2016 NFL Draft Stock – Week 9

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

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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2016 NFL Draft Stock Up

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Buckner has performed really well this year, and his strong play has gone somewhat under the radar because Oregon is having a down season. Against Arizona State, he consistently used his speed and power to knife into backfield for disruption. Buckner fought through double-teams and even saw some triple-teams. He showed effort to chase down run plays and make tackles out of his gap. Buckner finished with eight tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack versus the Sun Devils.

With his combination of size and speed, Buckner looks like a great fit in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense as a base end who could move inside in passing situations. This season, he has 44 tackles with 11 for a loss, six sacks, and four passes batted. Buckner is producing despite a scheme that has suppressed the production of other talented edge defenders like Arik Armstead and Dion Jordan. Buckner is validating a top-25 forecast for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
Ogbah went against the best left tackle in the Big XII with Texas Tech’s LeRaven Clark and impressed. Ogbah totaled seven tackles, two for a loss and one sack. He has a mix of NFL power, speed and size. Ogbah also has developed some pass-rushing moves and is adept at rushing from a variety of spots. He would fit best as a 4-3 defensive end. Ogbah doesn’t look as fluid, athletically, for standing up in a 3-4 and dropping into coverage. He still looks worthy of a first-round pick.

Keanu Neal, S, Florida
The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Neal is a strong safety who is a hard hitter and a tough run defender. Against Georgia, he showed more pass-coverage skills. Neal almost made a great diving interception early on, but he couldn’t control it. Neal tipped a pass coming on a blitz and leveled a receiver who had made a short catch in the middle of the field. In the fourth quarter, Neal came up with a clutch interception as he snatched a tipped pass in the end zone to protect Florida’s 20-3 lead. That pick basically clinched the win for the Gators.

Neal has 51 tackles with one interception and one pass batted in 2015. While the junior needs to improve his ball skills, he has made a lot of clutch tackles for his defense this season. If Neal enters the 2016 NFL Draft, he looks like a second-day prospect, and this tape will help his draft grade.

Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
Leonard Fournette’s domination of college football this season obviously involves the tremendous job his offensive line has done. Right tackle Vadal Alexander and center Ethan Pocic have received a lot of acclaim, but Hawkins has turned in a strong year as well to really improve his draft stock. Hawkins (6-6, 305) has done a good job replacing La’el Collins, and if Hawkins has a good game against Alabama, that could really send his draft stock skyrocketing.

Jacoby Brissett, QB, N.C. State
As we reported in the rumormill, some East Coast scouts rate Brissett ahead of other more highly touted prospects like Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg. Brissett’s performance against a good Clemson defense showed that he is capable of competing against a defense that has more talent than his supporting cast. Brissett completed 24-of-41 for 254 yards with three touchdowns and was tough in the pocket against the Tigers’ pass rush. N.C. State put a scare into Clemson before falling 56-41, and no signal-caller has looked as good against the Tigers this year.

In 2015, Brissett has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,586 yards with 13 touchdowns and an interceptions. He has a lot of fans in scouting circles.

Desmond King, CB, Iowa
The prolific season for King has been huge for Iowa. Against Maryland last Saturday, King made his seventh interception on the season – returning this one 88 yards for a touchdown. King has been the epitome of a ball hawk this season with seven interceptions and seven passes batted. He leads the nation in interceptions and has 36 tackles. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound King is putting his draft stock on the map, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he skyrockets into an early-round pick.

Honorable Mentions: Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard.

2016 NFL Draft Stock Down

Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Boyd has been good for Pittsburgh this season, but he hasn’t been a dominant performer. Quarterback issues and the injury to James Conner have hurt Boyd. Teams are sending constant double coverage Boyd’s direction, which is keeping him from producing a lot of big plays, but that didn’t stop other top receivers in recent years. After his seven games, he hass totaled 63 receptions for 578 yards with four scores. Boyd hasn’t played like a top-half-of-the-draft receiver thus far.

Jared Goff, QB, California
After starting the season beating up on weak opponents, Goff has slowed down over the last three games against legitimate competition. Against USC, he allowed an ugly pick-six to Adoree’ Jackson via a terrible decision and throw. Goff had another interception to a blanketed receiver and proceeded to scream a tirade on the sideline (probably at his receiver). To be fair, Goff also made a number of good throws in the game. He finished 23-of-31 for 272 yards with two scores and two interceptions. In 2015, Goff has completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,537 yards with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Sources have told WalterFootball.com that there are some evaluators who are lukewarm on Goff. Others think he’s the best quarterback prospect they’ve seen thus far this year. Goff looks like a first-round pick, but he isn’t the clear-cut top quarterback or No. 1-overall talent that some have hyped him to be. There have even some draft media that have clamined Goff is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, which multiple sources felt was laughable.

LeRaven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
Clark was beaten for a couple of sacks against Oklahoma State, including one play to Emmanuel Ogbah and a strip-sack by a freshman. It wasn’t a meltdown performance, but it did expose that for the NFL, Clark could be better off as a left guard or right tackle. A team might be able to get away with him at left tackle, but he would be more dominant on the inside or right side.

Clark has some bending ability to him with length. He also has light feet with surprising quickness and athleticism for a big blocker. Clark looks well placed as an early Friday-night selection, but this tape will hurt his chances of being selected a day earlier.

Landon Turner, G, North Carolina
Turner has been pushed by some as one of the top guard prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft. In speaking with sources, they haven’t been all that impressed with Turner. Against Pittsburgh, he looked sluggish and is a waist-bender. NFL evaluators want to see offensive linemen bend at the knees and not around the midsection. Knee-benders have more quickness and athleticism. Turner was reliable on his blocks against Pittsburgh, but he wasn’t especially powerful or athletic. Turner has a big belly and looks overweight. He is more of a mid-round or third-day prospect than a top guard candidate.

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