2016 NFL Draft: Bust Alert!
Let me first give my definition of a bust to minimize confusion. My definition of a bust is anyone who doesn’t live up to their potential or the expectations surrounding them. This doesn’t mean the player will be out of the league in two years, but it means they won’t reach their projected ceilings. Below are my list of players who I think have a chance to bust.
Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Stanley is on this list because I’m not sure if he will ever be a bluechip left tackle like people are suggesting. He has very good technique and quickness, but has a hard time against powerful edge rushers. His lack of core and upper body strength is a concern at the next level because he won’t be able to rely on his technique. I think Stanley will be a good right tackle, but I’m not sure if he’ll ever get to the point where he’s the left tackle protecting the blind side of a high-end quarterback.
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Treadwell at 6'2” 220 lbs has the desired size to play in the NFL. He showed playmaking ability at Ole Miss and goes and gets the ball at its high point. Treadwell was used a lot in underneath routes in college and knows where to find holes in the zone. However, his 4.6 sec 40 time is a little slow for someone who isn’t physical. There are concerns that Treadwell won’t be able to separate using speed or physicality at the next level. I think he will be a solid number two or three option but he’s not a premiere wide out. He’ll probably be a first-round pick, but I think he’s the third best receiver in this draft behind Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are the clear-cut best quarterbacks in this draft, which puts Lynch in an interesting spot. Some team who needs a quarterback is going to take him high in the first round. The 6’7” QB is strangely athletic for his size and has the ability to get outside the pocket when it collapses on him. He’s a good decision maker and doesn’t allow himself to get baited into throws. However, Lynch’s lack of accuracy concerns me especially when going from a non traditional school who didn’t see a lot of elite defensive talent. Lynch also is slow when going through his progressions and has an underwhelming arm in terms of arm strength. I don’t think Lynch is ready to play immediately and if a team needing a quarterback takes him and puts him as a day one starter, the QB out of Memphis has bust written all over him.
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Once considered a top five talent, Nkemdiche is an explosive athlete with an exceptional build made for the NFL. Has a lot of power in his lower body and is a good wrap up tackler, preventing extra yard chances. He also has good lateral quickness and moves like a defensive end at his position. Showed a knack to find gaps and improved his ability to rush the passer. Nkemdiche slid down draft boards due to his lack of production at Ole Miss (6.5 sacks and no forced fumbles). This is coupled with concerns over character and work ethic. Watching tape of him clearly shows a lack of motor and a knack to take plays off. He was suspended for the Sugar Bowl due to an arrest involving marijuana possession. Even though Nkemdiche is extremely talented, a lack of high motor is concerning for me and could cause him to be a situational player instead of a premiere starter.
Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
This is the ultimate boom or bust selection in my opinion. It’s no secret that Floyd is a freak athlete. Standing at 6’6” he ran a 4.6 sec 40 yard dash and posted a 39.5 inch vertical. He jumps off the tape with explosive pass rushing and chase down tackles. He is elusive and is able to avoid blockers. Floyd also possesses man coverage skills and continually shows improvement. However, he is rail thin at 245 lbs which produces marginal play strength. He will struggle against NFL strength and has little pop in his pads. Ultimately, even tho Floyd is freakishly athletic with good coverage skills, his lack of weight and tackling ability might reduce him to a situational pass rusher on third downs.
Brad Wakai is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.