2014 NFL Draft Stock – Early Pro Days

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

By Charlie Campbell.
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2014 NFL Draft Stock Up

Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
The Buckeyes’ play-making linebacker had a tremendous pro-day performance with a phenomenal 40-yard dash said to be in the 4.4-second range. He put up that blistering time despite having an injured hamstring. The junior also has shown scouts that he maintained his lightning-fast speed even though he has gained 12 pounds of muscle since the end of the season. Shazier (6-2, 237) is a heat-seeking missile on the football field who can cover sideline-to-sideline. With his great pro day to go along with his production, good tape and increased strength, Shazier is in the running to be a top-25 pick.

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Mack has made steady appearances in WalterFootball.com’s stock reports for stock up since the start of the 2013 season. There isn’t much room for him to go up anymore as he know is viewed as a legitimate top-five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, with some analysts suggesting he could factor into the debate for the first-overall pick. Mack had a superb pro-day performance to finish off his great postseason. The dynamic edge rusher could compel a quarterback-needy team in the top five like Jacksonville, Cleveland or Oakland to pass on a signal-caller for him.

Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
WalterFootball.com has heard from multiple teams in the top 25 that like Hageman. They feel he has a great mix of power and explosion. Hageman also can fit any defense in the NFL with the ability to play a variety of techniques. He needs to get more consistent, but teams feel he has the capacity to be a difference-maker at the point of attack. Sources also said that Hageman’s maturity and leadership potential were very impressive during the Combine interviews. He looks likely to be a top-25 pick next May.

Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
One sources told WalterFootball.com, “Everybody wrote off Johnson too soon. He still has a great skill set with speed and power. He moves really well for a big boy!” The 6-foot-2, 308-pounder illustrated his movement skills with an impressive performance at the Combine. League contacts have told WalterFootball.com that Johnson is receiving second-round grades and shouldn’t fall out of Round 3. He has a lot of upside and could develop into a steal with good coaching.

Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech
Ellis (6-1, 334) is a sleeper prospect who a lot of teams are high on. He’s a heavy tackle who has power at the point of attack. Ellis showed some burst and surprising movement skills for big tackle at the Combine. The senior recorded 48 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a pass batted in 2013. WalterFootball.com has heard from teams that Ellis should go on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft.

2014 NFL Draft Stock Down

Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
There is a big discrepancy in opinion on Richardson. Some teams really like him and feel he is a late first-round pick, while other teams feel he belongs in the mid-rounds. However, WalterFootball.com has heard that even the teams that like Richardson have concerns about a micro-fracture injury of his. That injury is causing those teams to put a medical red flag on Richardson, and it will be important for him to show improvement over his Combine performance at his pro day. The injury, along with some rough tape from his final season, is knocking Richardson into the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft.

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
As we outlined in the rumormill, Mosley’s stock is on the decline with some teams. WalterFootball.com spoke with a playoff team in the 20s that is in the market for a linebacker and likes other linebackers more than Mosley. Another team told us that linebackers slide every year and that Mosley falling to the second round isn’t out of the question, just like Manti Te’o in the 2013 NFL Draft. Teams have concerns about a knee injury with Mosley and are worried about him being the latest Alabama player to enter the NFL banged up.

Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
WalterFootball.com has heard from league contacts that the top tight ends on their draft boards are North Carolina’s Eric Ebron and Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Amaro is being graded on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft after many had thought he would be a first-round pick. Amaro had a mixed performance at the Combine and needs a strong pro day to solidify his standing as a potential second-rounder.

Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish standout was the consensus top defensive tackle throughout the 2013 season and into most of this year so far. However, Nix’s stock has been downgraded where now he’s a late first-round pick. Sources at playoff teams that could use help on the defensive line have said they will pass on Nix and think better talents will be available. At one time, he was projected to be a top-10 pick, but now he looks like a late first-rounder.

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
It has been a rough postseason for Tajh Boyd. The concerns about his accuracy flaws were glaring at the Senior Bowl and, to a lesser extent, at the Combine. Sources indicated WalterFootball.com that Boyd was better at his pro day, but it was highly scripted to the point that evaluators didn’t get to see everything they wanted to see. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that after the Combine and his pro day, Boyd has moved lower from a third-round to a fourth-round pick.

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