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
Arthur Brown, OLB, Kansas State
There are some passionate advocates of Brown who believe he is worthy of going in the top-32 picks. It only takes one team to agree with those backers, and late in the first round Brown could go off the board. He has been impressive in the team interviews with his passion and commitment to football. The senior had 100 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, two interceptions, four passes broken up and a sack in 2012. He was excellent for Kansas State and was a team leader.
Brown has drawn comparisons to Lavonte David, but Brown is a poor-man’s version. David was far more productive and is a lot faster. However, Brown is bigger and has packed on about 10-15 pounds of muscle since the end of the season. The 6-foot, 241-pounder looks like a good fit as a 4-3 Will (weakside) linebacker, but some 3-4 teams could consider him to play on the inside of their scheme. Brown may not make it to the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
Prior to a late-season knee injury, Carradine was one his way to being a first-round pick. Almost four months after tearing an ACL, he could be back on track to cracking the top-32 picks. The word is that Carradine is well ahead of schedule in his rehab, and ACL injuries aren’t as scary as they once were given how well players have been returning from the injury.
Carradine totaled 38 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks in 2011 as a backup to Brandon Jenkins and Bjoern Werner. Carradine started out again as a backup in 2012, but a season-ending injury to Jenkins thrust Carradine into the lineup. He made the most of the opportunity as he totaled 80 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks and a forced fumble. Carradine regularly beat one-on-one blocks as teams sent double-teams against Werner. The season ended terribly for Carradine. He was destroyed by Florida as the Gators had a ton of success running straight at him. Then, late in the game, Carradine blew out the ACL.
Carradine still has some injury questions, and teams also want to learn why he didn’t beat out Werner or Jenkins for a starting spot. Carradine (6-4, 276) is bigger than both linemen with similar speed. Still, the demand for pass-rushers could see him taken in the first round.
Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
NFL defensive coordinators love linebackers with versatility, and Collins definitely fits that mold. He can play Sam (strongside) linebacker in a 4-3 defense and also can serve as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The senior totaled 92 tackles with 10 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss, five passes batted and four forced fumbles this season. He racked up 98 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, eight passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception in 2011.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder had a good showing at the Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds. Collins has confirmed a second-day grade and could go as high as the second round.
Ty Powell, OLB, Harding
Powell was one of the stars of the Combine and has continued to improve his standing with NFL scouts. He impressed scouts at his pro day with his movement skills at linebacker. Powell played defensive end, safety and linebacker during college. The senior had 15 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, 40 tackles and four blocked kicks in 2012.
It is difficult for small school players to get drafted, but Powell (6-2, 246) could go in an early round on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Quarterbacks rise leading up the draft, and Smith is one of the signal-callers benefitting from the trend. After taking a lot of criticism, he has impressed enough teams that he looks like a lock for the top 10. Smith had an excellent pro day with high-ranking officials attending from a variety of teams. There are a lot of franchises picking in the top 10 that are showing interest in Smith.
Smith was a 3-year starter for the Mountaineers and showed improvement in each season. The senior completed 71 percent of his passes for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2012. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder has the skill set of a good starter in the NFL, so it seems unrealistic for him to fall past the Bills with the eighth selection. There could easily be a team that trades up to get him.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Along with Florida State’s E.J. Manuel, Nassib is another quarterback who has had his stock rise. Nassib had a disappointing performance at the Senior Bowl, but he has interviewed extremely well with teams. They love his confidence, work ethic and football I.Q. Nassib received good preparation for the NFL under current Bills head coach Doug Marrone and ran the same offense as the Saints.
Nassbi completed 62 percent of his passes as a senior for 3,749 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 223-pounder is projected by many to be an early selection in the second round and is in the running to be the second quarterback selected.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Right now, it sounds like Hopkins is on the bubble between the first and second round. He isn’t the tallest or fastest wide out, but he has speed to get separation along with plus route-running and hands. Scouts told WalterFootball.com that Hopkins did well in his pro day and timed around 4.55 seconds in the 40. That was expected and they are comfortable with his speed.
Hopkins was extremely productive for Clemson. He totaled 1,405 yards on 82 catches and 18 touchdowns in 2012. Hopkins (6-1) has added some strength since the end of the season and is now weighing in around 215 pounds. That was impressive to see for scouts considering that he maintained his speed. There is a chance that Hopkins is the fifth receiver selected and a first-round pick.
Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
Arizona’s Matt Scott is yet another quarterback with buzz around him. The Eagles, among others, have shown a lot of interest in the dual-threat quarterback. Scott was previously a backup to Nick Foles, but Scott used the 2012 season to make a statement that he is pro prospect in his own right. The senior completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,620 yards with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also ran for 632 yards (506 net) with six touchdowns.
The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder has developmental talent with a quality arm to go along with his mobility. With the interest in incorporating more of the spread option offense in the NFL, Scott benefits from teams wanting to find a quarterback like Colin Kaepernick. Scott could go off the board in the top-100 picks and be a second-day selection.
2013 NFL Draft Stock Down
Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State
Not all quarterbacks benefit from the pre-draft rise associated with their position; some seem to get left behind and fall lower than expected. Mike Glennon seems suffereing from that as there is zero buzz about him right now. Meanwhile, there is a lot more positive talk about the draft status for quarterbacks like Smith, Nassib, Manuel and Matt Barkley. At one point, Glennon was in the running to be a second-day pick. However, his decision-making and accuracy issues are huge red flags.
Glennon completed 58.5 percent of his passes in 2012 for 4,031 yards, 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The senior didn’t have a good supporting cast and played better than his numbers indicate, but the inaccuracy and turnovers are huge problems. Glennon also doesn’t offer any mobility. It appears, at the moment, that he could fall to the third or fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Williams experienced a prolific senior season, but its been a rough three months since then. He didn’t stand out at the Senior Bowl or Combine and needs a big pro day. Williams (6-1, 200) was smaller than expected and hasn’t shown a lot of speed. He led the nation in receiving yardage in 2012with 1,832 yards on 97 receptions with 12 touchdowns. Currently, many believe that Williams will go in the third round, but he once was considered to be a potential first-rounder.
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