In recent weeks we have heard rumors about which players could sneak into the first round, or which guys will get drafted much sooner than we expect, but few have gone into analyzing which players could fall farther than expected. If I had to put a number on the percentage of people that thought Tim Tebow would fall out of the 2010 first round, I would guess that it was about 65. The percentage that thought Jimmy Clausen would see the 2nd round? Less than 1 percent.

Being able to approximate which guys will fall farther than expected might be the number one tool to analyze how good a draftnik (draft 'expert/opinion giver' not in the major media) is. The mock draft is a good tool, and so is the big board, but to have some look at a prospect in the mind of multiple GM's and decide who could fall in the draft is amazing.

If Todd McShay or Mike Mayock say "player x could fall" it is probably because a GM, a guy like Adam Schefter or a major scout told/hinted it to the them, but if a draftnik can properly predict it, then they are a pretty good analyst. I personally am not sure about any of the following men that could fall on draft day, but here are a few that I believe could wait to hear their name called on draft day.

1) Robert Quinn, DE or DE/LB, UNC

I have gotten so much slack on Quinn throughout the offseason for not loving him, but I just don't think Quinn is a top-10 pick in this draft. He is a one year wonder despite what anyone says. He looked good in that one year, but Adrian Clayborn looked like a top-3 pick in 2009 before falling of in 2010. Quinn then got suspended for the 2010 season (and essentially kicked out of the NCAA) after receiving free travel accommodations and jewelry, and then lying multiple times to investigators. Greg Little and Marvin Austin did essentially the same and are now set to go in about the 2nd round.

To add to that, people had been mocking Quinn in the top-3 because the thought was that he would destroy the combine after a year of training. Quinn looked average, and just didn't impress. He rebounded some at his pro day which will help him, but the combine is much more important than a pro day. After his pro day though, it became very clear that Quinn likely isn't going to be a great 3-4 OLB prospect because his coverage skills will be questionable. So his 3-4 value will fall some.

One thing that few look at is to compare his actions to Dez Bryant. Bryant lied to investigators for a much milder charge, and saw his stock drop significantly in the draft. Bryant plays a less valuable position, but given character concerns I think Quinn could fall. Sure some team will take a chance on him, but he could possibly fall given his risk to a team like New England.

2) Da'Quan Bowers, DE (DE/DT or DE/LB in 3-4), Clemson

Da'Quan Bowers was a top-3 prospect in this draft to just about every major draft reporter at the start of the offseason,and the whole time I stood there confused. I didn't mind a team taking a chance on Bowers in the top-10, but to say that he is a great prospect was insane. Bowers is a one year wonder despite what some say. He had four sacks in his first two seasons, and just never looked impressive given his hype. He then broke out in 2010 and tallied an amazing 16-sacks.

He tallied 16 sacks which is amazing, but it needs to be noted that he actually did disappear in games despite it. There were games that it seemed like he took off, and he closed out the season by getting blanked by South Carolina and Southern Florida (in a bowl game). If you watch his tape you will see that his technique is awful. He has few pass rushing moves, he has no first step skills, and he often gives up on plays. He cannot be a 1st round pick in the 3-4 scheme, and he can only play the LDE spot. There is also a semi-spread thought that he impressed in 2010 to earn a paycheck in the pros and go back to mediocrity.

Finally he has some major injury concerns. He missed time in 2009, and tore his knee in 2010 and had surgery this offseason. His only offseason showcase was a recent pro day that included one of the worst 40-times among any 1st round player (even offensive linemen). His knee is a major concern, and if he hadn't been hyped since high school he would be a 2nd or even 3rd round pick at this point. He could fall to the Bucs, or a number of other teams in the 20's.

3) JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

Watt is an interesting prospect in the draft. He is also the third DE on the list. Watt is a big bodied end that could play DE in both the 3-4 and the 4-3, which will help his stock. But how much do you know about Watt? Watt started his college career as a tight end at Central Michigan, but moved to Wisconsin after a year of play. He redshirted in 2008 and played well in both 2009 and 2010.  He has a lot of potential, he has a lot of heart, and he wasn't handed anything along the way which is all great.

The problem that Watt may see however is in the rest of the draft. Many teams will hold Bowers and Quinn ahead of him on the their draft boards, so if those two fall, naturally so will Watt. On the same stretch, Watt likely is below Dareus, Fairley and maybe Cam Jordan as a 3-4 (and for Jordan 4-3) defensive end. Watt is in a shaky place where his potential and skillset might fall a little bit as others get drafted ahead of him. Sure he easily be a top-10 pick, but he could also fall into the 20's or even farther.

4) Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Before I get Badger fans sending in hate mail, you should all know that I love Carimi and have him 12th on my big board as the best OT. I personally believe that Carimi has enough heart, enough of a head on his shoulders, and enough potential to end up playing left tackle in the NFL, but unfortunately few scouts (and likely teams) share the same opinion.

Each and every year we see the "RT" prospect fall down the draft boards because the position isn't as important as LT. Michael Oher fell in 2009, Bryan Bulaga fell in 2010, and Carimi could fall in 2011. There are four guys (Tyron Smith, Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo, Derek Sherrod) that have a 'better' LT pedigree than Carimi, and a few others like Orlando Franklin will be intriguing guys that could play LT.

So why won't Carimi go in the 20's like the other 'RT' guys? The easiest answer is that there is no elite LT this year. The earliest that we likely could see an OT go is to Dallas at 9th. After that it is Minnesota, Detroit, and New England in the top-20. If Carimi is the 5th tackle taken because he isn't able to start day one at LT, he could fall to the 2nd round.

5) Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

I am going on a major limb here when I say that I wouldn't be surprised to see Ponder get taken in the 4th round. The 2011 draft class is packed completely full of quarterbacks with potential, with mobility, with arm strength, and with projects. Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, and Collin Kaepernick are all projects. Ryan Mallett has some character issues, but his potential is insane.

Ponder on the other hand isn't mobile. He doesn't have a strong arm, he has some injury concerns, he didn't win much in college, and he does need some work to transition to the NFL. Ponder in my opinion is about as talented a prospect at Colt McCoy, who fell to the 3rd. So many draftniks have said "I would rather have Ponder in the 2nd," but the major media is all over the place. Ricky Stanzi, Andy Dalton and even Greg McElroy have been overhyped, and so has Ponder.

There cannot be many people that seriously believe that Ponder has the tools to lead a team to the championship. Ponder is the "safe" pick which works for some positions, but not for quarterbacks. The team that takes Ponder will want a game manager (think Kyle Orton) at best, but more importantly they want someone that they can coach up to win right now. Sure the 49ers could benefit right now from a guy like Ponder, but I can't imagine the 49ers or any other team seeing Ponder as the face of a franchise.

Does the 'game manager' become a good QB in the league? Sure. I actually love Colt McCoy's potential in Cleveland, and I actually really love Kyle Orton, but they are not players that many believe will win deep into the playoffs any time soon. So sure Ponder is the safer pick. But he is just as much of a project in the long term as the rest of the guys. Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are going to have to learn how to lead and run and NFL offense, while Ponder is going to need better overall personnel to win games in general. It is easier to coach one player, than to coach/create an entire team for one player, and Ponder could fall.