NFL Draft 2016: 4 Potential High Picks That Could End Up As Busts

Everyone is high on these guys. Don't be shocked if they fail to meet expectations.

We do it every year. We label guys in the NFL Draft as "can't miss" and "sure thing" — and that's rarely the case. Be that as it may, it doesn't stop us from going through the exercise of elevating successful college players to future Hall of Famers as the draft approaches every spring.

 

I've singled out four players who will likely be drafted fairly early in the 2016 NFL Draft. Scouts, talking heads and fans love these guys, but the pessimist in me sees chinks in their armor that could result in them being average at best, as opposed to the elite players many project them to be. I'm officially placing these four players on "bust watch."

 

NFL Draft 2016 Bust Watch

 

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

I want Wentz to succeed. He's humble and down to earth. He's a proven winner with a big arm and rare athleticism for someone his size. He's probably worked harder than most to get here. But at the end of the day, the kid is likely going to end up leading L.A.'s NFL franchise or inserted into a hot mess in Cleveland. On the field, the Rams have the better situation. Off the field, L.A. is a long ways from North Dakota. And these are NFL cornerbacks he's firing passes at, not FCS kids. If he goes to Cleveland, he'd fit in with the locals, but he'll get caught up in that meat grinder that is The Factory of Sadness. If he goes No. 1 or No. 2 to the Rams or Browns, there's a good chance he ends up being a bust.

 

Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

The kid has the size and the tools — according to pretty much everyone — to be a force in the NFL from day one. Some have called him the top player available. I find that interesting. Most mocks have about 12 quarterbacks getting drafted in 2016. Ramsey played against one of them (N.C. State's Jacoby Brissett) last season. He did face Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson of Clemson, who threw for nearly 300 yards on the Seminole secondary. Additionally, there is a real good chance he didn't face a single receiver in 2015 who will be drafted in a few weeks. He'll have a little more competition on Sundays, but at least he'll look good getting off the bus.

 

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

Speaking of looking good getting off the bus, few look better than Buckner. At 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, he's a monster. He's the kind of guy you'd think would pile up crazy sacks in the pass-happy Pac-12. The problem, however, was that he didn't. He managed 10.5 sacks in 13 games, forced zero fumbles and despite his height, got his hands on five passes the entire season. If your team drafts him and you think they just improved their pass rush, think again. He'll have his hands full trying to gain leverage against NFL offensive tackles.

 

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

Henry is expected to go early in the second round of most mocks as the second running back off the board. He was a force in college, as he was essentially a defensive end who could carry the ball. Running behind one of the better lines in the country, he used his long strides to sprint through gaping holes all season en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. In the NFL, he won't see many holes like the ones he saw at Alabama. Additionally, his size won't be much of an intimidation factor on Sundays. It, combined with his upright running style, will simply make him a bigger target for opposing defenders.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the owner of KnowItAllFootball.com and host of "Raising the Bar" on RadiOmaha.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

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