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
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Late just before the 2015 NFL Draft, Cooper has seen his stock tick up. Teams are more excited about him than they are about West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White, although both players are consensus top-10 talents. What has given Cooper the edge is being viewed as being more NFL ready and more polished. Cooper is a big-play weapon, and some sources have said that they feel he could be an Odell Beckham Jr.-like performer as a rookie. Cooper looks likely to go in the top five and won't get out of the top 10 for sure.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
The star just keeps rising higher for Dorsett. He has been a consistent riser in this column over the past few months, and things are only getting better for him. Sources with teams picking in the middle of the first round have told WalterFootball.com that Dorsett is in the mix to be their first-round pick. He looks very likely to go in the top 25, and it would be very surprising to teams if he fell out of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Dorsett could easily be a mid-first-round pick come Thursday night.
Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Like Dorsett, Erving is in play in the middle of the first round for a few teams. Erving has drawn a lot of comparisons to the Pouncey twins as center prospects that have a rare combination of size, speed, and athletic ability. If a team has a center, they believe that Erving could be a starter at guard or right tackle. That flexibility is very appealing to teams for game days and allows them to get their best five linemen on the field together. Erving has a lot of potential destinations in the middle and back half of the first round so it would be surprising to teams if he didn't go in the first round.
Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Similar to Erving and Dorsett, WalterFootball.com knows some teams picking in the top 20 that have Johnson as one of their possible picks. Teams feel that Johnson is a safe pick to develop into a good cornerback. He has the size to matchup against big receivers and is fast to run downfield with speed receivers. If Johnson had played at a school like Alabama, he would have received a lot more hype. Johnson could easily be the second cornerback selected after Michigan State's Trae Waynes.
Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
In the final days before the 2015 NFL Draft, Dupree has gotten top-10 buzz. There are teams like the Falcons and Giants that could be fits for him in the first round, and many feel that Dupree is a lock for the top 20. WalterFootball.com knows some teams picking in the teens that have Dupree in play for their pick, but it looks like Dupree may not get there. The off-the-field issues plaguing Randy Gregory, alongside questions about Shane Ray translating to the NFL, have helped Dupree to rise. He could be the third edge defender selected after Dante Fowler Jr. and Vic Beasley. It wouldn't be surprising if Dupree hears his name called early in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Mitch Morse, OL, Missouri
There is a quiet mid-round buzz for Morse if you talk with NFL teams. While he played tackle in college, they view him as a guard/center for the NFL. Morse could be a center who has some size, strength and athletic ability for the middle of the offensive line. In talking with teams, it sounds like Morse could go off the board as soon as the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
2015 NFL Draft Stock Down
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
As we noted in the Rumormill blog a few days ago, Ekpre-Olomu's knee injury was more significant than reported. The injury wasn't a simple ACL tear; sources say in reality, he tore multiple ligaments and it was a massive knee injury more along the lines of Marcus Lattimore or Willis McGahee. Teams have big medical concerns regarding Ekpre-Olomu, and some organizations have him in their undrafted-free agent group because of the severity of his injury.
Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Reports came out late about Collins failing drug tests while at LSU. WalterFootball.com had heard about that, and we also heard that Collins was proactive about getting help to deal with a marijuana issue that impacted him in the past. Still, Collins was on the bubble of the first and second round, and the publicity of this could also hurt his draft stock. General managers don't like to answer questions regarding failed drug tests with their first-round picks. Thus, Collins could easily slide into the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn
Sources question Dismukes' ability to fit in a locker room. Teams have some off-the-field concerns about him as a person, and they aren't sure that he will be a good teammate to all segments of the locker room. As a result, other centers are viewed to be more in demand. Players like Florida's Max Garcia and Kansas State's B.J. Finney are two players who are aided by the questions regarding Dismukes.
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
This isn't the fault of Clemmings, but he found out from teams that he has a stress fracture in his foot. Some teams don't care about the injury, but others have bumped Clemmings down some because they question if this could hurt his availability for all of the 2015 season. Clemmings was on the bubble of the first and second round, so this minor injury could push him lower into Day 2.
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