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
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
In speaking with league sources, they feel that Gurley could be a surprise pick in the top 10 or early in the teens. If he were healthy, Gurley would be a top-five pick, but with his injury, he could be a steal for someone. Gurley’s Combine medical re-check is said to have gone well as he passed the tests. Teams believe that Gurley should be ready for training camp, and that helps his draft stock significantly. Teams picking in the teens aren’t confident that Gurley will be an option for them, so he could end up going in the top 10.
Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
There has been buzz of late of Agholor being a first-round pick. Specifically, there is talk that he could be the pick of the Eagles with the 20th-overall pick. Agholor is a quick receiver who gets separation from route-running and runs a variety of routes. Some feel that Agholor is going to be a really nice value pick and that he presents more upside than other recent receivers like Robert Woods or Marqise Lee.
La’el Collins, OT/G, LSU
There are mixed opinions on Collins, but some feel that he could go in the top 20 and may crack the top 15 of the 2015 NFL Draft. Some teams feel that the athletic Collins is a guard while others project him to tackle. There has been a lot of talk that Collins could go off the board with the 14th-overall pick to the Dolphins. Collins’ stock has been on the rise, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he is selected in the top 20 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Who the NFL invites to attend the 2015 NFL Draft can be an indicator of where teams have players rated. The league office doesn’t like to have players being embarrassed by having long waits to come out, so if a player is invited he is solidly in the first to second round. That is the case with Smith as he will be attending the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago. Smith is a tough run-blocker who really impressed at the Senior Bowl. He should develop into a starter right tackle, but also could be a guard. Smith could sneak into the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but shouldn’t last long on Friday night if he makes it there.
Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
One player who has really risen in the final months before the 2015 NFL Draft is Randall. He has become the second-rated safety, and some have him as the top safety available. Randall is a rangy free safety who has experience at cornerback. His man-coverage skills are perfectly suited to the NFL, and what teams are looking for in a safety who can cover. Some believe that Randall could end up going late in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and he shouldn’t last long in the second round.
Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State
Nelson had strong performances at the Senior Bowl and Combine to help himself. Since then a lot of teams have been showing interest in Nelson by bringing him in for pre-draft visits. He has enough size and physicality to play on the outside along with lining up over slot receivers. As a rookie, Nelson could contribute as a nickel and, in time, develop into a starter.
Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina
In a deep class of wide receivers, some talented players are going to get pushed lower than where they would go in a typical year. Hardy is that kind of receiver this year. Sources from a number of teams have gushed about Hardy. While he isn’t a big receiver, he uses quickness and route-running to get open. Hardy also has natural hands and a knack for making big plays. He could end up sneaking into the Day 2 during the 2015 NFL Draft.
Owa Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
Some believe that Odighizuwa is going to crack the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, which is higher than expected for him. There is no doubt that he has an excellent skill set with size, speed and strength. Even if Odighizuwa slips to Friday night, he shouldn’t last long as there are a lot of teams picking early in the second round that could target an edge defender.
Chaz Green, OT, Florida
Green has gone under the radar as teammate D.J. Humphries has received a lot more attention. However if you ask a Gator fan who watches all the games, they would tell you that Green did more to help Florida in his career than Humphries did. Green is a tough run-blocker who could use a little development as a pass-protector. Green is versatile and has played around the offensive line. A lot of teams are bringing him in for visits, and he could end up getting his name called much earlier than expected.
2015 NFL Draft Stock Down
Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Peat is a bit of a wild card for the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He has the potential to go in the top half or slip into the 20s. Peat has a lot of ability, but the junior had some inconsistent play in 2014. Other tackle prospects have gotten more attention and seem to be getting more interest, namely Ereck Flowers and D.J. Humphries. It still looks likely that Peat is a first-round pick, but he could end up sliding much lower than expected.
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