2015 NFL Draft Stock – Week 3

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

By Charlie Campbell.
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2015 NFL Draft Stock Up

Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
Last week, an NFL general manager identified to me that Grayson is a sleeper quarterback prospect who is really good and could rise like Blake Bortles or Jimmy Garoppolo did last year. Grayson got on the NFL’s radar in 2013 when he completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,696 yards for 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Grayson has started this season well and threw for 434 yards against Boise State. Against UC Davis, he put on a clinic and demonstrated why NFL evaluators have taken a liking to him. Grayson completed 22-of-31 passes for 425 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has a good arm, passing ability and some athleticism. If Grayson keeps playing like he did last Saturday, he’ll continue to rise as that general manager predicted.

Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina
Carden is a potential third-day quarterback prospect who could be a little short in his skill set for the NFL. However, he lit up what is considered to be one of the best secondaries in college football with Virginia Tech. Carden had a superb performance leading the Pirates to a huge road upset, completing 23-of-47 passes for 427 yards with three touchdowns. He also ran for the game-winning touchdown.

Carden is a quality passer who showed nice field vision and decision-making against Virginia Tech. The senior has completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,031 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Carden’s performance against Virginia Tech will encourage teams to give him a look and more consideration as a prospect.

Hau’Oli Kikana, OLB, Washington
Kikana broke out for Washington last year with 13 sacks and entered 2014 as one of the best pass-rushers in the Pac-12. To start the season, Kikana notched sacks against Hawaii and Eastern Washington, but against Illinois last Saturday, he exploded. Kikana notched three sacks and six tackles. The Illini couldn’t keep him in check.

This season, Kikana has 17 tackles, five sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one pass batted. For the NFL, he could use more strength to fight off blockers and hold up in the ground game. The 6-foot-3, 246-pounder should be able to add 10-15 pounds to fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He could also function in a 4-3 defense. With his consistent pass-rushing production, Kikana should rise in the months to come.

Rory Anderson, TE, South Carolina
NFL teams are seeking pass-receiving tight ends, and Anderson could see his stock rise out of the demand for that type of play-maker. Anderson showed that he is a dangerous receiving weapon against Georgia. Early on, Anderson got open for a gain of 20 yards in zone coverage and followed it up with a reception for 15 yards on a crossing route. In the second quarter, he went up over linebacker Amarlo Herrara to make an 18-yard touchdown catch. It was an impressive play as Anderson ran a good route and made a fabulous contested catch.

Anderson totaled five receptions for 67 yards with a touchdown, and South Carolina didn’t throw him the ball enough. The senior Anderson (6-5, 227) needs to add strength as a blocker, but he could be a weapon as a receiving tight end in the NFL.

Cam Worthy, WR, East Carolina
With Kendall Fuller putting the clamps on Justin Hardy, Pirates wide receiver Cam Worthy stepped up and destroyed the vaunted Virginia Tech secondary. Worthy totaled 224 yards on six receptions and made huge plays to lead the Pirates to an upset over Virginia Tech.

This was a breakout game for Worthy. The senior hasn’t produced much before this game as he had only 19 receptions for 295 yards last year, and most of his production this year came last Saturday. In 2014, Worthy has 11 catches for 302 yards with a score. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has size to him and showed quickness against the Hokies. Worthy deserves more targets from East Carolina and is a sleeper wide out to keep an eye on.

Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
Fowler was a beast for the Gators last Saturday night and did a great job of causing disruption in the Kentucky backfield. He had six tackles, two tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and a sack against the Wildcats. All night, Fowler was flying around the field and making plays for the Gators’ defense. He showed excellent conditioning as he was making plays throughout overtime.

Sources have indicated that they see a potential first-round pick in Fowler. He’s strong for his size while being fast and athletic on the edge. Fowler can play in the 260s or 270s, so he has the potential to be a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end. For the Gators, Fowler plays the Buck linebacker spot, which is basically a 3-4 outside linebacker. In two games this season, Fowler has shown that he is a first-round talent for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Javorius “Buck” Allen, RB, USC
Allen didn’t have a big game on the ground against Boston College, but he gave NFL evaluators a tape to get excited about with his receiving ability. Allen hauled in nine receptions for 118 yards with a touchdown. He had a long catch of 51 yards. On the ground, Allen was held to 31 yards on 15 carries, but his ability to contribute to the passing game helps him stand out among a talented group of draft-eligible running backs.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Allen has been a physical load this year and a consistent producer for the USC offense. Through three games, he has 318 rush yards with an average of 5.3 yards per carry with a touchdown. As a receiver, Allen has 10 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. The junior from Tallahassee, Florida is making the case to be a second-day pick and warrant consideration as a three-down starter.

Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
Missouri hasn’t missed Michael Sam and Kony Ealy thus far in 2014 because of the great play from Ray and Markus Golden. Ray destroyed Central Florida last Saturday. In the first half, Ray showed his speed to make a few tackles for a loss in pursuit. He had some trouble defending downhill runs coming straight at him, but otherwise lived in the backfield. In the first half, Ray made three tackles for a loss in run support. In the third quarter on a pass rush, he got upfield and worked back to the line of scrimmage to sack the quarterback as he stepped up in the pocket. Midway through the fourth quarter, Ray ripped down the quarterback for a strip-sack.

In 2014, Ray has five sacks, 16 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. He showed a real burst off the snap with the agility to turn the corner. Ray needs to get stronger for the ground game, but this was a very impressive showing that illustrated his speed-rushing skills and edge-rush athleticism. Ray looks like a good fit for a 3-4 defense as an edge-rushing linebacker.

Honorable Mentions: Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, East Carolina defensive tackle Terry Williams, Texas Tech left tackle Le’Raven Clark and Virginia defensive end Eli Harold.

2015 NFL Draft Stock Down

Noah Spence, DE, Ohio State
Spence was expected to return from suspension last Saturday, but he remains suspended after failing another drug test. Spence is suspended indefinitely, and his parents have acknowledged that drugs are an issue. The junior is killing his draft stock, and his best plan would be to return to Ohio State for 2015. Spence needs to clean up his off-the-field issues and get productive on the field to redeem his draft stock.

Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas
Entering the season, Flowers was considered to be one of the top ends in the SEC, and last Saturday, he was going against a quality NFL prospect in Texas Tech left tackle Le’Raven Clark. In the first half, Clark controlled Flowers on the majority of their plays. After not having success going around Clark, Flowers did better going with a bull rush and pushing Clark toward the quarterback. Flowers produced a few nice bull rushes, but still was coming up short on sacks and hits on the quarterback. Flowers needs more work on a repertoire of moves to get after the quarterback. The senior looks more like a potential third-day pick than a Day-2 prospect.

Dishonorable Mention: Virginia Tech safety Kyshoen Jarrett and Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrara.

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