Welcome to the fourth and final installment of 2014 draft steals and busts. This time I’ll be covering five defensive players who I think might not provide value based on where they will be drafted. This does not mean that any of these guys will be terrible players, I just think that teams are going to reach for them and regret it. Let’s get right into it, starting on the defensive line.
Dee Ford DE Auburn- Ford looks like a solid pass rusher, which is always in demand in today’s NFL, but he offers little else as he is smaller in stature. He will probably have to switch to LB when he gets to the NFL and he has little experience in coverage. I think that Ford can work as an NFL defender, but the team that drafts him had better plan to use him in a rotation. I see Ford as a third down option, he’ll get some sacks but don’t rely on him versus a stout run game.
Ra-shede Hageman DT Minnesota - Posessing an ideal size and strength combination, Hageman will be on everyone’s radar going into the draft. I hesitated to include him in this category, but I just don’t see the football acumen that I would like in a first round pick. I think that some teams will fall in love with his physical gifts and be willing to overlook the fact that he sometimes seems slow in both recognition and pursuit.
Telvin Smith OLB Florida St.- My worry here is that Smith is going to get pushed around when he is not physically superior to his competition. He has great speed and quickness, but so does everyone else in the NFL. Weighing in under 220 lbs, Smith does not have even average strength for the pro level. He is going to get swallowed up by blockers on most plays.
Marcus Roberson- Roberson posesses a few good skills, but he is not
great at anything. He is not very fast, his tecnique has some holes and he is not a prolific tackler. Every team could use another corner in the pass-happy NFL, but Roberson is going to come at a high price for what will end up being an average player. He also comes with some injury risk, nevertheless he is rumored to be valued as a second round pick.
Calvin Pryor FS Louisville- Pryor is tough against the run and could be a nice safety, but he plays out of control. There was a time when this would have been a positive attribute, but with the current focus on safety he could attract penalty flags in bunches. He is not great in coverage, though he has elite instints. I love Pryor as a player, but an early round pick is too much for the risk he presents. A lot of offensive drives will be prolonged by penalties when he is on the field.
General Managers beware, if you are drafting one of these players you probably overpaid. If you missed any of the other NFL Draft steals or busts, feel free to check them out now and let me know if I’m right on or way off.