Every year there are players who do not live up to expectations. This can be especially hurtful to a team if it’s an early first round draft pick because of financial obligations those picks call for. Some players are great college football players but do not transition to the professional level because of lack of athleticism, work ethic issues, or poor scheme fit. Tim Tebow, for example, was one of the best college football players of all-time yet couldn’t find a roster spot in the NFL for more than a few seasons. Here are some of the players that I could see not making an impact at the professional level.
Quincy Wilson – Cornerback, Florida
Projected to be a first-round pick at least until he tested poorly at the Scouting Combine. He was a good player at Florida but I don’t think he has the speed to run with wide receivers on the outside. He also seems a little stiff in the hips which NFL receivers and coaches will expose if he’s on the field. He could find his best position at the next level to be safety. He can use his good football instincts without having to turn his hips and move laterally as much.
Patrick Mahomes – Quarterback, Texas Tech
Mahomes has been compared to the great Brett Favre for his backyard style of play and cannon for an arm. There is no doubting his arm strength. His footwork and mechanics are at a high school level. He could succeed under extreme and great coaching, but that would mean he would have to go to the Kansas City Chiefs or Arizona Cardinals in my opinion. He is such a project right now that he couldn’t see the field for at least one season.
Derek Barnett – Defensive End, Tennessee
He was a very successful and decorated defensive end during his three seasons at UT. He had double digit sacks every single season and 13 sacks as a junior. Like I said though not all college players transition well to the pros. He is a rather pedestrian athlete for having such a great college career. He is 260 pounds and ran his 40-yard dash in in 4.88 seconds. He will not be able to use his power against NFL offensive lineman like he did in the SEC. Unless he adds weight to his frame while increasing agility he won’t ever see double-digit sack totals in an NFL season.
The much anticipated NFL draft is upon us. Every year in the weeks leading up to the draft some players start shooting up boards and raising their draft stock. Sometimes these players are physically impressive or they just are under studied by scouts. A lot of the times this will happen with quarterbacks because it is such an important position. This year I certainly see a few players raising their stock and certainly a QB.
Deshaun Watson – QB, Clemson
He certainly has not gone unnoticed leading his team to the past two national championships and winning the past year. Watson is an athletic QB who consistently makes winning plays when it matters most. It should be no surprise if Watson is a top 3 pick. His throwing mechanics need some work so he might not be the starter right away. Watson has all the tools he needs to be a great NFL quarterback.
Solomon Thomas – DL, Stanford
His draft rise really started when he had a phenomenal bowl game against UNC. He was absolutely the best player on the field that day. He also made the most important stop of the game to give his team the ball back when UNC was pushing to tie the game. He has great quickness for a man of his size. He probably is best suited for a defensive end but could slide inside on passing downs.
Chistian McCaffey – RB. Stanford
He has been raising his draft stock that much more since the Combine. He actually made the decision to sit out of the bowl game to avoid injury. He was highly scrutinized by the media for his decision and may have slightly hurt his stock. However, his performance at the Combine showed why he was a Heisman caliber talent. His father played WR for the Broncos, but he might not be available by the time they pick. McCaffrey could get selected at the top half of this year’s draft.
In this blog post, I will try to match up the prospects in the draft to an NFL team that runs a system that best suits the players. Most teams try to figure out what players fit their system based on height weight speed measurables, overall play, and football IQ.
Christan McCaffrey- RB, Stanford
Christan McCaffrey has been one of the most electric offensive weapons in college football the past two seasons. He was a finalist for the Heisman trophy the previous season and many thought he deserved to win it. He is the most elusive and agile running back in this class. He is also a weapon in the return game and can catch passes out of the backfield as a receiver. McCaffrey would be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league if he goes to the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers run a spread offense with McCaffrey as a running back opposing defenses will be in for a long Sunday.
O.J. Howard- TE, Alabama
Howard is one of many very talented tight ends in this draft class. He is a well-rounded tight end that can block and catch passes. Howard also has a knack for making plays at crucial times in big games. Two of his best career games at Alabama came in the championship games in 2017 and 2016. The Cleveland Browns are in need of a playmaking tight end with his skillset. Tight ends are considered a quarterback’s safety net when they are in trouble. The Browns need help at most positions and Howard would be a solid building block on offense.
Marshon Lattimore- CB, Ohio State
Lattimore is considered the best press cornerback in this year’s very deep cornerback class. He has great foot speed that will help him recover against the speedy NFL receivers. He has all of the tools to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league. A good fit for Lattimore would be the New York Jets. They are in need of help in the secondary now that Darrelle Revis is past his prime. Lattimore has the potential to be the next great cornerback like Revis.
Jonathan Allen- DL, Alabama
Allen has the skill and versatility to play anywhere on the defensive line. He is big and strong enough to play defensive tackle. Allen is also fast and elusive enough to get to the quarterback at defensive end. He could fit into any NFL team, but I think he would really excel for the Tennesse Titans. They are known for grooming defensive lineman that have Hall of Fame pedigree.