2016 NFL Draft Stock – Week 6

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2016 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
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2016 NFL Draft Stock Up

Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
After a shaky September, Jones has needed to show more consistency and accuracy plus improved passing technique. Over the past two games he is giving proof of his progress. The game against Maryland was Jones’ most efficient performance yet as he completed 21-of-28 passes for 291 yards with two scores. Considering he has only started nine games in college, it is understandable that he would need development as a passer for the next level. Jones has a great skill set, so if he can continue to throw the ball accurately and play well on a weekly basis, his draft stock should rise quickly.

Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
The embattled Nittany Lions quarterback put together his best game of the season last week. Versus Indiana, Hackenberg finished completing 21-of-39 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 21 yards on nine carries with two scores. Hackenberg’s numbers were impacted by a number of beautiful downfield throws that were dropped by his receivers. Still, the junior has to improve his accuracy and decision-making for the NFL, and this was a step in the right direction.

Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State
Nassib continued his torrid 2015 season with another multi-sack game and a huge presence in the backfield. He made four tackles with two sacks and two forced fumbles against Indiana. Following Week 6, Nassib leads the nation with 10 sacks and has at least one sack in every game. He also has 27 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss and five forced fumbles this season. The 6-foot-7, 272-pounder also has drawn raves for his work ethic and practice habits from head coach James Franklin and former head coach Bill O’Brien. Nassib could fit at end in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. He really has put his draft stock on the map with a massive senior season.

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
Ogbah has been extremely consistent this season, and his name could be in the Stock-Up section on a weekly basis. Against West Virginia last Saturday, Ogbah made eight tackles with a sack (two .5 sacks shared with a teammate) and two forced fumbles. He has recorded sacks in every game this season. Ogbah’s totaled 33 tackles, 11 for a loss and 7.5 sacks in 2015. He has shown the skills to beat offensive linemen with speed or power. This year, Ogbah is confirming a first-round grade by his steady play.

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
The Crimson Tide middle linebacker continues to prove that he is a three-down starter for the NFL. Last Saturday, Ragland showed nice coverage skills against Arkansas’ tight end Hunter Henry. Ragland also did a nice job of rushing the passer and shutting down the Razorbacks’ tough ground attack. Alabama held running back Alex Collins to only 26 yards on 12 carries. Ragland made seven tackles, one sack, one pass broken up and one forced fumble in this tape. For the year, he has 42 tackles with a pass breakup and a forced fumble. Ragland looks like a three-down impact-making defender for the next level.

Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
In speaking with sources, Henry is making a favorable impression as one of the top tight end prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-5, 253-pounder has impressed as a receiver despite playing in a ground-based offense. In 2015, he has 21 receptions for 286 yards and a touchdown. This is the third-straight season that Henry has been a valuable receiver. Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Henry could be the best tight end in college football, and that is saying something considering Saban has a pretty good one on his team with O.J. Howard. Henry looks like he is on his way to a first- or second-round grade.

Honorable Mentions: Utah running back Devontae Booker, TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson, Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.

2016 NFL Draft Stock Down

Cody Kessler, QB, USC
USC needed Kessler to step up and put the team on his back, but he was unable to produce points against a Washington team that hasn’t been all that impressive to open the season. Kessler was 16-of-29 for 156 yards with two interceptions. On the first drive of the game, he threw late to the sideline and had his pass undercut for an interception. Kessler’s lack of arm strength was evident on that throw. Shortly later, he had an interception dropped before a screen pass was picked off. Kessler looks like a backup game manager-type quarterback for the NFL, and it doesn’t look he possess the physical skill set to be a starter.

Duke Williams, WR, Auburn
Prior to the season, we reported that sources had said that they have significant character and off-the-field concerns with Williams, but liken him as a player to Anquan Boldin. Those issues came to a head when Williams was kicked off Auburn’s football after Week 6 of the season. He reportedly punched a few bouncers and another staffer at a bar after an Auburn game. In 2015, Williams totaled 130 yards on 11 receptions and one touchdown for the Tigers. He has the talent to be a second-day draft pick, but going undrafted because of character concerns is a real possibility.

Pig Howard, WR, Tennessee
Howard was suspended for the 2015 season opener for a violation of team rules. He came back and had one catch for eight yards in game action, before getting kicked off the team for a violation of team rules. Howard (5-8, 187) had been a play-maker for Tennessee the past two seasons. However adding in this off-the-field transgression when Howard is already extremely undersized for the NFL, it is pretty much a guarantee that he will now go undrafted.

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
A week ago, Joseph was listed as a stock up after a tremendous game against Oklahoma. He was tied for leading the nation in interceptions with five at that time. However, Joseph’s draft stock took a real hit when he sustained a knee injury during a non-contact drill last Tuesday. The injury is season-ending and that really hurts Joseph’s draft stock to miss out on the remainder of his senior year along with the all-star games. Joseph (5-11, 197) is a hard-hitter with instincts and ball skills. Height is a concern for the NFL, and now, he will have the knee injury added on top of it. This injury will probably kill any hopes for Joseph to be a first-rounder and send him into Day 2 or the mid-rounds.

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