@FrenchNick Pegula still has the name Bill Polian in the back of his mind...and if the entire front office is blown up, look for Polian to become the new President and his son possibly new GM. In this case, I see the Bills trading out of No. 2, if they end up there, grabbing additional picks and taking the best receiver available w/ their first pick. Then, wherever there's a Polian, a Kelly cannot be far behind. The Bills take Chad Kelly in either the high second round or by trading back into the late first.
These are the school's prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * - denotes 2014 prospect ** - denotes 2015 prospect.
This page was last updated Feb. 16, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Zach Ertz*, TE, Stanford
Height: 6-6. Weight: 249. Projected 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 2/9/13: Ertz played really well this season and was Stanford's leading receiver. He totaled 69 receptions for 898 yards and six touchdowns. Ertz improved his blocking in 2012, too. He had massive day against Washington and California. This season could have been even more productive if the Cardinal had had consistent quarterback play. He put together a huge game against Oregon, 11-106, including a remarkable touchdown catch to force overtime.
Ertz is a complete tight end who is very effective as a run blocker. He was a real contributor to the good blocking for running back Stepfan Taylor. Ertz has surprising quickness and athletic ability. He is a three-down player and future starter in the NFL.
8/21/12: Like Toilolo, Ertz will take on a more prominent role with Fleener in the NFL. Ertz caught 27 passes for 346 yards with four touchdowns last year. He caught 16 passes for 190 yards and five touchdowns in his first season of playing time.
Ertz's height and leaping ability make him a dangerous weapon in the red zone. He needs to fill out his frame and develop his blocking, but he has the potential to fire up the rankings to be a second-day pick.
Shayne Skov, ILB/OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 243. Projected 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 12/15/12: Entering the Rose Bowl, Skov has 73 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a pass broken up this year. Late in the season, he looked more like his old self and had a great game against Oregon to help shut down the Ducks' high-powered offense.
8/29/12: Skov played well in the first two games of the 2011 season with 18 tackles, four tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a pass broken up. He blew out his knee in the third game of the year, ending his season. Skov is said to be ready to play this September, but he was suspended for the first game of the year follwowing a DUI arrest this offseason.
Skov had a strong 2010 season with 84 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and five passes broken up. The versatile linebacker is a tough run-defender and an attacking pass-rusher.
Like teammate Chase Thomas, Skov is a perfect fit in a 3-4 defense. He can play multiple positions and is a good edge-rusher. Skov and Thomas should form a strong pass-rushing presence from the inside and outside linebacker position, and both players could see their stock rise in 2012.
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Height: 5-9. Weight: 216. Arm: 29 5/8. Hand: 8 3/8. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 2/16/13: Taylor was phenomenal for Stanford in 2012 and was the workhorse for the Cardinal's offense. He carried Stanford to an upset win over USC with over 200 combined yards and two touchdowns. The senior followed that up with other big games against the likes of Oregon and UCLA.
Taylor averaged 4.8 yards per carry this year, having collected 1,530 yards and 13 touchdowns. He totaled 41 receptions for 287 yards with two scores through the air, too. Taylor showed three-down ability with his blocking and receiving. He had an excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl that proved he could be a three-down player in the NFL. Nationally, Taylor is a sleeper prospect who could be a draft-day steal.
8/16/12: Taylor could be one of the more underrated players in college football. Quarterback Andrew Luck, guard David DeCastro and tackle Jonathan Martin have received more attention, but Taylor has been a critical player in Stanford's ongoing success. The underappreciated back averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2011, rushing for 1,330 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
Taylor had his first 1,000-yard season as a sophomore, racking up 1,137 yards on the ground (5.1 average) and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 266 yards and a score.
Taylor has a nice mix of quickness and strength. He has three-down back ability as well. The challenge will be for him to maintain his production without those tough run blockers in front of him and a quarterback like Luck.
Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 245. Arm: 31 1/8. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 1/30/13: Thomas ended the year with 71 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, one interception and 7.5 sacks for Stanford. His sack against USC came at a critical time to help seal the Cardinal's upset win. He played really well against Notre Dame even though the stat sheet didn't reflect it.
The redshirt senior places a lot more pressure on the quarterback than the sack numbers indicate. Thomas was quiet as a pass-rusher for some time before totaling four sacks in the final two regular-season games against UCLA.
Though Thomas has the flexibility to play inside linebacker as well, he thrives blitzing off the edge and combines good physical skills with intelligence. Thomas has a knack for causing turnovers. He had some struggles as a 4-3 outside linebacker at the Senior Bowl.
8/29/12: Thomas started 2011 on fire, collecting 3.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for a loss and two forced in the first two games. He has continued to play well throughout the year, which got harder for him after fellow linebacker Shayne Skov was lost to a season-ending injury.
That caused Thomas to get more blocking attention. He still had a real presence and consistently pressuring the quarterback. Thomas recorded 52 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. He should be a perfect fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level.
Though Thomas has the flexibility to play inside linebacker as well, he thrives blitzing off the edge and combines good physical skills with intelligence. Thomas has a knack for causing turnovers. Thomas has added some bulk this offseason, and could eventually have ideal size for a 4-3. He could be the 2013 NFL Draft's version of Clay Matthews or Shea McClellin, and rise into the first round.
Levine Toilolo*, TE, Stanford
Height: 6-8. Weight: 265. Projected 40 Time: 4.62. Projected Round (2013): 3-5. 2/9/13: Toilolo backed up Ertz in 2012, but still caught 24 passes for 393 yards and four touchdowns. Toilolo needs to improve his blocking and route-running. He probably would have been better off returning for his senior season to improve before going pro, but he declared for the 2013 NFL Draft.
8/21/12: Toilolo backed up Coby Fleener last year with Zach Ertz, but still flashed some ability for the Cardinal. If Fleener wasn't ahead of him, Toilolo could've produced a lot more. He caught 25 passes for 343 yards and six toucdowns.
Toilolo was adept at working the middle seam in 2011, and Stanford really used its tight ends well down the middle of the field. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection last year.
Toilolo needs to show improved blocking and receiving production as a starter this year.
Terrence Brown*, CB, Stanford
Height: 6-1. Weight: 178. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 1/31/13: Brown was at Stanford for four years, but decided to skip his final year of college football. Brown totaled 65 tackles with three tackles for a loss, one interception and nine passes broken up in 2012. He was a solid player in the Cardinal's defense. Brown had 43 tackles, an interception and five passes broken up in 2011.
Sam Schwartzstein, C, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 290. Projected 40 Time: 5.10. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 2/9/13: Schwartzstein played really well against USC to help Stanford pull off an upset win. He opened up holes on the ground all night versus the Trojans. Schwartzstein didn't play as well against Washington and Notre Dame, but did well against California and UCLA. Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor had success running behind Schwartzstein throughout 2012.
8/22/12: Schwartzstein is sleeper center prospect who deserves more attention. He won the starting center position heading into the 2011 season after being a backup his first two years. Schwartzstein formed an excellent interior tandem with guard David DeCastro. They led the way for a strong interior running game and Schwartzstein was a very good pass protector for Andrew Luck.
Schwartzstein played a leading role in shutting down defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu when Stanford took on Washington. It was an excellent tape for Schwartzstein to display for NFL scouts. It wouldn't be surprising if he rises higher in these rankings after his senior season.