“BOOM or BUST” prospects are guys that when you reflect back on their career, you either the think that the GM was a genius for drafting him or a complete dumbass (depending on where of course). These are the players that when you watch the college film, you get excited at the potential this player holds.
1. Arik Armstead, Oregon
Armstead is 6’7 and damn near 300 lbs. I don’t think he is capable of playing tackle in a 4-3, so a 3-4 end is his best bet.He has the all the tools to be a dominant force in the NFL, it’s just a matter of where he lands and who will his coach be. When you look at his film, Armstead is capable of making some serious splash plays but some games he’s capable of disappearing altogether and his stats (46 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) aren’t necessarily eye popping either.
2. Breshard Perriman, UCF
Perriman began to fly up draft boards (not mine) when he ran a 4.25 (some have said 4.27) at his Pro Day. When you look at his tape, you see a lot of drops. It was honestly frustrating trying to get a good read on him. Perriman caught 50 of his 99 targets. Not all of those were on him, he did fall victim to shitty quarterback play in 2014, but he also ran some bad routes and didn’t have some horrible drops. You can’t teach speed like this. If Perriman can work on his hands this offseason, he can be considered one of the top receivers in the class.
3. Shaq Thompson, Washington
Is he a linebacker? Is he a safety? Is he a running back? Nah, he’s not a running back….it’s a business decision. But I think if you put Shaq Thompson in the right scheme, he could be considered a top 3-5 player in this draft a few years from now. I do believe he is a Will LB in a 4-3 scheme, but as he told SB Nation, the Falcons believe he could be used Kam Chancellor type role. I’d love to see Shaq in Carolina, Jacksonville or Atlanta. I feel like he could get used to his best potential.
4. Gerod Holliman, Louisville
14 interceptions is a lot. Holliman proved in 2014 that he probably has the best hands of all the safety prospects and some great ball skills. Unfortunately that’s all he can do. He is not a willing tackler. Like, I was convinced he took poor pursuit angles so he wouldn’t have to tackle. I’ve heard NFL coaches say you can teach tackling, but you can’t teach ball skills. If Holliman’s can be coached up, he has the potential to become a really good NFL safety
5. Paul Dawson, TCU
So what Dawson has been late to a meeting everyone once in awhile? So what he hasn’t always gotten along with his positional coaches? So what if he only ran a 4.93 at the combine and didn’t stand out nor look all that athletic (in NFL standards)?
Enough of the bad stuff. Paul Dawson is a football player. In order to be a successful linebacker you have to instincts and BOY! Dawson knows how to find the football and make something happen. He had 4 interceptions and 9 passes defensed on 29 targets. He also had 6 sacks, 3 recovered fumbles and no broken tackles. If you never saw the combine or had any questions about his character and looked solely at the film, without a doubt you’d think he was a first round talent. Well obviously you can’t do that. Dawson will be a second round steal.