2014 NFL Draft Stock – Week 2

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2014 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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2014 NFL Draft Stock Up

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
Seastrunk dominated Buffalo in only one half of playing time. The 5-foot-10, 215-pounder had a highlight-reel touchdown run in the second quarter on which he went off the right tackle, pounded a tackler into the turf and exploded toward the corner to dive into the end zone. Seastrunk picked up an extra 14 yards after running over the safety. The refs reviewed the play and ruled that he stepped out of bounds a yard short of the end zone, so he plowed into the end zone on the next play. Seastrunk’s next carry was his third touchdown of the game. He ran up the middle, bounced off a defensive tackle and kicked the run outside for a 38-yard score.

That was the end of the day for Seastrunk. Against Buffalo, he totaled 157 yards on 18 carries with three scores. Thus far in 2013, Seastrunk has 262 yards on 28 carries (9.4 average) with five touchdowns. This tape definitely helps him. He showed great vision, balance, speed and power.

Seastrunk really does a superb job of running behind his pads and that combines with his strength to allow him to pick up a lot of yards after contact. The only question that NFL scouts should have about Seastrunk is his ability to contribute in the passing game as a blocker and receiver.

Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan
Without the play of Gallon, the Wolverines probably wouldn’t have beaten Notre Dame. The 5-foot-8, 184-pounder torched the Notre Dame defense. He made big plays all game. Gallon got his night started by catching a pass downfield before springing by the defenders to race away for a 61-yard touchdown. He followed that with touchdown receptions of 13 and 12 yards. Gallon caught eight passes for 184 yards with three scores.

The redshirt senior has 12 receptions for 231 yards and four touchdowns through two games this year. If Gallon can stay consistent throughout the season, his draft stock should rise for the passing-driven NFL. This performance will definitely help his bid to get on scouts’ radar as a potential slot receiver.

Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
Perryman was all over the field for the Hurricanes against the Gators. He played a big role in Florida struggling to run the ball in between the tackles. In the first quarter, Perryman put a big hit on Florida running back Matt Jones to force a fumble that was recovered by Miami at midfield. Perryman made a nice third-quarter tackle to stuff a run for no gain and followed it with a great open-field tackle on a wide receiver. Perryman also showed well in pass coverage. He covered a lot of ground and did a nice job of covering receivers who came into his zone.

Perryman finished the game with a total of 14 tackles and a forced fumble. The speedy, athletic linebacker looks a potential three-down starter for the NFL and could be poised for a huge junior season.

Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
BYU’s defense played more physical football than the Texas offense and Van Noy was a leading part of that. He totaled eight tackles with a sack and put a ton of hits on the quarterback that contributed to knocking starter David Ash out of the game. Van Noy also showed well on the goal line, setting up two tackles for no gain at the one-yard line. He also blew up a screen by pounding Ash before it could be set up. In the second half, it looked like Van Noy had a strip-sack but it was ruled that the quarterback’s arm was coming forward for an incompletion.

Van Noy has 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and a sack two games into 2013. The senior needs to add weight for the NFL, but is a real weapon in pass defense. He does a good job of dropping into coverage and is fantastic as an edge-rusher. Van Noy is fast and has phenomenal agility to sink his hips and dodge blockers. His performance versus the Longhorns gave scouts a tape to consider him as a first-rounder.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
A year ago, Lewan had an up-and-down performance against Notre Dame. Prince Shembo beat him for a sack and the Fighting Irish were able to take that game. Lew was able to get revenge this season with a strong overall performance versus Notre Dame. Throughout the night, the senior made a lot of good run blocks against the Irish. He also did well protecting Devin Gardner’s blind side as he kept Shembo and Stephon Tuitt out of the pocket.

Michigan doesn’t see a lot of elite pass-rushers this season, so there may not be a better test for Lewan in 2013. It was a good performance for him and a tape that helps his cause to be a high first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky
Every year there are players who were unknowns before breaking out to become NFL prospects. In the early going, Smith is making himself a candidate. He put on a big-time performance against Miami of Ohio last week with three sacks and six tackles. Smith has 11 tackles with four sacks and 6.5 tackles for a loss through two games in 2013.

The 6-foot-6, 254-pounder could thrive under the new coaching staff of Mark Stoops. The Wildcats’ staff raves about Smith’s athletic ability. Smith is a raw talent who didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school. He played in the junior college ranks and became the No. 2-ranked defensive end junior college recruit by ESPN. Smith is a player worth keeping an eye on.

Dominique Easley, DE, Florida
The Gators talented senior defensive lineman was dominant against Miami. Easley spent the whole game living in the Hurricanes’ backfield. He had a tackle for a loss, came close to a bunch of sacks and drew three holding penalties. Easley was extremely disruptive at the point of attack and was the leader of a Florida defense that did a superb job of containing Miami’s offense. He showed a first-round skill set with a special combination of size, speed and power against the Hurricans. The 6-foot-2, 282-pounder looks poised for a huge season, so don’t be surprised if he climbs up draft rankings.

Ron Powell, OLB, Florida
Florida had huge expectations for Powell when he chose to join the program as the No. 1 player in the nation. He was coming on as a sophomore in 2011 before missing the 2012 with an ACL injury.

This year, Powell had some good battles against Miami senior right tackle Seantrel Henderson, another former No. 1 recruit in the nation. Powell almost had a sack in the third quarter, but Stephen Morris spiked the ball into the ground in front of a running back to avoid the sack. In the third quarter, Powell had an awesome rush to get a sack. He cut to the inside in front of Henderson, who thought the guard would pick up Powell, but Powell spun off the center and ripped down Morris. It was a phenomenal play.

Powell added another sack, another tackle for a loss and set up a big tackle for a loss on a reverse. He has two sacks and four tackles for a loss so far this year. Overall, this was a really good tape that should help Powell when he enters the draft, especially considering this was only his second game after coming back injury.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
In his career, Murray has had some issues with poise in the pocket against good defenses and teams with pass-rushing talent. His composure would be put to the test by South Carolina since the Gamecocks have a talented defensive line and, of course, Jadeveon Clowney. Murray stepped up to answer some doubters with an excellent game to lead Georgia to a win. He threw accurately all day and was deadly on third down. On a number of throws, the senior showed fantastic poise.

Murray made some huge plays while under pressure. He threw an eight-yard score and an 85-yard touchdown pass on plays after he scrambled out of the pocket. Against the Gamecocks, Murray completed 17-of-23 passes for 309 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. This performance really helps his draft stock. Now, Murray needs to stay consistent and play well when he takes on good defenses like LSU and Florida.

Honorable Mentions: Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix, Stanford defensive end Trent Murphy, Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson and USC outside linebacker Morgan Breslin.

2014 NFL Draft Stock Down

Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
Florida feature a defense that is stocked with NFL talent and Morris looked overmatched it. He started the game well in the first quarter, but struggled to complete passes over the final three quarters. Morris’ inaccuracy was scary and he seemed to be flustered by Easley and Powell. The Gators’ defense outplayed Morris and Miami, and if the Gators’ offense wasn’t completely incompetent in the red zone, Florida would have won the game.

Morris finished the outing 12-of-25 for 164 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He came close to a number of other interceptions. Morris showed a live arm, but didn’t have the accuracy to beat some good coverage. To be a good starter in the NFL that is a requirement. Miami won’t face a lot of good defenses in the ACCso it could hurt Morris that he struggled against one of the top units he’ll play all season.

Morris has completed 52 percent of his throws (27-of-52) this year for 322 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He will need to play better if wants to have a shot at being a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

David Fales, QB, San Jose State
Last week, Fales was on the dishonorable mentions for an underwhelming performance against Sacramento State. The Spartans still won and he wasn’t awful, so perhaps it was some first-game rust. Week 2 against Stanford wasn’t a disaster, but Fales didn’t have the kind of game he needed to help his draft stock.

Versus the Cardinal, Fales completed 29-of-43 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also took four sacks. A few of them came when Fales held onto the ball too long. Considering Stanford is known for a tough front seven with good pass-rushers, Fales’ internal clock needed to be faster. Hi interception came when he was trying to throw the ball away, but didn’t have enough arm strength to get the ball out of bounds before Ed Reynolds could run from the middle of the field to catch the ball like a punt along the sideline.

Stanford was the best defense Fales will play all season and has a lot of NFL talent, so it is disappointing that he didn’t play better in the 13-34 loss. Fales has completed 60 percent of his passes in 2013 for 441 yards with three touchdowns and interception. He needs to dominate his weaker competition the rest of the way.

Dishonorable Mentions: USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, Florida offensive tackle Tyler Moore and Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson.

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