Projecting busts in the NFL Draft requires casting doubt on gifted gamers who might simply as simply flip into stars as they might disappoint. If you name a possible third- or fourth-rounder a bust, you then’re simply losing everybody’s time. The “busts” followers keep in mind are first- and generally second-round picks, particularly the gamers who flop after getting chosen in the prime 20.
The 2021 NFL Draft options loads of tantalizing prospects who’ve crimson flags for quite a lot of causes. Whether it is expertise, dimension, stage of competitors, or damage historical past, there are a number of components that trigger sure gamers to face out as notably dangerous.
With that in thoughts, Sporting News takes a better take a look at a few of the largest boom-or-bust prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2021 NFL Draft bust candidates
Every first-round QB
We’d like to spotlight one QB in specific, however given how excessive the top-five signal-callers are anticipated to be drafted, all of them have crimson flags. Trevor Lawrence has been the projected first-overall decide in 2021 since he stepped foot on the Clemson campus, however recent reports about his passion for the game are (very) minor issues. It’s doubtless individuals are making an excessive amount of of this story as a result of every part is overly scrutinized main as much as drafts, but it surely’s nonetheless price mentioning since Lawrence is predicted to go first total.
The remainder of the prime QBs produce other worries. Zach Wilson is a bit undersized and has solely had one good 12 months taking part in in a non-Power 5 convention. Few thought Mac Jones would go in the prime 15 till a few month in the past due to his restricted athleticism. Justin Fields has been dogged by dedication and management points in addition to coping with epilepsy. And Trey Lance is not allowed to legally drink but and began simply 17 profession video games, all in opposition to FCS competitors.
Based merely on expertise and competitors stage, many would tab Lance as the riskiest, however his total talent set is pretty much as good as anybody in this draft. Wilson would not appear to be getting a lot scrutiny proper now, as he is been the de facto No. 2 decide for some time now, however he’ll face extra warmth as soon as the season begins, particularly taking part in in New York. Jones may also hear extra “bust” whispers if he goes No. 3 like many count on. Ditto for Fields. Even worse, these gamers can be in contrast to one another, so even when the third-drafted QB is first rate, he might be thought-about a bust if the fifth-drafted QB is considerably higher.
Ultimately, quarterbacks will all the time be beneath extra stress, and if their new groups do not assist them with satisfactory offensive strains or weapons in the receiving recreation, all might disappoint, particularly in the event that they’re drafted in the prime 15 like these 5 gamers determine to be.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
While many are centered on teammate DeVonta Smith’s slight body (6-0, 170 kilos), Waddle is not a lot greater (virtually 5-11, 180 kilos). Waddle additionally by no means matched Smith’s total manufacturing. He was posting huge yards final 12 months earlier than his ankle damage, however he hadn’t been a constant TD producer in his profession. We’ve seen loads of big-play speedsters wrestle with consistency at the NFL stage, and with Waddle coming off a severe ankle damage, he is much more in danger for a sluggish begin and future well being points. Waddle has loads of expertise and might simply excel with the proper QB in the proper offense, however contemplating he is anticipated to be a top-10 decide and presumably go forward of his Heisman Trophy-winning teammate, he additionally has bust potential.
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
It’s powerful to be assured if you draft a participant that is already retired as soon as, proper? That can be the case for whoever selects Phillips, who’s battled ankle, wrist, and head accidents throughout his brief faculty profession. After sitting out 2019, Phillips transferred to Miami and put up stellar numbers (eight sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss), so as soon as once more we see apparent upside…if he can keep wholesome.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Toney is a bit undersized (just below 6-0, 193 kilos), and he did not actually produce a lot in his first three years at Florida. He broke out final 12 months as an all-around risk — catching passes, lining up in the backfield, and returning kicks — however he is the kind of participant who wants the proper match to essentially repay. We’ve seen these versatile “athletes” wrestle mightily in the previous, so it is all about touchdown in the proper state of affairs for Toney.
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore is just like Toney, although he is even riskier given his smaller body (5-7, 180 kilos) and intensive damage historical past (hamstring, ankle, knee). He’s an explosive athlete with numerous upside, so his bust potential actually comes right down to the place he is drafted. If he goes sooner than anticipated, then count on some scrutiny; if he falls to the third or fourth spherical, he’ll be thought-about a high-upside worth decide. Also, like Toney, touchdown in the proper state of affairs can be key.
Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Oweh wowed in his exercises, placing up freak measurables that all the time get scouts drooling. However, he did not begin taking part in soccer till 2016, and he wasn’t notably productive in faculty final 12 months, registering zero sacks in seven video games. Obviously, Oweh has loads of room for development, but when a workforce falls in love with potential and overdrafts him, it would not be shocking to see him disappoint.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley was a stud producer in his two years at V-Tech, however with a torn ACL and two again surgical procedures beneath his belt, there are apparent crimson flags. His expertise is such that somebody will take an opportunity on him early in the first spherical, however his well being can be a relentless fear.
Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
Dickerson had a adorned faculty profession, however after tearing each ACLs and coping with a number of ankle accidents, it will likely be powerful for any workforce to belief him. Dickerson has first-round expertise if he can keep wholesome, however whilst a second-round decide, he’ll be dangerous.
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Bolton was a gentle producer for Mizzou, posting no less than 95 tackles and eight sacks in every of the previous two seasons. His velocity off the edge is effectively suited to trendy NFL defenses, however at simply over 5-11, 237 kilos, Bolton may additionally have points due to his dimension, making him a worrisome decide even in the second spherical.