2013 NFL Draft Stock – Pro Days Part III

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

D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
Sources have told WalterFootball.com that there are lot of teams falling in love with Swearinger. The 5-foot-11, 208-pounder is very physical and plays with a swagger. Swearinger hits hard and has good instincts. He had 79 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and seven passes broken up in 2012. Swearinger started 13 games in 2011 and could’ve produced more if it weren’t for a nagging foot injury. He totaled 80 tackles with three interceptions.

There are other safeties who have received more media attention, but sources said that Swearinger should go in the second round with other acclaimed safeties like LSU’s Eric Reid, Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien and possibly Florida’s Matt Elam. Swearinger could end up going ahead of some of those safeties as there are a lot of teams that are really high on him.

Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
There is some fresh buzz that Banks could move back into first-round consideration. Banks was viewed as a first-rounder for most of the 2012 season, but a knee injury slowed him down late. He couldn’t play in the Senior Bowl and ran a slow time at the Combine, but the NFL is a copycat league. There are a lot of teams that are looking to duplicate the success of the Seahawks’ tall cornerbacks, and Banks (6-2, 185) fits that mold the best.

Banks has four years of good production including an impressive senior year. He amassed 63 tackles, four interceptions and seven passes broken up in 2012. In his first three seasons, Banks totaled 12 interceptions. It wouldn’t be surprising if he breaks into the late first round.

Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Mathieu is said to be cracking the second day of the draft with NFL teams following his good showing at the Combine. The 5-foot-9, 186-pounder was viewed as a fourth- or fifth-round pick, but after running well in Indianapolis and being very candid about his off-the-field issues, teams are looking at him as a potential late third-round pick.

Mathieu was one of the best defensive players in college football during the 2011 season. He led the Tigers in tackles in 2011 with 76. The sophomore also had 7.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and nine passes broken up.

LSU lined Mathieu up as an outside corner, slot corner and safety. He was very dangerous in the slot. Additionally, Mathieu served as a punt returner in 2011, averaging 16 yards per return with two brought back for touchdowns. As a freshman, he compiled 57 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, seven passes broken up and two interceptions.

If Mathieu goes to the right situation, he could be a steal.

Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
There is a real buzz about Franklin’s stock. Some feel he could crack the first round, and while that might be a bit lofty, Franklin could possibly go in the second round. Teams love his personality, speed, change-of-pace style, blocking ability and receiving skills.

Franklin had a superb senior season. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry while churning his way to 1,734 yards and 13 touchdowns. Franklin also caught 33 balls for 323 yards and two touchdowns. At the Senior Bowl, he did a good job of blocking in blitz protection, and at the Combine, he blazed a fast 40 time of 4.49 seconds. There is a lot of love for Franklin with coaches and scouts. His stock seems to be really rising.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
Another running back who could be rising into the second round is Bell. There are some that feel that Bell is the most well-rounded back. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder has deceptive speed while having the size, physicality and durability to be a bell cow back. He impressed many with a strong performance at the Combine.

Bell carried Michigan State’s offense in 2012. He averaged 29 carries (382 total) per game as the Spartans struggled to move the ball aside from handing it off to him. Bell averaged 4.7 yards per carry despite all the action and ran for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He also had 32 receptions for 167 yards. The junior went over 200 yards against Boise State, Eastern Michigan and Minnesota.

There are a number of teams looking for a durable three-down running back. The 2013 NFL Draft is filled with 5-foot-10, 200-pound running backs, and Bell stands out with more size and durability. He could go in the second round and many think he won’t fall out of the third round.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Even though Bernard has an electric skill set, there are other running backs who have received more attention. WalterFootball.com knows of a number of scouts who really like Bernard and feel he is a good second-round value. Some scouts have compared Bernard to former Eagles standout Brian Westbrook.

Bernard ran for 1,228 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012 while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He also hauled in 47 passes for 490 yards and five touchdowns. Bernard averaged 16 yards per punt return as well, and even scored on two of them. One was the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter against N.C. State.

While Bernard (5-8, 202) isn’t the biggest of backs, he has underrated toughness and physicality while also being a back with burst and shiftiness. Sources said that Bernard performed well at his pro day and has confirmed a second-round grade.

Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M
There are a lot of teams showing interest in Porter. The Falcons had a private workout with him that featured their entire contingent including general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Other teams that have shown interest include Kansas City and Dallas.

The senior recorded 66 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, four passes broken up and an interception in 2012. Texas A&M played a 3-4 style defense in 2011 in which Porter was a dangerous edge-rusher and used his speed to fly around the field. He totaled 79 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

With Porter’s flexibility, he could be used as a pass-rusher and in coverage in a 4-3 defense. Scouts WalterFootball.com spoke with feel that Porter could go in the top 100 and crack the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
There are the off-the-field concerns with Michael, but if he didn’t have those issues, he could be in the running to be the first running back selected. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound has the combination of size and speed to be a difference-maker. He is viewed by teams as a future starter after impressing at the East-West Shrine and Combine. Michael totaled 417 yards on 88 carries (4.7 average) and 12 touchdowns last year.

In 2011 before going down with a knee injury, Michael outshined teammate Cyrus Gray. Michael led Texas A&M in rushing prior to the injury. He averaged six yards per carry with 899 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael had 844 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns as freshman, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that Michael won’t make it to the late rounds and looks like a second-day pick.

2013 NFL Draft Stock Down

Jarvis Jones, S, Georgia
Jones’ pro day confirmed what scouts told us they expected for his speed with a 40 time in the 4.9 to 5.0 range. His other drills didn’t go well either, but scouts told us he looked better in position drills. At the East-West Shrine, scouts told WalterFootball.com that Jones would slide on draft day because they believe he will test poorly before the draft and isn’t a hard worker in the weight room. The scouts said that watching the game tape, Jones is worthy of being a top draft pick, but they don’t believe he will go that high.

With his poor workout combined with the injury concerns revolving around his neck, there are more predictions like that of WalterFootball.com with Jones being a pick in the middle of the first round.

Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
This is a crowded defensive tackle class and Hankins has fallen under the radar. There seems to be a real lack of buzz about him with NFL teams while a number of other defensive tackles are being projected ahead of him. The prospects who seemed to have passed him over include North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams, Alabama’s Jesse Williams and Georgia’s John Jenkins. Right now, it looks realistic that Hankins could go off the board in the middle of the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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