2016 NFL Draft Stock – Week 13

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

Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
NFL teams are scouting Fuller for the possibility that he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft. Sources say that Fuller didn’t look good in his brief 2015 action, as he was playing with an MCL sprain, but looking back at his sophomore tape has teams extremely excited. They feel that Fuller was a true lock-down corner, and some teams have given him a first-round grade based on his sophomore-year tape. Fuller (6-0, 196) could pull an Antonio Cromartie and basically miss his final season of football yet still be a first-round pick.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The way that Elliott ran over a tough Michigan defense was extremely impressive. The same Wolverines defense shutdown Utah running back Devontae Booker earlier this season, and Elliott displayed that he is at another level as he ran for 214 yards on 30 carries with the three scores. Elliott showed his first-round skill set with speed, power, balance and vision. After a rough game a week ago, this was a nice bounce-back performance for Elliott.

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Missouri has been a factory for NFL edge rushers in recent years, so it isn’t surprising that Harris had a hard time getting on the field. With Shane Ray and Markus Golden off to the NFL, 2015 turned out to be a breakout year for the redshirt sophomore. Harris totaled 56 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss and seven sacks this season. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder looks like a good fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. His draft stock could benefit from another year in college.

Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Smith was seeing a tough test with Stanford star sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey, and Smith answered the challenge resoundingly. Throughout the night, Smith made a number of impressive tackles and was all over the field. He was reading-and-reacting extremely well to fly by blockers and work through trash to make tackles. Smith also showed an impressive ability to get ball-carriers to the ground and not allow his tackles to be broken. Smith totaled 15 tackles with one for a loss against the Cardinal.

In 2015, Smith has 113 tackles with nine for a loss, one sack, five passes broken up and one forced fumble. Consistently, he has produced good down-and-distance situations for his defense. The Stanford game was Smith put together another performance that illustrates why he is considered to be a future first-round pick, which is a difficult feat for a non-pass-rushing linebacker. Smith has instincts, speed, tackling ability and versatility.

Marcus Maye, S, Florida
The NFL is looking for rangy free safeties who break up passes downfield, and Maye has shown that ability throughout the 2015 season. He came through with an excellent performance against Florida State, including three breakups on passes downfield and some key third-down plays to get his defense off the field. In 2015, Maye has 64 tackles with six breakups and two interceptions. He could be a second-day pick if he enters the 2016 NFL Draft.

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
It took only one half of action against SMU for Lynch to tie a FBS record with seven touchdown passes. He also was impressive by completing the scores to seven different targets. Versus the Mustangs, Lynch was 9-of-14 for 222 yards with the seven touchdowns. The 6-foot-7, 245-pounder has a great skill set alongside size, arm strength and athleticism. In 2015, Lynch has completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,670 yards with 28 touchdowns and three interceptions. Sources say he needs more development, but with Lynch having a shot at being the first quarterback selected and losing his head coach to Virginia Tech, it looks very likely that Lynch will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Against Penn State, Cook played with an injured shoulder yet completed 19-of-26 passes for 248 yards with three scores. He showed improved accuracy over other games this year. Even with an injured shoulder, Cook threw the ball well downfield and made good decisions. An understated positive for him is how well he performs against the blitz. In 2015, Cook has completed 58 percent passes for 2,730 yards with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions. He isn’t an elite or rare quarterback prospect, but this tape will help him to grade out as an early-rounder.

Honorable Mentions: Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa, Notre Dame defensive tackle Sheldon Day and California quarterback Jared Goff.

2016 NFL Draft Stock Down

Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida
Robinson entered this season with off-the-field issues and supposedly had shown more maturity during the course of the season, but that narrative was dealt a serious blow when he was suspended for the game against Florida State. Robinson has 47 receptions for 505 yards with two touchdowns this year, and that is a significant drop in production from his sophomore campaign. This game marks the fourth contest that he has been suspended from in the past three seasons. Robinson has first-round talent, but his off-the-field concerns make him likely to go on the second day at the earliest. It would be in Robinson’s best interest to return for his senior year and stay out of trouble while making every start with improved production rather than entering the 2016 NFL Draft.

Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
Ramsey has had a solid season and shown some flexibility for the NFL by being able to play cornerback. In 2014, he was an impact-making safety for the Seminoles and was all over the field. In 2015, Ramsey has 43 tackles with 10 passes broken up. He could be a press-man corner for a defense like the Seahawks, but other schemes that play off-man coverage and zone would be a poor fit for Ramsey. He struggles to prevent separation from good route-runners and fast receivers. Ramsey can handle big wideouts, but in the NFL, he could be prone to being mismatched until he shows he can cover quick, sudden wideouts. Ramsey looks more like a mid- to late first-rounder than a high-top-10 talent.

Evan Boehm, C, Missouri
Entering the 2015 season, some pundits projected Boehm as one of the top center prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft, but Boehm ended up not being that impressive this year. Against Arkansas, he had some issues with powerful linemen. Boehm struggled with a nose tackle who was powering into the backfield. He almost allowed a sack despite double-team help and was allowing steady pressure in the backfield. Boehm clearly needs to get stronger for the NFL and looks like a third-day prospect.

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