It's inevitable. We will have players who will either grossly underachieve once in the NFL, and simply don't pan out at all. These players are usually the boom or bust guys.
We get so caught up in a guys measurable-s, that we ignore what we see on the field. We usually hear things like "this player has all the tools... He's big, fast, has a great arm, blah blah blah... but he has to work on his mechanics, decision making, timing and drop-backs, and then he will be great". News flash: if you have to name everything that it takes to be a good player at that position to work on, the he probably won't be that great.
It doesn't seem we will ever learn from past mistakes though. There are players who have all these physical gifts, but they also have the skills required to succeed at there respective positions. Players like Andrew Luck, Adrian Peterson, J.J. Watt, and Julio Jones are guys who showed elite physical abilities and body types, but also had the skills to dominate their positions.
But on the other side of the coin, we have seen players like Jamarcus Russell, Jason Smith, Darius Heyward-Bey, and Tye Hill fall completely flat. Here are the players I think should be approached with caution during the draft...
10. Landon Collins: I can't say I have ever really been on the Landon Collins band wagon. I don't see what the big fuss is about? He doesn't really jump off the screen to me. He's clearly an "in-the-box" safety, and nothing more. Collins is a two down player. Moreover, he's not the hitter that a Mark Barron - another former Alabama safety - was coming out. He has some decent pops from time to time, but he doesn't seem to be feared. Likely drafted rounds 1-2
9. Devin Funchess: Funchess reminds me a bit of Limas Sweed. There's no doubt the physical ability is there, but he plays lazy. He also is being talked about as a wide receiver too much. Funchess is a move-tight end. He does not have the movement skills - nor the speed - for the true wide out role. He has inconsistent hands, and does not attack the ball they way you'd expect someone his size to do. Likely drafted rounds 2-3
8. Trae Waynes: Before I explain why Waynes made this list, let me say there are some things I really like about his game. With that being said, I can't help but see Tye Hill when watching him. I actually made this comparison back in October. But then he went to the combine, and I really started to see the comparisons. Their combine performances are near identical: from their weight, to their 40s, and even their vertical/broad jumps. Hell, even their collegiate stats are near identical. Its kind of freaky. The one thing I will say about Waynes is he is more physical than Hill. But he can also be too physical; relying on grabbing the receiver instead of running with him. This is something he will not get away with in the NFL. Likely drafted rounds top 15
7. Brett Hundley: Hundley has a great head on his shoulders. He admires - and wants to be like -Russell Wilson. These are great things. because it will help him prove me wrong. These things are just reminders of the type of work ethic and dedication he has. His hard work could very well pay off. But, he's not really a guy ready to play anytime soon. If he could sit for two years - no not just one - guaranteed, then I might see more success for him. He lacks consistent accuracy and ball placement, while he also runs too quickly. History has shown how hard it is to break a QB of this habit. He doesn't go through progressions, and doesn't make any sort of real timing throws. This usually means throwing through windows will be a struggle, and usually results in interceptions. Likely drafted rounds 1-2
6. Randy Gregory: Let's start by removing the question of his idiocy off the field. Now, lets look at a few things here. His weight is terrifying. I get the feeling he will be moved by blockers at will at the next level? Reports have even surfaced his weight has been as low as 220, so good look beating Joe Thomas. Greg Robinson? Forget about it. You're just baby food. The entire Cowboys line will take turns shoving your face into the ground. Next, let's look at his hand usage. It's there when he bull rushes - great job - but disappears on the speed rush. And while we are talking about the bull rush, he had some success with it in college against some pretty weak tackles. The better the tackle, the less effective he was against them. He was also eliminated from multiple games this past year, and his motor lacks consistency. Likely drafted rounds 1-2
5. Benardrick McKinney: All the ability is there. He's not just a physical talent. He shows that he has the skills to play. The issue is he only does it sometimes. And when I say sometimes, I mean 3-4 times a game. He literally disappears far too often. Even worse there's zero effort to disengage blocks. He's not a good tackler either. He has to do a better job of wrapping up. He teases you, but then leaves so much to be desired. Maybe the right coach can bring it out of him? Maybe not... But history has shown us, its most likely the latter. Likely drafted rounds 1-3
4. Breshad Perriman: I've read this book far too many times: Freak athlete, with incredible size blazes the forty... The player skyrockets up everyone's draft boards. I'm not buying. All that size and speed, yet I see these head scratching drops? I see a guy that doesn't understand when to sit a route down in a hole. I see a bad route runner. This happens to be the most alarming thing to me. I ask myself: "what have you been doing all these years?" Perriman's dad was a receiver. Usually, when a players dad played the same position, that player has grown up fine tuning key parts of his game. With receivers, its their routes, and for QBs its their mechanics; while with corners its their backpedaling, and so on and so forth. Perriman has the tools, true, but what good is having the tools if you don't know how to use them? Likely drafted rounds 1-2
3. T.J. Clemmings: Clemmings is one of the most raw prospects in this draft. He sometimes will flash a mean streak, but other times it's no where to be found. He doesn't always fire off, and he gets way too high when he does. He's the perfect "he has the tools, but..." guy. There's more work to be done here than there is a finished product. Guys with that much work don't need to be drafted in the first or second round, and they certainly don't need to be thrust into Day 1 starter action. Likely drafted rounds 1-2
2. Arik Armstead: He has the size to play any position on the line from 4-3 to 3-4. That's it, thats the beginning and end of his absolute best qualities. He plays way to high. The taller you are the more you have to remember to get low. He does not always show the strength you would expect. He lacks pass rushing moves and does a poor job of keeping his eyes in the back field when engaged and playing the run play side. He's a guy that you really have to be careful when drafting and think long and hard about how he can contribute and how you can use him. Likely drafted rounds 1-2
1. Bryce Petty: Petty is my biggest risk in this draft. He's the prototype "he's a good athlete with a great arm, but has the needs to work on" laundry list of details to his game. Petty's accuracy, decision making, football IQ, mechanics, and longevity are all things I do not - and will not - trust. This time of year, there's two things on TV that I love to watch: One is "Gruden's QB Camp" and the other is "Game Changers". I also enjoy other all access shows of the players. There's so much that you can learn about players from these shows. I think Jon Gruden and Steve Mariucci do a great job giving these guys a taste of what the NFL is at the next level. (i.e.: verbiage, practices and what expectations will be.)
When watching Petty, he comes off very immature, and not serious enough when its time to get serious. He also struggled mightily to pick up the plays he was given; more than any other QB. Not only that, but he was terribly confused by what to call based on coverage. The most glaring thing was his accuracy. I saw him overthrow a guy in the flat with Coach Gruden. With Coach Mooch, he was asked to throw the ball in the net from about 15 and missed repeatedly before getting one to go, and was the last of the QBs to do so. On an all access with Jameis Winston, Petty was trying to throw a football into the basketball hoop from about 30 yards. He couldn't do it, but Jameis came over and did it in one take. All of these small things - that stuck out like sore thumbs - verified what I believed all along: his accuracy, leadership, and football IQ are all marginal at best. I'm staying away. It's a shame really, because the truth is, Petty might be the most physically gifted QB in the entire draft. Likely drafted rounds 1-2
And that's my boom or bust, proceed with caution, watch your back list. All of these guys are no doubt talented, but there's so much more to this game than just your physical ability. In fact, today's NFL is more mental than physical.
So let's play GM again. If you were a GM, what two guys would you avoid during the draft? Vote and tell us why below.