As a junior outside linebacker for the University of Cincinnati Walter Stewart had 44 tackles, six sacks, 11 TFL, and led the Big East with four forced fumbles. At 6-foot-4 249 pounds Stewart intrigued scouts and many predicted a big season for 2012. Yet the average college football fan has probably not heard of Stewart's name which should be leaving some of you to question "Why?"

Walter Stewart started the season off fast. He had 22 tackles, four sacks, seven tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles but played 33 more snaps of the game till he finally left the competition. When examining the injury, the team doctor had x-rays of Stewart's neck taken. While the doctor didn't find any serious issue resulting from the hit, what they did find was quite alarming.

The Risk

The doctor found that Walter Stewart was born without the poster arch of his C1 vertebra. In the doctor's professional opinion, Stewart - who has had no history of injury - was told his football career was over. Since the diagnosis Stewart and his foster family have sought the opinion of seven other doctors and their split in opinion was evident. The family even went to two NFL team doctors, one of which said he wouldn't clear Stewart medically for his team while the other said he would have no problem with clearing him. Some doctors have said that his condition would lead to further injuries: they believe his initial neck injury was actually a slight cervical fracture and more could potentially happen because his condition leaves him vulnerable.

Others argue he has had the condition his entire life with no incident, they say the neck injury and his abnormality are separate conditions and his chance of injury is no greater than any other player. Despite this differing opinion he was cleared to work out for the Combine. After months of training he had been given the notice he was accepted to partake in the Combine. With Stewart the hardest part of the draft will probably be the medical evaluation. He will be poked, prodded and examined as team doctors attempt to give an answer to the potential risks Stewart could face and therefore the team could face drafting him.