This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2012 NFL Draft stock the previous weekend. Check out our NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps
for more details.
By Charlie Campbell.
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2012 NFL Draft Stock Up
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Still is putting together an excellent senior season. He is staying very consistent and is producing on a weekly basis. This week against Illinois, Still had a dominant performance. He was a force at the point of attack and defended the run extremely well. Still was constantly busting into the backfield. In the game, he totaled 10 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss. Still showed off his speed and athleticism with a nice sack. He blew by the guard off the snap to track down the quarterback for a loss of nine yards.
For the season, Still has 47 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He has notched at least one tackle for a loss in all nine games. This is a very weak crop of defensive tackles and Still may be playing the best among them right now. He could challenge to get consideration in the first round and at least be an early pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dennard had a dominant game against Michigan State. The Nebraska defense shut down Michigan quarterback Kirk Cousins, and he was the leader of that superb effort. Cousins tested Dennard on the deep part of the field on a few occasions and none of them were successful. He broke up all of the passes and was close to intercepting a couple of them. For the game, Dennard was officially credited with two tackles and three passes broken up. He held Michigan State's leading receiver, B.J. Cunningham, without a reception in the game.
The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Dennard needed that game. He missed the first three games of the season and was quiet in other games. For the season he has 12 tackles. Dennard's strong game should keep him as a potential mid to late first-round pick next April.
Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
Brown had a career game this past Saturday against Wake Forest. He totaled nine tackles with one interception, one sack, one forced fumble and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Brown also put heat on the quarterback on other blitzes. It was impossible to not notice the speedy playmaker flying around the field for the Tar Heels. Brown's combination of speed and instincts are extremely rare, and that allows him to consistently produce splash plays.
After this outing, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Brown has moved ahead of Vontaze Burfict, Manti Te'o and Luke Kuechly as the top-rated linebacker eligible for the 2012 draft. The reason is Brown produces more splash plays. For the season, he has 62 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and four passes broken up. Brown has more sacks, forced fumbles, tackles for a loss, and turnovers produced than those other linebackers. Kuechly and Te'o have more tackles, but Brown has more game-changing plays. Right now, he is moving up into the middle of the first round.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston
It is impossible to keep Keenum off this list after his record-setting game against Rice. The game started slowly as he threw an interception and had a fumble returned for a touchdown. After that, Keenum took over and threw NINE touchdown passes in the game. He was 24-of-37 for 534 yards. Keenum aired the ball out with good accuracy on his passes downfield to burn the Rice secondary. With that performance, Keenum set the Football Bowl Subdivision for career touchdown passes. Right now, he has a total of 139 touchdown passes which he will certainly add to. In the next game Keenum plays, he is likely to become the all-time leader in passing yards. Currently, the record is held by Hawaii's Timmy Chang with 17,072. Keenum needs only 267 yards to break that. For the season, he has completed 72 percent of his passes for 3,219 yards with 32 touchdowns and three interceptions.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder is a system quarterback, but Keenum is doing his best to show that he can be more than that. Keenum's a sixth-year senior, so his age isn't helping him, but with his massive season, he could challenge to get consideration in the early rounds on the third day of the draft.
Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
The junior wide receiver had a coming-out party last Thursday night with a massive game against Virginia. Streeter caught seven passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. One of his touchdowns saw him beat Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield for a jump ball in the end zone. Minnifield is a potential first-round pick next April, and Streeter (6-5, 220) used his height advantage to go over Minnifield for the score. All game, Streeter had his way with the Virginia secondary, although he rarely went against Minnifield. It was Streeter's first 100-yard game of his career.
The red-shirt junior has 28 receptions for 604 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He is an excellent red-zone weapon with underrated speed to get downfield and stretch defenses vertically. Streeter is still somewhat raw, and he probably should return for his senior year. His strong game against Virginia helps his draft stock, and if Streeter were to declare, he could be a mid-rounder.
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