2016 NFL Draft Stock – Week 8

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

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
After leading an upset of Ole Miss, Lynch is the star for the Memphis program’s undefeated start. Against Tulsa on Friday night, he dominated and showed his NFL skill set. Lynch finished completing 32-of-44 for 446 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions (although he should have had one). He also ran a touchdown in.

In 2015, Lynch has completed 72 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards with 17 touchdowns and one interception. He has showed an arm that can make all the throws for the pro game. Lynch displays the ability to pass accurately and beat good coverage with precise completions into tight windows. He also has the athleticism to make plays with his feet and or throws on the run. Lynch’s draft stock is rising, and this Tulsa tape will only serve to reinforce that. He has an NFL skill set and is a serious prospect for the next level.

Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Clark has been enjoying a strong 2015 season, and he overwhelmed the California offensive line on Thursday night. Clark stuffed a lot of runs and was constantly filling his gap in the ground game. The Golden Bears’ offensive linemen couldn’t move him. Late in the contest, Clark ramped up his pass rush to help UCLA slam the door. Early in the fourth quarter, he bullrushed through the center to get a sack. Clark had the center on roller-skates as he pushed into the pocket. On the next play, Clark burned the right guard with speed and leverage to lay another sack on Jared Goff. Late in the fourth quarter, Clark showed a nice motor to chase down a screen. He finished the game with a total of five tackles with 1.5 sacks.

This season, Clark has 40 tackles with five for a loss and two sacks. He’s shown the ability to be a nose tackle in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. Clark’s strong play is getting him consideration as a first- or second-round pick.

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Wentz has big size and an arm for the NFL. This season, he has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,669 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has four rushing touchdowns. Sources say that Wentz is prospect that has caught their eye and he has early-round potential. If he can have a strong week at the Senior Bowl, his stock could really rise with NFL evaluators.

Sebastian Tretola, G, Arkansas
The 6-foot-5, 334-pound Tretola was really impressive versus Auburn. He showed the power to push defensive lineman out of their gap and open running lanes. All day, Tretola blasted open running lanes for Alex Collins.

Tretola’s ability to bend at the knees with great pad level allows him to play excellent leverage. That translated into pass protection allows him to have a strong base. He also showed nice athleticism for speed rushers. There were a number of scouts at this game watching Tretola, including one general manager, so he picked a nice time to add another impressive performance to his strong 2015 season.

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
In Tunsil’s first game back from suspension, he drew the matchup of the best pass-rusher in college football with Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett. Tunsil had some one-on-one wins against Garrett and really played well considering everyone else is in mid-season form. Tunsil showed why he is held in such high regard.

Tunsil has natural knee bend with amazing quickness and agility. He has room to add more power for the NFL, but also has some natural strength and plays with great leverage. Tunsil gets movement in the ground game with the quick feet to be a franchise left tackle. This tape was a great start to the final stretch for him as a collegiate player.

Honorable Mentions: Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry and Arkansas running back Alex Collins.

2016 NFL Draft Stock Down

John Theus, OT, Georgia
Theus has received hype since he came to Georgia, but NFL evaluators aren’t grading the program’s left tackle favorably. Theus has shown that he can’t stay at left tackle and only is an option on the right side. Sources say that Theus is a bad athlete and isn’t strong, he’s just big. Teams are grading Theus on the last day of the 2016 NFL Draft, and his stock is falling.

Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
Against Alabama, Sutton looked more like a second-day pick than a first-rounder. In the first quarter, Sutton was called for pass interference when he didn’t even touch the receiver, but it still was a bad play for Sutton as he lost track of the ball to allow Calvin Ridley to make a leaping grab over him. After a nice breakup in the end zone, Sutton was beaten on a slant by Ridley for a gain of about 20 yards, but a penalty bailed Sutton out. Late in the fourth quarter, Sutton was bested by Ridley on a third down as the receiver outleapt him for 15 yards to move the sticks. Overall, this tape will hurt Sutton’s draft stock. He allowed separation and did not look good on 50-50 passes.

Jordan Rigsbee, G, California
Against UCLA, Rigsbee and the California offensive line allowed quarterback Jared Goff to take a beating. All night, Goff had rushers in his face and was getting slammed to the turf. Rigsbee and the other interior offensive linemen looked like they were on roller skates going against defensive tackle Kenny Clark. The powerful Clark ran roughshod over the Golden Bears’ blockers. Rigsbee is listed at 6-foot-4, 300-pounds, but that could be exaggerated as many schools do. He needs to get stronger for the NFL, and this game made him look like a third-day pick and not a top-100 prospect.

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
In speaking with sources, they agreed that Stanley has played well as a senior but hasn’t been the caliber of a top-five pick. Stanley has nice athleticism on the edge and is adept at handling speed rushers, but NFL evaluators see a lack of toughness and aggressiveness with him. They still think Stanley will be a first-round pick, but in the back end.

Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
Ifedi missed a matchup against Robert Nkemdiche due to the latter being held out with a concussion, but Ifedi still had a rough game against Ole Miss. In the first quarter, Ifedi got off to a rough start. He got crossed up with his right guard to allow a sack. Ifedi was chasing and reaching other blitzers around the corner as they were getting off his blocks. He had to chase and reach after them on a number of plays. He had a false start later. In the fourth quarter, Ole Miss speed rusher Marquis Haynes ran right by Ifedi for a strip-sack. Ifedi took a false step to the inside even though there was nobody there to block, which was all Haynes needed to burn him around the corner.

This tape will reinforce the view of some in the NFL who believe that Ifedi should be a guard. In speaking with sources that scout Texas A&M, they felt that Ifedi would be better moving inside as a pro.

Dishonorable Mentions: Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams and Auburn linebacker Cassanova McKinzy.

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