2014 NFL Draft: 1st-Round Prospects Destined to Bust in NFL
Every year, the NFL draft rolls around, and every year there are a slew of prospects who are considered to be "can't-miss." Without fail, a few of those prospects do just that.
Whether it is due to injury or just plain ineffectiveness, first-round or even top-10 picks can find themselves out of the league after only a couple seasons in the NFL. This year will be no different. Some players will be drafted early yet disappear as quickly as they arrived.
These five players are considered first-round-caliber prospects currently, and for various reasons, I think they are highly likely to be a bust in the league.
All stats are from ESPN, and any mentions of game footage are from my own viewing.
5. Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
This is a tough one for me to add, since I believe Adrian Hubbard's floor in the NFL is high enough that he will not be a bust unless a team selects him early in the first round.
Hubbard has the athleticism and size at 6'6" to be a factor in the NFL. However, my first concern is with a lack of production. He has no sacks this year after getting seven last year, and while stats are not an automatic indication of greatness, Hubbard's lack of an impact this year has not gone unnoticed.
My main issue is that there's no area where he is dominant. To succeed as a first-round pick, there has to be something great about the player. While Hubbard can play well and be a solid player, he is not someone who can be built around as one of the main pieces of a defense.
4. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Hundley's place on this list is dependent on two factors. This is presuming he does declare after this season, and it's presuming that he is still considered a first-round prospect after UCLA's back-to-back losses.
Of the three sophomore quarterbacks who could declare for the draft (Hundley, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel), Hundley's skill set is the least refined of the three. He has plenty of growing left to do at the position.
Against Stanford and Oregon, Hundley threw four total interceptions. He only had 64 passing yards against Oregon. He has been dominant against lesser teams, but until he shows he can have a great, or even good, game against a tough college opponent, he won't be ready for the pros.
He could certainly be a first-round pick in 2015 or 2016, but right now he still has to refine his game.
3. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan seem to have had the top two offensive tackle spots locked up all season long for the upcoming draft.
I have no issues with Matthews as a top-five selection, but Lewan is another story.
Lewan is a team leader for Michigan and has all the attributes you would want in a top offensive lineman. However, when watching him on film and in games as they happen this past season, he has not been particularly impressive.
Against Notre Dame, arguably the toughest defensive line he will face this year, he struggled at times, and the offense seemed to run on the right side more often as a result. He has little trouble moving and blocking for the run, but defending against the pass rush has been his undoing.
The players he defends against in the NFL will be quicker, and he will need to fine-tune his game if he wants to succeed in the NFL.
2. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Bradley Roby has been the top cornerback in the draft for most of this past season and will probably be a first-round pick.
How he is still in that discussion with the year he has had, however, is beyond me.
More often than not, Roby has been beaten in coverage. While his tackling is still solid, he has not been good in keeping up with his receiver. Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis in particular feasted on him this year.
Having great speed and good raw ability does not mean anything if you cannot make it to your receiver. In college it can be worked around, but in the NFL, that's six points nearly every time. He is not a No. 1 corner right now, and returning for his senior season might do him some good.
1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Everyone has an opinion on Johnny Manziel at this point. He could be a star in the NFL, or he could be a bust. For most that evaluate him, there's no real in-between.
I do not see his skill set translating to the NFL, however.
He has spent his career behind one of the best offensive lines in college football, and if he's drafted to a rebuilding team, his athleticism may not be able to be put to use.
His attitude has been called into question as well, and he is undersized for the quarterback position, which may be an issue in the NFL.
The most troublesome issue for him, unfortunately, is one that he cannot fully control.
Wherever he ends up, there is going to be a media frenzy and a buzz surrounding the team. Tebowmania hurt Tim Tebow's career prospects in the long run, and Manziel could face that same issue. Manziel is a prospect who's unlike the typical prospect that teams draft in that regard, and that's a transition that both Manziel and the team may be unable to make.