerns. In January of 2011 he and fellow teammate Kenny Stills (who has also taken quite a draft stock tumble) were arrested for driving under the influence. It also doesn't help that his college coaches have shit on his "practice habits" and "work ethic in the weight room". Of course he denied these accusations and his close friend Kenny Stills (that guy again) came to his defense, but scouts and NFL front offices are going to take the coaches word 9 times out of 10 until proven otherwise.
Then there was the Cotton Bowl vs. Texas A&M where the Sooners were blown out of the water by a Heisman winning QB, but if Teo can suck it up in the biggest game in college football, be apart of a really stupid "scandal", suck at the combine, and still be in consideration for the first round, then why is Jefferson's stock dropping to projections around the fifth round?
Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU
I remember the days when Sam Montgomery and fellow LSU Tiger Barkevious Mingo were both thought of as sure-fire first rounders. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which Mingo slips out of round one. Hell, Mingo might be a top 5 pick. Montgomery on the other hand? No such luck. Citing WalterFootballs latest mock, Montgomery is a late third rounder. If you're already sick of me citing Walter, then how about this, NFL.com's profile on him projects him to be a 2nd to late 3rd round pick as well. Why is Montgomery slipping?
Well admitting to betting on sack numbers with fellow teammates and also admitting to taking plays off against "lesser" opponents doesn't appeal to many scouts. I assume that many college players take plays off if they go against teams that are much worse then them, but those guys don't admit it. He's also a bit of a tweener when it comes to his size. Is he a 4-3 end or a 3-4 outside linebacker? There are still some that consider him a first rounder but that list seems to be shrinking. Oh, and then there's this little thing...
Almost every Quarterback
This one is a bit of a cop-out but it's worth mentioning. Geno Smith seems to be locked in the top ten even though Nolan Nawrocki's recent report on him was... Harsh. The report has been contradicted by Geno's QB coach who seems to have plenty of positives to say about his QB. http://www.sportsgrid.com/nfl/nolan-nawrocki-geno-smith/
Matt Barkley was once thought of as the first overall pick but his last year at USC was rough to say the least. He had a decent pro day but some reports cited that his passes "fluttered" in the wind a bit and arm strength has always been a concern for Barkley and while some will point out that arm strength is overrated and talk about players like Joe Montana, but arm strength is a nice thing to have when you need to zip a ball to a receiver down field before the defensive back can get to it. Fitting the ball into tight windows can be helped by having good arm strength and for every Montana, there are tons of Kellen Moores, Ryan Fitzpatricks, and Matt Leinarts out there.
For the others, EJ Manuel seems to be a riser and a guy that I actually like at the QB position. Mike Glennon was gaining steam earlier in the year but has appeared to have cooled off, along with Zac Dysert and Ryan Nassib. Tyler Bray's maturity concerns remind me of Ryan Mallet and his infamous drop. Landry Jones just sucks and Tyler Wilson had a rough year at Arkansas. If it weren't for the fact that the quarterback position is the most important in football, then all of these guys would be day two and three picks at best, but that's just not the case.
So do you guys see any prospects that have fallen rapidly that I missed? Tell me about them in the comments.