This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2012 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.
By Charlie Campbell.
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2012 NFL Draft Stock Up
Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Jones has been one of the late risers in the draft process. ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay were the first two pundits to project Jones as a first-rounder and, not long afterward, NFL Network's Mike Mayock followed suit. Jones's draft stock is aided by the demand for pass rushers. The 6-foot-5, 266-pounder could stay as an end in a 4-3 defense or move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Jones had a disappointing performance at the Combine with a slow 40 (4.85) and a low bench-press total (22). He totaled 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and one interception in just seven games this season. Jones has a nice combination of size and speed that allows him to combine a bull rush with a speed rush. After being a second-day pick for the majority of the lead up to the draft, Jones is now projected to be a first-rounder.
Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
The buzz building around McClellin has been ferocious. He had a strong senior season and followed that up with an impressive Combine. McClellin (6-3) ran a fast 40 at 4.62 seconds and was tremendous in the field drills. That was even more impressive considering he added 12 pounds in a month to reach 260 pounds at Indianapolis. McClellin projects as an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker who can rush the passer and drop into coverage.
McClellin recorded 50 tackles, seven sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble and a blocked kick this year. Aside from playing as a traditional defensive end, he has lined up as both a stand-up rush linebacker and an inside linebacker. McClellin had 9.5 sacks in 2010. To start his senior season, he had an impressive game and got the better of Georgia offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, a likely first-round pick.
Sources have indicated that there are teams in the middle of the first round that are considering McClellin. They include the Jets and Chargers. It looks like McClellin has a serious shot of going in the top 25 and shouldn't fall past the Patriots at No. 27 or the Packers at No. 28.
Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
The hard-charging Martin has laid claim to being the second-rated running back in the draft over Virginia Tech's David Wilson. Martin has even earned consideration for late in the first round. It wouldn't be surprising if he goes with the 32nd overall pick to the New York Giants. Martin is a complete back in the mold of Ray Rice. At the Senior Bowl and Combine, Martin (5-9, 223) put together excellent showings that illustrate his ability to be a pass receiver and blitz protector at the next level.
Martin put together a quality season in 2011. He averaged five yards per carry with 1,299 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Martin also contributed 28 receptions for 263 yards and two scores. He has the speed to rip off long runs and is built powerfully enough to break tackles and pick up yards after contact. The versatile ball-carrier is a skilled kick returner too.
If Martin doesn't go in the first round, he should go in the first 10 picks of the second round. It wouldn't be a complete surprise if Martin goes earlier than many expect. Cincinnati, Detroit or Denver could take him in the 20s.
Amini Silatolu, G/T, Midwestern State
There as been a steady buildup in the buzz around Silatolu, and a lot of teams are showing interest. The 6-foot-4, 311-pounder had a nice showing at the Combine where he displayed quick feet and athleticism in the field drills. Silatolu has gone to visit Carolina, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New England. He looks like a guard or right tackle in the NFL.
In speaking with one source, Silatolu projects to go in the No. 20-40 range of the draft. The Steelers and Ravens both could use guard help and may take him in the first round. Both teams are said to really like him. Sources also indicated they believe that some teams picking in the latter half of round two would trade up for him if he's available in the second round.
A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
Jenkins is a sleeper wide receiver who has a good number of fans in the scouting and coaching community. The appeal of 6-foot, 190-pounder is his speed to stretch the field while also having some size. Jenkins had a very productive senior season despite the fact that he had poor quarterback play. That was a common hinderance in his time at Illinois. Jenkins caught 90 passes for 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. He hauled in 56 passes for 746 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
Jenkins performed well at the East-West Shrine before playing some at the Senior Bowl. He had a 40-yard dash time at 4.39 seconds at the Combine. Jenkins looks like he could be a good slot receiver in the NFL who can make some big plays downfield. He has the size to line up on the outside.
Jenkins could turn into a steal. He has moved up towards the top of round three in my 2012 mock draft
. Jenkins could go off the board there on draft day, but he might surprise by sneaking into the second round. Jenkins has taken pre-draft visits to the Ravens, Jaguars, Chiefs and 49ers. Ergo, he could go in the No. 60-75 range.
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Adams is really benefitting from a weak class of offensive tackles, and, as usual, there is a high demand for left tackles. There is no doubt that the athletic 6-foot-7, 323-pounder has a great physical skill set to be an NFL left tackle. That tantalizing potential has his stock rising.
The negatives with Adams include his struggles with speed rushers, a questionable work ethic and character concerns stemming from suspensions in college. In the 2012 NFL Draft
, he could go in the 20s to Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore or the New York Giants. Adams has taken pre-draft visits to Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Buffalo. He also has the ability to move to right tackle.
Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
Quick has risen from a mid-round prospect to a second-day pick and could sneak into the second round. Teams are intrigued with his size at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds. He has been a productive receiver over the past few seasons. Quick had his best season in 2011, hauling in 71 catches for 1,096 yards and 11 touchdowns. He totaled 47 catches for 844 yards and nine scores as a junior after hauling in 61 passes for 982 yards and four scores in 2009.
Quick did not impress at the Senior Bowl against the better competition. He fared better later in the week, but is still a bit of a developmental project in the NFL. Quick is a big receiver who looks like a possible red-zone threat on the next level.
There has been a lot of upheaval in the second-day class of wide receivers with stocks rising and falling for the likes of South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery, Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu and LSU's Rueben Randle. Quick has moved up, and there are some that like Quick more than some of those other potential second-rounders.
2012 NFL Draft Stock Down
Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
There are some rumors going around that Glenn could slip in the draft and fall into the second round. During the 2011 college football season, I thought that Glenn was being overrated and was a better fit in the second round. He struggled with speed rushers when he took on Boise State, LSU and Michigan State.
After the season, Glenn battled at the Senior Bowl and helped his stock. There is a wide variety in the opinions of him and that hurts. Some believe he's a first-rounder and can stay at tackle, but others think that he should move inside to guard as a second-round pick. With the big divide in the opinions, Glenn could go lower than expected on draft day.
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