In the recent weeks there have been a lot of questions about which players to avoid in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Every draft has some players who are selected highly only to becoming massive disappointments in the NFL. Here we breakdown some potential busts in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Of the early-round defensive line prospects, I think there is the most risk with Hurst. At his size, Hurst (6-1, 292) is going to have issues holding up in the ground game. He played at a lower weight with Michigan and lacks length. In college, there were times when Hurst struggled to maintain his gap, and NFL offensive linemen could have success pushing him around at the point of attack. Defending downhill runs coming straight at him could be a problem in the NFL. Hurst is a dangerous interior pass-rusher with an excellent get-off and speed to knife his gap, but he could have issues when he is not supposed to go upfield.
On top of being undersized and struggling as a run defender, Hurst has some scheme limitations. He doesn't have the height or length to be a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Being sub-300 pounds, Hurst doesn't have the weight to play nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Thus, Hurst only fits as a three-technique rusher in a 4-3 defense. Additionally, there are concerns about a cardiac issue that had Hurst sent home from the combine for further testing. Luckily, he was cleared, but teams are sufficiently concerned that he could be more of a gamble in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
Carter stands out to me as having serious bust potential. At Georgia, Carter never had one season of big potential despite receiving a lot of playing time in all four years. His best play came as a senior, but he still totaled less than 60 tackles (57) and five sacks (4.5) on the year. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is big, long, fast and athletic. It didn't make sense to me why he didn't dominate and was so inconsistent, only flashing occasionally. Team sources told me that Carter has dedication issues and gets by on a lot of natural ability. That put it over the top for me as the dedication issues and lack of love of football explains why Carter was an underachiever in college.
Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
During the 2017 football season and for a lot of the leadup to the 2018 NFL Draft, there were draft media projecting Averett to be a first-round pick and one of the top cornerback prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. Analysts at ESPN and Bleacher Report made that mistake, as Averett was never held in that high of regard by NFL teams, but he did grade out as a second-day prospect and I think there is real bust potential with him.
There are a number of things about Averett that cause me to think he could be a bust. Sources think that he is not a play-maker on the ball and is not a finisher. That can be seen with his total of only one interception over the past two seasons and him allowing too many catches to be made over him. Averett usually finds himself in good position, but doesn't play the ball that well or take it away. Another problem for Averett is his weight. He's a thin-framed defender, and at the Senior Bowl, he checked in at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds. Averett has been in the 180s, but could struggle with big receivers outfighting him for position along with having durability issues from constantly having to tackle bigger ball-carriers.
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
This was a tough decision because no safety stood out to me with bust potential. I chose Harrison because he could be selected in the top-60 picks, but I see some issues to his game when studying him. Harrison is a good run defender who has the athletic skills to cover, but he has issues dealing with receivers in man coverage. He gets lost in coverage and can really struggle in man on slot receivers. That was given a clear example by Clemson's Hunter Renfrow really abusing Harrison in the past. I don't think that Harrison will be a bust, but he could be a limited player as a strong safety who has to be protected in coverage.