Don't believe the hype
Ten draft prospects who won't live up to expectations
Posted: Friday April 21, 2006 11:40AM;
Updated: Friday April 21, 2006 2:19PM
Just over a week until the big event and speculation is flying. As is the case every April, many players enter the final phase of the scouting process with grades they don't deserve. They also carry with them expectations they may never meet in the NFL. Here are just a few.
1. Brodie Croyle, QB, Alabama: A solid short-yardage passer who's done a great job on the college level when healthy, Croyle has marginal size, arm strength and durability for the next level. Many predict he will be selected during the second round, but the better bet is he'll be a lifelong backup.
2. Dominique Byrd, TE, USC: Several people consider Byrd one of the top five tight ends in the draft, but nothing could be further from the truth. A pass-catching specialist with pedestrian speed, Byrd lacks a physical nature to his game and is likely nothing more than a part-time player in the NFL.
3. Johnathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina: Considered by some as the top true cornerback in this draft, Joseph possesses outstanding size and speed. But while many are enamored with his athletic skills, they dismiss his marginal instincts and the coverage assignments he has a penchant for blowing, never mind the fact that he played major college football for only one full season.
4. Greg Lee, WR, Pittsburgh: After a brilliant sophomore season, Lee was pegged by many observers as the next great receiver to come out of the Panthers' program. But he dropped an inordinate number of catchable passes last season as Pittsburgh moved to a conventional running attack. Lee is another former first-round prospect who'll be fighting for backup duty.
5. Jonathan Scott, OT, Texas: He was pegged as a potential first-round choice before his senior season, but things unraveled. Playing below expectations last year, Scott has also shown a lack of motivation in the offseason. Though he possesses the physical skills to start at the next level, his attitude will likely keep him on the bench.
6. Jesse Mahelona, DT, Tennessee: Showing flashes of brilliance on occasion, Mahelona is better known for disappearing for stretches. Factor in character issues and Mahelona could end up struggling to find playing time.
7. Orien Harris, DT, Miami: Harris never lived up to expectations at Miami and is an inconsistent lineman who leaves people thinking he's capable of much more. Making his presence known only on occasion, Harris is not much more than a No. 2 tackle.
8. Elvis Dumervil, DE-OLB, Louisville: After Dumervil had 20 sacks and 23 tackles for loss as a senior, one would expect him to make an impact at the next level. Yet the undersized defensive end offers limited potential as a situational pass rusher.
9. Devin Hester, CB, Miami: An explosive athlete who has shown game-breaking ability as a return specialist and cornerback, Hester is an undeveloped player who relies almost solely on his natural abilities. It will be tough sledding in the NFL, where many players can catch Hester.
10. Darnell Bing, S, USC: Bing rode the wave of the Trojans' success for the past three seasons. An intimidating hitter in the middle of the field, Bing is a small area defender with marginal technique and ball skills.