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
Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Billings was a force against Texas last Saturday. Late in the first quarter, the Longhorns tried to move the pocket on a third down, but Billings showed his strength to toss the center aside, and then his speed and agility to chase down the quarterback. He came close to other sacks and was excellent in run defense. Versus Texas, Billings totaled five tackles with 1.5 for a loss and that sack.
This season, Billings has shown the power to be a bully at the point of attack with a burst to close and chase down ball-carriers outside of his gap. While he won’t be a big sack producer in the NFL, Billings has the quickness and explosion to collapse the pocket and contribute to the pass rush. He won’t be limited to being a two-down defender. In 2015, Billings has totaled 37 tackles with 14 for a loss, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He looks like a potential first-round nose tackle.
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Sources have said that Davis has really impressed them as they put together draft grades for a bunch of Gator defensive prospects. Against Alabama, Davis had an excellent game aside from one play. He forced a fumble from Derrick Henry, made a good tackle in punt coverage, came close to a sack, stuffed a lot of runs, and tackled a receiver on an end around. The one big mistake that Davis had was a roughing the passer on a third-down incompletion that gave Alabama a first down. Otherwise, Davis was excellent, and this tape will help him to grade out as a second-day talent if he enters the 2016 NFL Draft.
James Bradberry, CB, Samford
Last year, Jaquiski Tartt represented Samford at the Senior Bowl, and this year, it will be Bradberry. The 6-foot-1, 213-pounder has a great skill set with size and speed. Bradberry recorded 45 tackles with 11 passes broken up and two interceptions this year. He had two interceptions in his junior, sophomore and freshman years as well. His steady play earned him an invitation to Mobile, and if he performs well against the better competition, his stock could really sky rocket given his skill set. Bradberry has prototypical size for the next level.
Deiondre’ Hall, CB, Northern Iowa
Like Bradberry, Hall has excellent size to be an NFL cornerback. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder also will be playing at the Senior Bowl. Hall really stood out for Northern Iowa as he had six interceptions as a senior. Nothern Iowa didn’t play a top program in 2015, so performing well against more talented receivers is critical for Hall. Earning a Senior Bowl invite speaks well for him.
Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
Killebrew is another small-school defensive back who has earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder is a big, long safety who showed his tackling skills with 132 stops in 2015. He also had seven passes broken up and no interceptions, but he had three picks as a junior. Killebrew will need to show coverage skills in Mobile to further help his draft stock.
Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU
Sources say that Listenbee is a vertical speed receiver and that skill earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl. In 2015, Listenbee caught 29 passes for 589 yards (20.6 average) with five touchdowns as the No. 2 receiver to Josh Doctson. One team told WalterFootball.com they have a fifth-round grade on Listenbee, but in speaking to other teams, some like him more and think he should go a round or two higher. In 2014, he had 41 catches for 753 yards with four touchdowns.
Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Of all the defenders in the conference championship games, Calhoun was perhaps the most impressive. At the end of the second quarter, he burned the left tackle with a speed rush around the corner to cream Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard for a blindside strip-sack that was recovered by the Hawkeyes. Early in the third quarter, Calhoun once again used his speed and dipped underneath the left tackle to sack Beathard. Calhoun later made an impressive play to snuff out a screen after dropping into coverage like a 3-4 outside linebacker and exploding to cover the receiver after diagnosing the play. That will appeal to a lot of NFL organizations.
In 2015, Calhoun has totaled 45 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one forced fumble and three passes batted. Sources have said they see Calhoun as a potential late first-round talent. This tape will help him to achieve a Thursday night selection.
Honorable Mentions: Iowa cornerback Desmond King and Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley.
2016 NFL Draft Stock Down
Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
Andrew Billings looked very good against Texas. Conversely, that same tape shows why Oakman has been an overhyped player and really isn’t that good. Throughout the game, he was struggling in one-on-ones against the Longhorns’ freshman left tackle. He had plenty of opportunities to rush the passer, yet he did nothing. This season, Oakman had a disappointing year on the field with continued problems off of it. He has totaled 43 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, zero passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2015.
The game against Texas illustrates that Oakman is not a first-round-caliber player despite his imposing size. Sources also have a lot of off-the-field concerns with Oakman. He looks like a second-day or mid-round pick.
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Coleman had a torrid first half of the season before being slowed down late in the year. Baylor’s quarterback injuries definitely played a part in that, as the Bears were down to their fourth-stringer versus Texas, but Coleman wasn’t as impactful once the competition got better. He didn’t score a touchdown or have an 80-yard game in the final month while making only 16 catches in those four games. Coleman totaled 74 receptions for 1,363 yards with 20 touchdowns in the 2015 regular season season. He has good, but not elite speed, so he’s not a true burner as a prospect like former Baylor wideout Kendall Wright or Miami’s Philip Dorsett last year. Coleman looks like middle of the second-day pick.
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Hargreaves didn’t have a meltdown against Alabama, but overall that game tape won’t help him in his draft grade. Sources have felt that Hargreaves can get bumped around and out-physicaled. That was given further evidence versus the Crimson Tide. Just before halftime, Calvin Ridley beat Hargreaves running a deep post. The pass was thrown late, which let Hargreaves come back in, but Ridley beat Hargreaves and safety Marcus Maye to make a leaping catch inside the 5-yard line. In the third quarter, Hargreaves was out-jumped for another deep ball that went for 32-yard touchdown. ArDarius Stewart ran by Maye on a corner post, and Hargreaves tried to run over to help his safety, but Stewart high-pointed the ball over Hargreaves to get between the defenders for the score.
In 2015, Hargreaves has totaled 31 tackles with four passes broken up and four interceptions going into bowl season. He is still a first-rounder, but the outing against Alabama wasn’t the performance of a top-five talent.
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