Every year in the NFL draft there are players who get overrated because of their production at the college level. Performance is great, but you have to look at physical tools to judge whether a player is going to succeed in the pros.
One big problem that teams face with this year's class is the lack of depth. There are a strong number of high-level players to be had early, but once you get past the first half of the board things get much more cloudy.
The Scouting Combine in February is going to be crucial to separate the wheat from the chaff. For now, though, here are the most overrated prospects who will slide on Draft Day.
Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei
Right now Lotulelei is one of the handful of players in this class vying for the No. 1 overall pick. However, it would not be hard to see a scenario where teams start to pass on him when the draft rolls around.
First, in this ever-changing world of the NFL, defensive tackles have to be able to rush the passer and stop the run. No one doubts that Lotulelei can do the latter. In fact, it is what has carried him this far in college.
The problem is in rushing the passer. Lotulelei has poor technique in going after the quarterback, relying on his height more than strength and natural power. It is not a crippling problem, but one he has shown no signs of being able to fix.
If you are going to be a potential Top-10 pick as a defensive tackle, you need to show that you at least have the skills to be a dominant all-around player at that position. I'm not seeing it from Lotulelei right now.
Projected pick: Mid-First Round
Quarterback Matt Barkley
Predicting quarterbacks to slide in the draft is asking for trouble, because this is such a quarterback-happy league that teams are always going to reach for the position.
Barkley's slide has already started, as he entered the year as the top player available and will be lucky to land in the first half of the first round. As more teams get a look at what he can and can't do, expect that stock to just keep on dropping.
The biggest question mark facing Barkley right now is health and durability. He had to miss the last two games of this season and four in his career. On top of that, he had wrist surgery in 2010 that was described as minor but is still worth talking about.
Then there are Barkley's physical attributes. He has decent size and strength for a quarterback, but he has never been the most accurate passer. He tends to lead receivers too far on deep throws.
His arm is not great. Throwing the ball deep is never going to be a strength, which makes his accuracy on short and intermediate throws that much more critical.
A weak arm can push a quarterback down a lot of draft boards, so don't be shocked to see Barkley under an intense microscope during his workouts.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen
In a weak year for wide receivers, Allen might be one of the most attractive options available. He has the right size and frame for the position, standing at 6'3" and 210 pounds (via CalBears.com).
Being a wide receiver in the NFL is about more than just being physical enough to handle the position. You also have to be able to separate from defenders in order to create big plays.
For all of Allen's physical attributes, he is not a burner at the position. He looks more like a potential No. 3/slot receiver at the next level. He has great hands and a knack for finding the ball wherever it is thrown, which will serve him well.
His workout and 40-yard time is going to determine his draft stock. Right now it appears high because he looks the part on tape. In a live setting all of that can and will change.
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