A player's NFL draft stock can plummet for any number of reasons.
Character concerns caused wide receiver Dez Bryant to fall to No. 24.
Potential inability to transfer college skills to the next level dropped Tim Tebow to No. 25.
But for all the dollars those players lost by falling to the end of the first round, nothing has had more of an impact on a player’s draft stock than Sergio Kindle's knee.
According to Rivals.com, Kindle has sustained a series of trauma to his knee that could require micro-fracture surgery, a procedure usually performed on older players. Even though he played through the pain in college, if the knee turns out to be a chronic problem, it could seriously shorten his pro career.
Kindle was seen as a surefire first-rounder — a dynamic pass-rushing threat who could step in and be an impact player from day one. Yet, when the first round closed on the 2010 NFL draft, Kindle was left to wait another day to find out where he'll be playing football next year.
When it was revealed that Kindle took medication for both narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder, it gave some pause to decision-makers, but was largely ignored. You're unlikely to loose focus or fall asleep in front of 70,000 screaming fans. On the other hand, permanently damaging your knee is a very real possibility.
Injuries can have a polarizing impact on a player's draft stock. Sam Bradford spent much of the year injured, but the Rams were comfortable enough with his recovery to take him with the No. 1 overall pick. Kindle, on the other hand, already has dropped out of the first round of the draft. If teams are legitimately concerned with his ability to recover or stay healthy, the free fall could just be starting.