2015 NFL Draft Stock – Week 1

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2015 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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2015 NFL Draft Stock Up

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Gurley showed that the hype is justified in a dominating performance against Clemson. He finished with 198 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns rushing to go along with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown.

Gurley showed it all against Clemson. He ran away from defenders on a 51-yard touchdown run. He powered through defenders and picked up yards after contact. Gurley has an amazing combination of size, speed, body lean and vision. It was a dominant performance that illustrated why Gurley is an elite talent.

If the junior can stay healthy, Gurley stands a great shot of ending the streak of a running back not being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
Oakman looked tremendous against SMU. From start to finish, the Mustangs struggled to block Oakman. The big defensive lineman lined up at defensive end, tackle and stood up over tackles like an edge rushing outside linebacker. He was using his speed to fire into the backfield and was strong for the SMU blockers.

Late in the first quarter, Oakman blew by the left tackle with a speed rush to sack the quarterback. Oakman contributed to another sack when he easily beat a block from a running back to get to the quarterback. In the third quarter, Oakman used his power to push the tackle into the backfield before disengaging and getting in on a tackle for a loss. A few plays later, Oakman used speed to fire to the inside and rip down the quarterback for a sack-fumble that SMU recovered. Oakman was scored with two sacks, the forced fumble and three tackles.

The 6-foot-9, 280-pounder has a great skill set and looks poised to explode this year. This performance was a great start to the season for Oakman and looked like a high-round draft pick against SMU.

Erik Kendricks, OLB, UCLA
UCLA linebacker Erik Kendricks was all over the field against Virginia, and the big plays he made led to 14 points from the Bruins’ defense. After Kendricks stripped a receiver of the ball deep in UCLA territory, a teammate scooped up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown. On the next drive, the quarterback was flooded with defenders, Kendricks had tight coverage on the running back. That allowed Kendricks to undercut the throw to pick it off and take 37 yards it to the house.

Kendricks was a tackling machine in the ground game. He made tackles in the tackle box and on the perimeter. Kendricks totaled 16 tackles, two passes broken up, the forced fumble and the interception against Virginia. He showed great speed, instincts and versatility. Kendricks looks like a three-down starting Will linebacker for the NFL, and this tape will help boost his draft stock.

A.J. Johnson, ILB, Tennessee
Johnson looked like a potential early-round pick after a huge sophomore season in 2012. He disappointed last year and wisely returned to school.

Johnson got this season off to a great start against Utah State. Early in the first quarter, he made a hard tackle on kick coverage at the 10-yard line and stripped ball out for a Tennessee turnover. Later on, Johnson jumped a route in front of a receiver for an interception. He came close to another interception a little bit later. All night, Johnson did a good job of spying Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton and making tackles in the ground game as Johnson totaled nine tackles. This was an excellent start to his senior year.

Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss
Prewitt was one of the top safeties in the SEC last year but went under the radar. He continued to show that he is an early-round talent to open the 2014 season against Boise State. Prewitt tracked down an interception coming over the top from free safety and shortly later he showed his enforcing ability by knocking a receiver into next week. It was a clean hit as Prewitt led with his shoulder and avoided going to the helmet of the receiver.

Prewitt came close to an interception in the third quarter, but was knocked away by the receiver. He made a number of good tackles and helped limit gains – like a free safety is supposed to. Against Boise State, Prewitt totaled eight tackles with the interception.

Prewitt was fast, physical, instinctive and versatile. This tape will only help his draft grade. Prewitt looks like he could be a starting safety in the NFL and maybe as soon as next season.

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Entering the season, the 2015 draft class looked weak at defensive tackle, but one player who has the potential to rise and strengthen the class is Shelton. The stout nose tackle was dominant against Hawaii. Shelton recorded 12 tackles with three tackles for a loss and two sacks. He was unblockable for Hawaii’s offensive linemen.

Shelton is a short, thick nose tackle who has a surprising burst. He finished the 2013 season in impressive fashion and picked up where he left off. It will be interesting to see if Shelton can be as good against tougher Pac-12 competition.

Honorable Mentions: Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon, UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Texas A&M left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, West Virginia safety Karl Joseph and Alabama safety Landon Collins.

2015 NFL Draft Stock Down

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
WalterFootball.com knows that multiple NFL teams view Petty as a third-day prospect despite the hype by some draft pundits. The view of league contacts was justified in Baylor’s 2014 season opener. Perry’s accuracy was lacking as he missed a lot of wide open receivers who any NFL quarterback has to connect with, plus he had some poor ball placement on other throws.

On two occasions, Petty had receivers running wide open down the field with no player in a position to stop them. Petty overthrew those wide outs for incompletions in what should have been easy touchdown throws. He also had some under-thrown passes fall short of open receivers. Still, this tape will only serve to fuel the argument that Petty is a college system quarterback and not a prospect for the first three rounds.

Deshazor Everett, CB, Texas A&M
Everett looked like he could be a good pro prospect as sophomore in 2012. His junior season was a disappoint, and Everett decided to return for his senior year.

The senior’s 2014 season, though, is off to an awful start. Early in the season opener against South Carolina, Everett was flagged for pass interference to convert a third-and-long. It got worse for him later in the first quarter when he was burned for a 69-yard touchdown. Everett was in a deep zone and was slow to react to the streaking receiver, who ran straight by Everett to get wide open. Shortly later, the senior thought he had deep help, but he didn’t, and that allowed South Carolina wide receiver Damiere Byrd to run wide open for a 46-yard touchdown.

Everett allows too much separation. He looks big, stiff, and slow. Everett is a large cornerback who may have to move to safety in the NFL and that would probably make him a project pick for Day 3.

Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
Erving had an ugly season opener protecting the blind side of Jameis Winston. Throughout the game against Oklahoma State, Erving was allowing his defender to penetration into the backfield. Erving was tossed aside by the defensive end in the second quarter, and that led to a sack of Winston. After halftime, Erving was beaten on a run block to allow a tackle for a loss. He allowed other pressures around the edge and looked slow-footed.

This tape will hurt Erving in his draft grade. He could be a better fit at guard or right tackle for the NFL. To start his senior season, Erving looked like a second-day pick rather than a first-rounder.

Josh Shaw, CB, USC
Shaw looks like he’s in the process of blowing his shot at being an early-round pick. He injured both of his ankles and lied to USC that he did it saving his nephew from drowning. The media made Shaw a hero, but the story fell apart and Shaw admitted that it was a lie. He was suspended indefinitely by USC and is reportedly being investigated for domestic violence by the LAPD. This is a horribly ugly scandal for Shaw. He lied and wasn’t accountable for whatever incident he was involved in that injured his ankles.

With the NFL’s new rules on domestic violence, teams are going to have little tolerance for players who have had issues with it in the past. Shaw could have been an early-round pick, but with this off-the-field trouble, he may not play this season and could go undrafted.

Dishonorable Mentions: UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, and Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell.

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