This section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2013 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.
By Charlie Campbell.
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2013 NFL Draft Stock Up
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
There are a lot of teams that seem to be targeting Taylor at the end of the first round. He was viewed as a second-day pick just a few months ago, but now, many believe he'll go in the first 32 selections. The senior totaled 51 tackles with four interceptions, nine passes broken up, three forced fumbles and 2.5 sacks in 2012. Taylor had a strong season and was very consistent. He followed that up great performances at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
Every year there seems to be a cornerback prospect that has a late rise up draft boards to be a first-round pick. That appears to be Taylor this year. He looks like he could easily go to the Patriots or Falcons at the end of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
While Taylor is rising into the first round, Hayden has also improved where he is predicted to be taken off the board. Many believe that Hayden is a top-60 selection despite his going under the rader until recently. Some consider Hayden to have first-round talent, but medical concerns will probably push him lower. WalterFootball.com reached out to some scouts who said that Hayden graded out as a second-round pick.
A hit in practice late last season nearly killed Hayden by tearing his inferior vena cava, a critical vein that transports most of one's blood back to the heart. He missed the final three games, but was having a superb season prior to that.
The senior totaled 61 tackles, eight passes broken up, one forced fumble and four interceptions in his shortened 2012. It was second straight good season. He totaled 66 tackles with two interceptions, 11 passes broken up and five forced fumbles the year before. Hayden (5-11, 191) has good size and is fast. He could go early in the second round.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
There is a lot of buzz about Nassib as there appear to be a lot of teams that are hot for him. It wouldn't be surprising if a team trades back into the first round to land Nassib. Everybody assumes he won't get past Buffalo in the second round if the Bills don't take a quarterback in the first round. The senior completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,749 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2012.
Nassib is a coaches' player with his intelligence, work ethic, study habits and ability to manage the game. His capacity to make good decisions and distribute the ball fits well in a West Coast offense. Nassib uses his feet when he has to, but he has an accurate arm that can get the ball downfield. Nassib has a hitch in his delivery, but teams feel that is correctable. While Geno Smith looks like the first quarterback to go off the board, Nassib could be the favorite to be the second signal-caller selected.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
A lot of media attention has focused on the rise of West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, but he's not the only wide out rising. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins is being viewed as a serious candidate to go in the top 25 of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was considered a second-rounder early in the draft process, but has risen based on an impressive Combine performance on the field and teams liking the way that he interviewed. Hopkins is now considered the third-rated receiver - via the declining status of wide receiver Keenan Allen - and stands a good shot of going in the top 25.
Hopkins totaled 1,405 yards on 82 catches and 18 touchdowns in 2012. He scored touchdowns in 12-of-13 games. The only outing the junior didn't score in was against Furman in Week 2 when he had 95 yards on seven receptions. The 6-foot-1, 214-pounder is an extremely well-rounded receiver. It looks like Hopkins has a serious shot at the top 25 considering all the teams in that range that need receivers.
2013 NFL Draft Stock Down
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The topsy-turvy 2013 draft class continues the trend with Werner being considered a potential second-round pick. At one time, he was considered a top-10 pick. Pundits currently feel Werner could go anywhere from the middle of the first round into the second round.
There isn't a real reason for Werner's slide outside of teams questioning his speed and explosion. They wonder how much upside he has and how effective he will be as a pass-rusher. Scouts told WalterFootball.com that Werner looked better than expected in 3-4 outside linebacker drills at his pro day. That could help him to go in the back half of the first round, but many believe that he is going to fall to the second round. Werner could be an excellent value pick for a team on the second day.
Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon
Sources have told WalterFootball.com that there are off-the-field concerns around Alonso that are hurting his draft stock. Teams are well aware of his two arrests in 2011, but there are doubts about him staying out of trouble after he enters the NFL.
Alonso was basically a 1-year wonder for the Ducks. The senior recorded 81 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, one sack, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles in an impressive campaign. He had 46 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks in 2011. Alonso has some talent if he can stay out of trouble.
The 6-foot-3, 238-pounder has been one of the most active players taking team visits and conducting private workouts over the last few weeks. That indicates that teams want to get to know him better and evaluate his character to decide where to have him on their boards - if at all. Alonso could have been a second-day pick sans the off-the-field concerns, but as it stands now he could fall to Day 3.
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore's draft stock is very fluid. He could go as high as the first round and as a low as the third round. Scouts told WalterFootball.com
that Moore is extremely immature and they believe he will indulge in the party scene that comes with being an NFL player. They also said he may have some positive drug tests.
The 20-year old junior was one of the most consistent pass-rushers in college football in 2012, amassing 12.5 sacks - one of the larger totals in the country. Perhaps even more impressive than that, Moore led his team with 85 tackles - four more than the next closest defender. He had 21 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, a blocked kick and a forced fumble, too. Moore got pushed around in the ground game at times but was phenomenal in pursuit. He also played with a great motor.
Moore is one of the mysteries of the 2013 NFL Draft. He could be a steal on the second day if he focuses on football, but with the demand for pass-rushers, he still has a shot of going on Thursday night. Scouts said they believe the character concerns will catch up to Moore and drop him out of the first round.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson used to be viewed as a good bet to go in the top 10 or top half of the first round. Now, many see him potentially falling into the 20s. The reasons are some teams are concerned about him off the field and his work ethic. They also have some concerns about Patterson's ability to pick up the NFL game. He is very raw having played only one season of big-time college football.
The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Patterson has unique combination of size and speed. A 40 time of 4.42 seconds at the Combine illustrated his explosion, but he needs a lot of work as a football player. Patterson drops too many passes and his route-running needs a lot of improvement. He is an intriguing prospect, but his lack of polish could send him into the back half of the first round.
Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Montgomery has underwhelmed teams throughout the draft process. It started during the 2012 season when he fell short of expectations and didn't produce up to his potential. Montgomery totaled 49 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and one forced fumble as a sophomore in 2011.
The junior had a great supporting cast to help him produce this season; fellow end Barkevious Mingo was commanding double-teams on the other side and the combination of Anthony Johnson and Bennie Logan was causing disruption in the middle. Montgomery had good matchups as a result.
Montgomery disappointed by recording 37 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks in 2012. He also admitted that he took some games off, not just plays. Montgomery hasn't impressed teams in the interview process and it looks like he could fall to the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Keenan Allen, WR, California
There are reports that Allen failed a drug test at the Combine, which comes on the heels of his terrible pro day 40 time (4.7 to 4.8-second range range). He missed the last three games of the 2012 season with a knee injury and the same injury kept him out of the Combine. Terrible quarterback play hurt Allen's ability to get the ball last year, leaving him with just 61 receptions for 737 yards and six touchdowns in his shortened season.
Even before the reports of the drug test, there were teams that were preferring Tennessee's Justin Hunter and Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins. The concerns about Allen's speed and the drug issue have led our sources with teams to believe that Allen could easily fall out of the first round and go after Hopkins and Hunter.
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