2015 NFL Draft Stock – Pro Days III

This 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

Cameron Erving, C, Florida State
Since the middle of the 2014 season, Erving’s stock has been on the rise. The catalyst for this climb was his move from left tackle to center during the 2014 season. The Seminoles’ offensive line was much better in the ground game with Erving paving the way from the middle, and he helped improve the interior pass protection for Jameis Winston.

In speaking with scouts, they love Erving as a run-blocker and pass-protector, as well as just general athlete in the middle of the line. He would be a big center in the NFL similar to the Pouncey twins, who are two of the best in the league. Sources with teams picking in the middle of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft say that Erving is in play that high and they expect him to be a first-round pick.

Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Another player who has impressed teams as of late is Johnson. In speaking with team sources, Johnson had a great workout and teams are very interested in him. One general manager told WalterFootball.com that Johnson is in play for their first-round pick, and it seems like Johnson is very secure as a late first-round pick.

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
There isn’t much debate about who the top cornerback in the 2015 NFL Draft is; Waynes pretty much locked that down at the Combine. Teams picking in the middle of the first round expect Waynes to be off the board and believe that he will go late in the top 10, or early in the teens. There are lots of teams that could take a corner, and Waynes should be in high demand come draft day.

Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
For some time, there was a question on if Strong would be a late first-round pick or go early in the second round. Buoyed by his fast 40 time at the Combine, Strong’s draft stock has climbed, and now the question is how high will he go in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. It isn’t out of the question for Strong to crack the top 20 as there are a lot of receiver-needy teams picking in the teens. If Strong doesn’t go in the top 20, he looks likes a lock to be selected in the final 12 picks of Thursday night.

Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
Momentum is a part of the NFL draft process, and every year, players who pick up enough momentum end up climbing throughout the leadup to draft day. One player who has some momentum right now is Dupree. The big, fast physical defender is being more routinely projected to go in the middle of the first round, and there could be a run on edge rushers. Dupree has the flexibility to fit as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 outside linebacker, so he shouldn’t have a long wait on Friday night.

Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
The headlines and attention so far this year have been focused on edge rushers like Dante Fowler Jr., Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, Vic Beasley and Dupree. All of those edge defenders are expected to be selected in the top-20 picks, but there are plenty of teams picking late in the first round that could be in the market to improve their pass rush. As a result, Harold has seen his stock climb as he has the ability to get after the quarterback by coming off the corner. Harold is fast off the edge with upside to develop in the NFL. He could end up being a Thursday night selection and shouldn’t last long if he falls to Day 2.

2015 NFL Draft Stock Down

Josue Matias, G, Florida State
In speaking with team sources, Florida State guard Matias hasn’t impressed in the postseason and his draft grade has taken a hit. Teams had a second-round grade on him at one time, but he’s been lowered to Round 3. That puts Matias in line with a pack of other guard prospects, and as a result, he could slide in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri
At one point, there was a lot of talk that Ray wouldn’t make it out of the top-five during the 2015 NFL Draft. Some draft pundits at ESPN where pushing Ray as the second-coming of Von Miller. However after speaking with teams that are considering an edge rusher, they never felt that way about Ray. In fact, those teams have always Ray rated behind other pass-rushers like Dante Fowler Jr., Randy Gregory and Vic Beasley. After a so-so pro-day workout, it seems possible that Ray could slide in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Markus Golden, OLB/DE, Missouri
NFL sources have indicated that Golden has a shot at sneaking into the late picks of the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. However, he is more likely to be a third- or fourth-round pick. The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder didn’t impress at the Senior Bowl as he made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Golden looked more like a tweener and may not have a position home.

Other pass-rushers who have been similar and been selected in that range include Alex Okafor (2013) and Carl Bradford (2014). Golden would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL as he doesn’t have the size to play defensive end in a 4-3 and isn’t enough of an athlete to play outside linebacker in a 4-3.

Jarvis Harrison, G, Texas A&M
There are a bunch of guard prospects for the second day of the 2015 NFL Draft, and one player who has the talent to be considered in Round 3 is Harrison. He is a big guard at 6-foot-4, 330 pounds and showed some athleticism in the Aggies’ up-tempo offense. However, teams are unimpressed with how Harrison has interviewed, plus there are questions about him fitting in at the NFL level. Thus, Harrison could be a second-day talent who ends up sliding to Day 3.

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