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2014 NFL Draft Stock Up
Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
WalterFootball.com has confirmed with from multiple sources from around the league that Richburg is getting consideration as a late first-round pick. Many teams have graded Richburg as the top center in the 2014 NFL Draft - this class isn't deep at the position. He is viewed as a player who can come in and start immediately. Richburg is athletic, strong and quick; he also can play ability to play guard. If Richburg doesn't go in the first round, sources say he shouldn't escape the top half of the second round.
Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada
Bitonio is another offensive lineman who is receiving late first-round consideration. Teams feel that he can come into the league and start at guard or tackle. Bitonio has a lot of good tape, including an impressive performance against UCLA's Anthony Barr. After the top-four tackle prospects, Bitonio could be the fifth tackle to go off the board. The top four are expected to go in the top-20 picks, but Bitonio stands a serious chance of cracking the first round amid the final 12 selections.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Momentum is part of the draft process, and Lewan has a lot of good mojo these days even though he had some legal issues this Spring. There is increasing talk that he could be the second tackle selected after Auburn's Greg Robinson. Months ago, nobody was projecting Lewan to go ahead of Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, but now it sounds like there are a number of teams that could prefer Lewan. It wouldn't be surprising on draft day if Lewan is the second tackle selected and cracks the top 10.
Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Another player who WalterFootball.com has heard is being underrated is Sutton. After a tremendous 2012 season, he had his numbers dip as a senior after Arizona State's staff asked him to gain weight. Sutton is now back in the 290s and has regained his explosive form. Sources tell WalterFootball.com that Sutton could go as high as the middle of the second round and as low as the middle of the third round. Considering his rare interior pass-rushing prowess, he could be a steal on Day 2.
DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State
Jones is another tackle who has been underrated in the draft process. While Aaron Donald received all the headlines, Jones had a good performance at the Senior Bowl. Jones has gained weight and is now in the 320s while maintaining nice quickness. With his versatile size and skill set, he could be a fit for 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Jones is going under the radar, but it wouldn't be surprising if he goes earlier than expected.
Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
There are some divided opinions about Reynolds, but there is talk that he could go in the third round. This isn't a deep safety class, and there are a number of teams that could use a center fielder to patrol the back end. WalterFootball.com knows some teams that like him, but other sources have said that Reynolds is a bad player who got burned throughout 2013. He did have a better 2012 season, and some teams view his problems as fixable. However, it only takes one team to pull the trigger, and some feel that Reynolds could go in the top 100.
2014 NFL Draft Stock Down
Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
As stated above, momentum plays a part in the draft process. Unlike Lewan, Dennard has it in a bad way heading into the final month of draft season. There are concerns about his ability to play off-man coverage, and some teams rate Kyle Fuller and/or Bradley Roby ahead of Dennard. Dennard should still be a first-round pick, but the projections of him in the top 16 seem to be too rich. He's more likely to go in the 20s or later in the first round.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Benjamin created some bad buzz when reports came out that be blew off an NFL coach who traveled to hold a private workout with him. There has been talk for years that Benjamin had maturity issues, so an actual example of that is going to hurt him with some teams. There are also concerns about Benjamin's weight, too. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder is a huge wide receiver, and teams don't want him to get heavier. Benjamin's conditioning leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft will be tested, plus he'll have to address maturity concerns.
James Wilder, RB, Florida State
Wilder committed the cardinal sin for draft prospects: getting arrested in the final weeks before the draft. Players are told to lay low and stay out of trouble. While Wilder's arrest was for driver's-license issues, it still illustrates a lack of maturity and being irresponsible to many NFL teams. Wilder was on track to be a third-day pick, but this could push him lower in the late rounds.
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
Unfortunately, there are a lot of injury concerns with Mosley around the NFL. Teams are worried about a knee injury and feel that Mosley is entering the NFL beat up like many other Alabama prospects in recent years. The devaluing of inside linebackers doesn't help him either. Some sources have told WalterFootball.com that they think Mosley could slide to the second round - similar to Manti Te'o in the 2013 NFL Draft.