Projecting failures in the NFL Draft requires questioning talented players who could as easily become stars as disappoint. If you call a possible third or fourth round failure, then you are wasting everyone’s time. The “busts” that fans remember are first-round picks and sometimes second-round picks, especially players who fail after being selected in the top 20.
The 2021 NFL Draft features many tantalizing prospects who have red flags for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s experience, size, level of competition, or injury history, there are several factors that make certain players stand out as particularly risky.
With that in mind, Sporting News takes a closer look at some of the biggest boom or bust prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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2021 NFL Draft Bust Candidates
Every first round QB
We’d like to single out a particular quarterback, but given how high the top five callers are expected to be in the draft, they all have red flags. Trevor lawrence he’s been the first overall pick projected in 2021 since he stepped onto the Clemson campus, but recent reports of his passion for the game are (very) minor concerns. People are probably giving too much importance to this story because everything is analyzed too much before the drafts, but it is still worth mentioning, as Lawrence is expected to be the first overall.
The rest of the best quarterbacks have other concerns. Zach Wilson he’s a bit small and has only had a good year playing in a non-Power 5 conference. Few thought Mac Jones He would go in the top 15 until about a month ago due to his limited athletic ability. Justin fields he has been haunted by commitment and leadership issues in addition to dealing with epilepsy. Y Trey lance He is not legally allowed to drink yet and started only 17 games in his career, all against FCS competition.
Based simply on experience and level of competition, many would rate Lance as the riskiest, but his overall skill set is as good as anyone in this draft. Wilson doesn’t seem to be getting much scrutiny at the moment, having been the de facto second pick for a while, but he will face more problems once the season begins, especially playing in New York. Jones will also hear more whispers of “bankruptcy” if he becomes No. 3, as many expect. The same goes for Fields. Worse, these players will be compared to each other, so even if the third draft QB is decent, it could be considered a flop if the fifth draft QB is significantly better.
Ultimately, quarterbacks will always be under more pressure, and if their new teams don’t help them with the right offensive lines or weapons in the receiving game, they could all disappoint, especially if they’re selected in the top 15, like these five players represent. be be.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
While many focus on the light frame of his teammate DeVonta Smith (6-0, 170 pounds), Waddle isn’t much bigger (almost 5-11, 180 pounds). Waddle also failed to match Smith’s overall production. He had great yards last year before his ankle injury, but he hadn’t been a consistent TD producer in his career. We’ve seen many big-play sprinters struggle with consistency at the NFL level, and with Waddle coming off a serious ankle injury, he’s even more at risk for a slow start and future health issues. Waddle is extremely talented and could easily stand out with the right quarterback on the right offense, but considering he’s expected to be a top 10 pick and possibly outperform his Heisman Trophy-winning teammate, he also has the potential to fail. .
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
It’s hard to be confident when you select a player who has already retired once, right? That will be the case whoever chooses Phillips, who has battled ankle, wrist and head injuries during his short college career. After staying out of 2019, Phillips transferred to Miami and posted stellar numbers (eight sacks, 15.5 tackles to lose), so once again we see an obvious advantage … if he can stay healthy.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Toney is a bit small (just under 6-0, 193 pounds), and he really didn’t produce much in his first three years in Florida. He erupted last year as a general threat – catching passes, lining up in the backfield and returning kicks – but he’s the type of player who needs the right fit to really pay off. We’ve seen these versatile “athletes” fight mightily in the past, so it’s all about landing in the right situation for Toney.
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore is similar to Toney, though he’s even riskier given his smaller frame (5-7,180 pounds) and extensive injury history (hamstring, ankle, knee). He is an explosive athlete with many advantages, so his potential for failure really comes down to where he was selected. If you go earlier than expected, expect some scrutiny; if it falls to the third or fourth round, it will be considered a high bullish pick. Also, like Toney, landing in the right situation will be key.
Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Oweh wowed in his workouts, setting weird measurable values that always make scouts drool. However, he didn’t start playing football until 2016, and he wasn’t particularly productive in college last year, recording zero sacks in seven games. Obviously, Oweh has plenty of room to grow, but if a team falls in love with potential and overdraws it, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him disappointed.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley was a stud producer in his two years at V-Tech, but with a torn ACL and two back surgeries under his belt, there are obvious red flags. His talent is such that someone will take a chance on him early in the first round, but his health will be a constant concern.
Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
Dickerson had a decorated college career, but after tearing both cruciate ligaments and dealing with multiple ankle injuries, it will be difficult for any team to trust him. Dickerson has first-round talent if he can stay healthy, but even as a second-round pick, he’ll be risky.
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Bolton was a consistent producer for Mizzou, recording at least 95 tackles and eight sacks in each of the past two seasons. His speed from the edge is adequate for modern NFL defenses, but at just over 5-11,237 pounds, Bolton could also struggle due to his size, making him a worrisome pick even in the second round. .
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.