2015 NFL Draft Stock – Week 6

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

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
An emerging prospect during the first half of the 2014 season is Mississippi State junior quarterback Dak Prescott. Against Texas A&M, he had a great game as he made some money throws with accuracy into tight windows to move the ball. Prescott threw some dimes, including a pass over the head of the cornerback where the receiver took off for a 52-yard touchdown. It was a perfect pass that displayed arm strength and accuracy from the pocket as Prescott worked off his primary read and found the receiver in man coverage.

Against Texas A&M, Prescott completed 19-of-25 passes for 259 yards with two touchdowns. He ran for 77 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns on the ground, too. It was a Heisman Trophy-type performance to lead Mississippi State to a win over the sixth-ranked Aggies.

In 2014, Prescott has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,223 yards with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. On the ground, he has picked up 455 yards (5.4 average) and six touchdowns. Prescott has shown NFL scouts a lot to fall in love with as he has passed accurately from the pocket with impressive field vision to work through his progressions and throw to the right receiver. Prescott also has a strong arm, mobility and toughness. His ball placement and security have been very good, too. Prescott has some great tape now, and his stock is rising sharply.

Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss
Wallace has played better as a senior, but he’s been inconsistent in his college career. Wallace came through with some big-time throws against Alabama to have the game of his life. He threw some great passes down the field in the fourth quarter to lead Ole Miss to the comeback win. Wallace had some perfect tosses and went after Crimson Tide star safety Landon Collins.

A tight end had Collins beaten for a long touchdown, but dropped the pass. Soon, Wallace went to another receiver to beat Collins on a 34-yard touchdown. Wallace targeted Collins again for the game winner. Running back Jaylen Walton fired to the corner of the end zone and Collins was late reacting as Walton ran right by him to get open for the score. Wallace dropped in a perfect pass.

Wallace completed 18-of-31 passes for 251 yards with three touchdowns. It could have been an even bigger day if his receivers hadn’t dropped some well-thrown passes. In 2014, Wallace has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,522 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. The 6-foot-4, 217-pounder has a good arm to go with size, but has struggled with consistency in his college career. However, this game could be a real spark to Wallace’s draft stock and cause teams to start giving him more consideration.

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Coates has had a slow start to the season, but he exploded against LSU. Early in the game, Coates beat double coverage to haul in a 57-yard touchdown. Shortly later, he used his size to shield LSU safety Jalen Mills from the ball and make a leaping catch for 38 yards over the LSU safety. Mills had good coverage, but Coates used his size advantage to make the play. Just before halftime, Coates got open in zone with a run after the catch for a gain of 29 yards. He finished with four receptions for 144 yards.

In 2014, Coates has nine receptions for 200 yards with a touchdown. This was an excellent tape for him as he showed the speed to make big plays down the field with the size, strength and concentration to make contested catches. If Coates (6-2, 201) ends up being a first-round pick, this tape will have helped him achieve that draft grade.

Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
In back-to-back games, Strong has been a force against the teams of Los Angeles. After hurting UCLA, he came up with a huge game to push Arizona State to final second victory over USC. Strong got his game started with a short touchdown catch and followed it up by getting open on a post route for a 77-yard touchdown. On the final play of the game, he did a great job of tracking a Hail Mary pass and cutting in front of the defenders to haul in the 46-yard touchdown as time expired on USC. Strong hauled in 10 receptions for 202 yards with three touchdowns.

Across five games this season, Strong has 41 receptions for 614 yards with five touchdowns. In three of those games, he put up more than 140 yards receiving. Strong (6-3, 212) isn’t a burner, but he has quickness to go along with his great size. This tape will help his bid to be a first-round pick.

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Despite the big expectations entering 2014, Calhoun had a slow start to the season. That has changed recently however, and it definitely was the case against Nebraska. Calhoun was the disruptive speed rusher that he was in 2013. In the first half, he had a number of good plays in run defense and making tackles. Calhoun also got a hit on the quarterback in the end zone just after the pass was thrown. In the second quarter, he scooped up a fumble inside the Spartans’ 10-yard line and returned the fumble close to midfield.

This season, Calhoun has 13 tackles with four tackles for a loss and three sacks. Overall, Nebraska has been his best game of the season as he made a number of tackles in run support, got to the quarterback multiple times, and had lots of pressures and some splash plays. This helped get Calhoun his draft stock righted. He looked like a future first-rounder against the Cornhuskers.

La’el Collins, OT, LSU
LSU left tackle La’el Collins has been putting together a good junior season, and the Aubrun contest may have been his best game yet considering the level of competition. All night, Collins was rock solid. He handled Auburn’s speed rushers and mirrored them when they tried to turn the corner. Collins also withstood bull rushes and also got movement in the ground game. There were plays where he threw defenders into the turf like dolls. Collins (6-5, 321) showed nice strength to sustain blocks until the whistle. This tape definitely will help Collins’ draft grade and serve as part of the argument for him to stay at left tackle.

Honorable Mentions: Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes, Mississippi State inside linebacker Bernardrick McKinney, Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler, Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard and USC running back Buck Allen.

2015 NFL Draft Stock Down

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Sources with NFL teams have told WalterFootball.com that they view Petty as a third-day prospect, but some draft pundits have rated Petty as an early-rounder. Petty’s issues with accuracy have been shown up as a senior and were re-exposed against Texas last Saturday. He completed only 7-of-22 passes for 111 yards with two touchdowns. On the ground, he ran for seven yards on 11 carries. It was the same Texas defense that has been destroyed by BYU’s Taysom Hill earlier this year and in 2013, so the Longhorns have had problems with other dual-threat quarterbacks.

In 2014, Petty has completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,024 yards with nine touchdowns and an interception. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder looks like a backup and Day-3 developmental project for the NFL.

Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
Montgomery has played really well in 2014, but he had an ugly game against Notre Dame as he really struggled to catch a wet football. That could hurt him with some teams. Montgomery had at least three drops, and some could have gone for big plays as he had room to run. Montgomery had only four receptions for 12 yards against the Fighting Irish with five carries for 14 yards. He really struggled to catch wet passes, and this was an bad tape for the normally reliable receiver. In 2014, the senior has 30 receptions for 287 yards with three touchdowns.

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Ogbuehi is considered to be a potential high first-round pick, but he didn’t play like it against Mississippi State. Linebacker Benardrick McKinney got the better of him on one play early that set a tone for the day. In the second quarter, McKinney stood up over Ogbuehi to rush the quarterback, and McKinney beat Ogbuehi with quickness and strength to get a sack of Kenny Hill. Later on, Ogbuehi was beaten for another sack as he didn’t sustain his block, and the defensive end was able to get to the quarterback on a second effort for what was basically a coverage sack.

That happened again as Ogbuehi had the player blocked initially, but hustle and pass coverage led to Hill holding the ball long enough for the end to get away from Ogbuehi to get a sack. Overall, the Mississippi State game was not a good tape for Ogbuehi as he gave up three sacks and some other pressures. The senior struggled to sustain blocks and allowed sacks that he shouldn’t have. It was very uncharacteristic and won’t help Ogbuehi’s chances of being the first tackle selected in the 2015 NFL Draft – or going high in the first round.

Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Collins was enjoying a good 2014 season, but he was exposed against Ole Miss. The junior had a lot of trouble in pass coverage, and this tape will cause NFL teams to question whether Collins has the coverage skills to run with receiving tight ends and backs out of the backfield. He was beaten by tight end Evan Engram for a potential 50-yard touchdown, but Engram dropped a well-thrown pass from Bo Wallace. Shortly later, Collins wasn’t so lucky, as Vince Sanders beat him for a 34-yard touchdown. Collins took some false steps to the other side of the field, which let Sanders get open behind him for the score. Collins showed poor eye discipline on that play and let Wallace manipulate him.

Only a few minutes later, Collins was burned again on the game-winning score. Running back Jaylen Walton fired to the corner of the end zone and Collins was late reacting as Walton ran right by him to get open for the score.

In 2014, Collins has 38 tackles, two passes broken up and an interception. He is a heavy hitter and a good defender as the eighth man in the box, but in the passing-driven NFL, teams are looking for safeties who can cover receiving threats from tight ends, slot receivers and backs out of the backfield. This tape will show that Collins could have problems in this regard, which could scare some teams off.

Dishonorable Mention: Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Stanford cornerback Wayne Lyons.

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