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Posted Oct. 8, 2009
2010 NFL Draft Cursed?
This season in terms of injuries and a certain off-field transgression (hello/goodbye Dez Bryant) have wrecked the 2010 NFL Draft as much as any draft in the past 10 years. Let's remember that the season isn't even half over yet; I am sure there will be more serious injuries to potential first- and second-round talents as the season goes along. I am already worried that this year's draft could be weak talent-wise, but I hope I am wrong.
Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski was a first-round prospect, but suffered a back injury and is now not likely to enter the 2010 NFL Draft because he hasn't played much at all this season. This was a big blow.
Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham: Cartilage damage in Gresham's knee caused him to miss the entire 2010 season. Smart move in not going pro, Jermaine - it wasn't as if you would have been a top-20 pick or anything like that! Oops.
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: Bradford has a ton of ground to make up. Jimmy Clausen and Jake Locker are widely regarded as the two most talented quarterbacks in the nation. Bradford has to answer questions about his arm strength, his self-confidence, the luxury of playing behind last year's OL, etc. Also, some may wonder if he is a product of Oklahoma's spread. He suffered a shoulder injury in Week 1 against BYU and has yet to play. This doesn't help his stock for 2010 and I think he won't declare when all is said and done, but Roger Goddell instituting a rookie salary scale in 2011 could change things for all underclassmen.
Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant: Bryant was widely regarded recently as a top-10 pick, but I have never thought that. He has always been a mid-to-late first-round pick for me. Bryant lied to Oklahoma State about his relationship with Deion Sanders and he violated NCAA rules; they declared him ineligible for the rest of the 2009 season. I don't think this will hurt his draft stock in terms of character concerns, but now his 40 time will be more magnified by NFL teams.
Mark Herzlich OLB Boston College: Herzlich was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer earlier this year and is trying to make a comeback to Boston College for 2011. This was a huge blow to the 2010 NFL Draft, but I am certainly more worried about his life than I am about the draft.
Buffalo RB James Starks: In a weak running back class, Starks was looking like an intriguing second-to-fourth-round talent. He suffered a preseason labral tear to his shoulder and is out the entire season.
Illinois LB Martez Wilson: I was a huge Wilson fan entering the season, but he suffered a herniated disk in his neck. This is terrible and a huge blow to 2010's linebacker class. I thought he had first-round potential and I am excited to see what he does next year.
Oregon CB Walter Thurmond: Thurmond was one of my top-five corners entering the season, then he had a knee injury against California and is now gone for the season. This could greatly hurt his draft status because of durability issues in the past.
Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower: Hightower will miss the rest of the season due to ligament damage in his knee. He would have been drafted in the first two rounds next April had he stayed healthy.
Georgia OT Trinton Sturdivant: Sturdivant was one of the top left tackles in the SEC, but he suffered a torn ACL to the same knee in which he tore up in 2008. Sturdivant now has extremely serious durability concerns.
Maryland OT Bruce Campbell: Campbell missed three games early in the season due to a turf toe, and could now possibly miss the rest of the season with a torn MCL. This is a potentially horrendous loss for someone I recently projected as a top 15-20 pick.