Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan
In speaking with some scouts, they said that Wormley is one of the underrated prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft. They say the senior could go much higher than he is currently being projected. It is easy to see why they would think that as Wormley has improved his pass rush as a senior and is putting more consistent heat on the quarterback. At 6-foot-5, 300 pounds with strength and quickness, Wormley is versatile enough to fit any scheme. He has the size and length to be a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. In a 4-3 scheme, Wormley could play end on run downs and move inside to defensive tackle in passing situations. He also could play defensive tackle full time in a 4-3. Don't be surprised if Wormley ends up getting serious first-round buzz in the leadup to the 2017 NFL Draft.
Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
McKinley is a pass-rushing specialist who has enjoyed a breakout junior season. Last Saturday night, he got the better of USC left tackle Chad Wheeler in an impressive performance. In 2016, McKinley has 50 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes batted. It is a big improvement over his junior year when he totaled 35 tackles with 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes broken up. McKinley was a backup as a sophomore, but recorded 2.5 sacks. For the NFL, McKinley's (6-2, 265) body type would make him fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Pat Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
As we reported in the Rumormill last week, some teams are very high on Mahomes. Sources from one AFC team said they had a second-round grade on Mahomes and viewed him similarly to Derek Carr coming out of Fresno State. They were very high on Mahomes and think he could become a hot prospect in the leadup to the 2017 NFL Draft. The scouting director of another AFC team said they liked Mahomes, but not that high. They graded him in the third round and don't think he is as good of a prospect as Carr. Another AFC team said they also had a second-day grade on Mahomes. Others have Mahomes lower, but there are enough teams that like him that he looks reasonably safe as a second- or third-round pick if he declares for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia
Sources say that Gibson has some real speed to him, but isn't the biggest of receivers and needs to improve his route-running. That was an issue for 2015 Bears first-round pick Kevin White coming out West Virginia because of the Mountaineers' spread offense. Some sources think Gibson should return for his senior year to improve on that before going pro, but in a weak receiver class, he could make the leap considering he is being projected into the early rounds.
Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
Douglas (6-2, 203) is a junior college product who didn't play much as a junior. However, he is making the most of his senior year as he is one of the nation's leaders with seven interceptions. Sources say that Douglas has good size to him for the NFL, and they see him being a big press-man corner with ball skills. He also has early round potential, but sources say that since Douglas is a 1-year wonder, he's going to need to impress at an all-star game like the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine.
Dion Dawkins, OT/G, Temple
Given this weak offensive tackle draft, sources say they could see Dawkins' stock rising in the leadup to the 2017 NFL Draft. Multiple teams think that in the NFL, he would be best as a guard, but he has the strength and athleticism to be a good at the position at the next level. One team said they had a second-round grade on Dawkins and don't think he's going to get to the third round in this class of offensive linemen.
Jordan Morgan, G, Kutztown
Sources say that the small-school prospect is a potential third-day offensive lineman who could rise with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. Morgan has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the better competition. The 6-foot-4, 320-pounder has good size and is strong at the point of attack. Some team contacts have said they think Morgan could be a lesser version of Ali Marpet, who was a Division III player who ended up being a second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Right now, sources said that Morgan was being graded in the fourth or fifth round, but that could change if he impresses in Mobile.
Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Sources have said that Melifonwu is a bit of a love/hate prospect. Some teams have him graded in the mid-rounds, but say that they know other teams that have him high in the early rounds. The reason for the discrepancy is that while Melifonwu is viewed as a size/speed freak, some teams don't feel he plays up to that skill set. The 6-foot-3, 217-pounder has ideal size with length to help defend receivers. He is expected to be a workout warrior, and it wouldn't be surprising if he is a combine star. With his skill set, Melifonwu could have a steady rise in the leadup to the 2017 NFL Draft.
Honorable Mentions: Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine, West Virginia running back Justin Crawford, SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.
2017 NFL Draft Stock Down
Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
Tabor had a mixed game against LSU. He made a game-saving open-field tackle late in the fourth quarter and bailed out teammate Quincy Wilson by flying over to break up a bomb deep down the field. However, Tabor also allowed a 33-yard reception to Malachi Dupre, who made a catch over him that he should not have allowed. Tabor was also beaten on other receptions he should not have allowed.
Sources have said that they think Tabor is overrated and his best fit might be as a big nickelback in the NFL. He is lacking long speed and gives up plays downfield. Tabor is great underneath with very good feel and awareness, but he is gambler and guesses a ton. Tabor is best when plays are in front of him, but gets in trouble with plays behind or over him. Team sources like other first-round corner prospects more than Tabor.
Marcus Maye, S, Florida
In 2016, Maye totaled 50 tackles with one interception and six passes broken up before a broken arm ended his season early. The 5-foot-11, 203-pounder can contribute to the run game and also has some pass-coverage skills for the NFL. Sources say Maye has some kinks to work out though.
Maye's career would see him playing well before suffering a lapse and allows a reception downfield he shouldn't. Because Maye was often the last line of defense, when he made mistakes it was very painful and often led to points for the other team. Sources say they like Maye, but he frustrated them as he "gives up the damndest of plays."
Maye is a better fit in the box versus the run. He has good short-area coverage and is good in underneath coverage. His backpedal isn't great, and he isn't as good as the deep high safety, and too much space seems to be bad for him. Because of Maye's frequent hiccups, sources have given him a second-round grade. At one time, he was considered a potential first-rounder.