NBA Draft 2012: 4 College Studs Who Will Drop out of 1st Round

Daniel Mano HerberholzCorrespondent IMay 2, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates after a basket against the St. Louis Billikens in the first half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

College standout status won't be enough for some players to be a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Draymond Green, Drew Gordon, Herb Pope and Kyle O'Quinn will, for various reasons, drop down to the second round.

A later-round selection still puts them on an NBA team with the chance to show their worth, as players like Manu Ginobili, World B. Free and many more have done, but these four  will not enter the NBA as the stars they were in the NCAA ranks. 


Draymond Green of Michigan State

Despite two years of dominance in the Big 10, Michigan State's Draymond Green won't get taken in the first round.

Teams will shy away from Green because his 6'7" stature makes him a "tweener." He's not quite a power forward, but it may be hard to see him as a small forward because of his inside presence. 

Green does know how to share the ball, and he can stroke the long ball. He also can compete under pressure, becoming the first player since Magic Johnson to have two March Madness triple-doubles.

Those traits will help him at the next level, but his physical tools will be a setback in the NBA draft.


Drew Gordon of New Mexico

Though he has the body to play in the NBA, Drew Gordon still has to develop his skills. Because he'll be seen as a project, Gordon's stock won't rise up to the first round.

Standing at 6'9", Gordon would be a long small forward—if he could improve his agility and defense.

He did get better at grabbing rebounds and completing free throws after transferring from UCLA two years ago. But Gordon needs some work to become a decent role player in the NBA, making him a second-round pick in the draft.


Herb Pope of Seton Hall 

The ups and downs of Herb Pope's career will continue as he falls to the second round of the NBA draft.

Pope also had trouble early in his college career after being shot four times in his tough hometown of Aliquippa, Penn. and then being forced to sit the early part of his freshman year at New Mexico State. 

But Pope revived his career once he transferred to Seton Hall, where he averaged a double-double as a sophomore. Pope then declared for the NBA draft, but a heart condition kept him in the college ranks. After a junior-year slump, he went back to double-double numbers as a senior.

His perseverance will help him work his way up at the next level after being taken in the second round.


Kyle O'Quinn of Norfolk State

Little known until Norfolk State upended Missouri in the Big Dance, Kyle O'Quinn will drop to the second round because of his low notoriety.

He played against lesser competition in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and still needs to polish his game to play well in the NBA.

The fact that O'Quinn, who was a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, can defend helps his stock, but his abilities have gone mostly unnoticed until recently, which means he probably won't go until the second round.