15 NFL Rookies Who Could End Up Being Busts
15 Rookies Who Will Bust In 2013
The word itself is painful in terms of sports. Bust can mean many things beyond this. A bust can be a sculpture, similar to the ones at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It could be "busting" a move on the dance floor. It could mean your chest. It could mean you got caught, or "being busted" as it is usually called. Sometimes the very good teams claim the season is Super Bowl or bust. When you bust in blackjack, then you aren't having a good night. The police are always looking for the big drug bust coming from another country. It could mean to make fun of someone playfully, or busting on them. Then there are busts when it comes to a big name player not working out.
That is what will be talked about here, the 2013 NFL draft busts. It seems almost impossible to tell if a guy is going to be brilliant or a bust. If it was then players like JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf would not be synonymous with the word itself. When you think NFL bust, you think of those two first. There are plenty of busts in every single draft. It is what is so frustrating about being an NFL fan. You have these expectations for a certain player, and when he does not live up to them, you start to feel let down.
There are 97 players drafted in the first three rounds of the draft. The law of averages dictate that it is impossible for all of them to work out. Whether it was a team who was drafting for need over talent, a player who is expected to do too much right out of the gate, or a guy who just didn't end up as advertised, busts are just something every NFL team has to deal with. These fifteen guys seem like they have a chance to go that route unfortunately.
Cordarrelle Patterson: WR Minnesota Vikings
Corderrelle Patterson played very well in the Minnesota Vikings' first preseason game. Since then he seems to have decreased in production. I understand that these games don't count, but it is our first NFL look of the No. 29 overall pick. His yards have gone from 54 to 19 to 11 to 0 between the four games. He looks like he needs a ton of work with running routes correctly. He needs to develop, but it is going to be hard when they have Greg Jennings, who from the outside doesn't look like the best role model, and Christian Ponder, who needs some work getting the ball to his receivers. Patterson has a long way to go, but Vikings fans aren't trying to wait for a first round pick.
Josh Boyce: WR New England Patriots
Josh Boyce seems to be the odd man out in the New England Patriots rookie receivers. Kenbrell Thompkins has come out of nowhere as an undrafted free agent to steal a starting position opposite of Danny Amendola. Aaron Dobson seems like he has locked down the fourth wide receiver being the team's second round pick. Beyond the last game against the Giants, Boyce has failed to impress this preseason. There just seems to be a lack of room for Boyce on this team. He doesn't even have a place as a return man with the addition of Leon Washington. The biggest impact he could have on the Patriots is helping Tim Tebow make the team by catching all the passes he threw close to him.
Keenan Allen: WR San Diego Chargers
Keenan Allen needs to have a Pro Bowl season to live up to his own expectations. That will be hard to do with a bum knee. It seems knees and the San Diego Chargers receivers have been a sore subject. Danario Alexander tore his ACL earlier in the preseason and Malcolm Floyd has had knee issues of his own. With the signings of Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal looking like total busts, they are going to ask a lot of the rookie wide receiver. He ended up playing in the final game, but not much. It seems like a once promising career will end up being just another career that will be riddled by injury.
Dee Milliner: CB New York Jets
Dee Milliner was brought in because the New York Jets decided to trade Darrell Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Revis is not only the best cornerback, but one of the best defensive players in football. The Jets fans will put a one for one connection on Milliner and will expect him to be Revis. The problem is Milliner is also trying to live up to a pick that warrants superstardom. Beyond that is the fact that he has already had five surgeries before ever playing an NFL down. Is this guy as good as they say, or was he a product of a national championship defense making him look good individually? There are too many question marks for a guy who is expected to do so much in a city and a team that has nothing but microscopes everywhere. He could be great if he was on the Cleveland Browns, but I think the Jets and the injuries will end up being too much.
EJ Manuel: QB Buffalo Bills
EJ Manuel was a pick that everyone criticized when it happened. Now, everyone loves him as a starting quarterback. What happened in that time? He hasn't looked especially good in the preseason. Even more, he injured his knee (Sensing a trend here?) and may miss the first game of the season. I think that Geno Smith and Manuel would have done so much better if they switched places. I think they were smart to skip on Ryan Nassib, as he didn't seem worthy of a third round pick, let alone a first rounder. I think this pick will go down very badly by the end of Manuel's career.
Manti Te'o: LB San Diego Chargers
Manti Te'o is more of an enigma than a football player at this point. Everyone knows about the fake girlfriend fiasco and had their fun with the situation. His inclusion on this list has nothing to do with that situation. It has to do with his lackluster play against premium competition. Against Alabama in the championship game, he looked like a child playing against men. He was pushed around by the bigger linemen of the Crimson Tide. Every NFL team could beat Alabama, so that isn't a good sign for Te'o. He is incredibly smart on the field, but he lacks physical talent to go along with it. Add to that he hasn't seen the field since the first preseason game and you will see that the Chargers will not be happy with how their second round pick works out.
Dion Jordan: DE Miami Dolphins
Dion Jordan looks like a football player who is going to make some serious noise in the NFL. The problem is, looks can be deceiving. The Miami Dolphins moved up in the draft to take Jordan when they could have taken Lane Johnson and replaced the departing Jake Long. So, not only is Jordan a current project, but the Dolphins had a need for a better player on the board. For a guy who's biggest plus is the fact that he can rush the quarterback, you really expect him to gain more than 14.5 sacks over his career. The Dolphins have Cameron Wake to hide the insecurities they may have about Jordan, but the truth will eventually come out.
Darius Slay: CB Detroit Lions
Let's hope that Darius Slay doesn't have to play Tom Brady very often. Even with the Lions whooping the Patriots on the scoreboard, Brady picked on Slay that game and made his weaknesses well known. Slay still earned a starting spot opposite of Chris Houston, but he still has some work to do. The quarterbacks he faces this season will try to focus on him and make him prove them wrong. Hopefully Slay has the smarts to bounce back even better from this, but if he can't this will be a long season, and maybe career, for him.
Montee Ball: RB Denver Broncos
Montee Ball will literally just be a commodity on this season's Denver Broncos team. With Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Eric Decker, you don't need much of a running game. Ball will be thrown into the starting role with an under achieving Ronnie Hillman and a first round bust in Knowshon Moreno. Add into the fact that Ball already has 983 runs on his legs before he takes an NFL snap and it looks like the ceiling on this player is extremely limited. He is a superb athlete and can be good at first, but he doesn't seem like a good long term fit.
Ezekiel Ansah: DE Detroit Lions
Ezekiel Ansah had an awesome play in his first NFL game when he brought back a Mark Sanchez pass for a touchdown. That may in fact be his career highlight. Ansah already had questions swirling around him before he was drafted number five overall. Now, those questions are getting louder. Ansah has two years of football experience, and that usually doesn't translate to NFL success. There are some exceptions like Jason Pierre-Paul and Antonio Gates, but the players who don't work out is a much longer list. He only had 4.5 sacks in college and has a long way to go. Hopefully the bumps in the road at the start of his career don't hurt him in terms of his career.
Christine Michael: RB Seattle Seahawks
Christine Michael has had an insanely good preseason. He is making Seattle Seahawks fans salivate with the thought of him playing lightning to Marshawn Lynch's thunder. This will only add to the greatness that seems to be the 2013 Seahawks. So how did he end up on this list? He just seems like a player that can't be "the guy". He can come in and give you a huge play, but he can't go for days like a running back drafted that high should. This pick will probably cause the most people to be up in arms and I admit this may be the second biggest chance I am taking (you'll see later), I just don't see the same talent in him that I do in the rest of this running back class.
Justin Pugh: OT New York Giants
Justin Pugh got his first start with the Giants playing against the Jets and looked alright. He seemed confused on some plays and looks like he needs some work, but it was alright. The problem is, how long will alright be good enough. It is really hard to describe offensive linemen as busts or not, so this won't be as obvious as others. He is going into an offensive line that has some question marks. He is a large one. Chris Snee has been helping him out, but he talent can only help so much. Expect the pains of learning the NFL game turn into pains for Eli Manning this first season.
Jamie Collins: LB New England Patriots
Jamie Collins comes into a team that certainly did not need a linebacker. They currently have one of the better linebacking crews with starters Donte Hightower, Jerod Mayo, and Brandon Spikes on top of Adrian Wilson for nickel packages. Collins has shown his superior athleticism when he has been given the chance, but with Spikes working to be in the best shape of his life, one of the best in the league in Mayo and first round pick Hightower in front of him, the regular season snaps will be few and far between. Collins is a guy who is used to being on the field for most of the game, and the inconsistency will hurt him in the long run.
John Jenkins: DT New Orleans Saints
John Jenkins looks like he could be a steal for the New Orleans Saints. A team that desperately needs defensive talent, they took Jenkins in the third round. He has had weight troubles, fluctuating between 330 pounds to 375 pounds. You want size on the defensive line, but once you go over 350 you basically lose any chance of having speed. Jenkins is extremely smart, but he is very inexperienced. He is definitely a project that could work out or blow up in Rob Ryan's face. Only time will tell which one we end up seeing.
Tavon Austin: WR St. Louis Rams
This one was the hardest for making a decision. If this list was written a week ago, Tavon Austin wouldn't even see the list, but with this week's report of the Rams going with Chris Givens to be the team's number one, it makes you want to dig deeper. They are making Austin focus more on returns. Why? This guy is picked as the consensus preseason pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Why would you limit him? He was the most electric player in college football last season and looks to be one of the same in the NFL. Jeff Fisher says he hasn't shown how they are using him yet. There just seems to be red flags coming from the organization. Do they know something we don't?