2019 NFL Draft Stock – Week 3

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2019 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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2019 NFL Draft Stock Up

Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Last week in the Hot Press, we reported how one team’s scout said they were going to fight for Simmons in pre-draft meetings after doing their research into the background of Simmons. They said that the staff at Mississippi State and contacts at his hometown town speak highly of Simmons. He will face a lot of scrutiny because of a tape of him in a street fight, but there is no doubt that Simmons is a top-20 talent for the NFL. If team evaluators are comfortable with Simmons off the field, that could send his stock soaring high into the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Abram missed some playing time because of a targeting penalty after he cleaned out a player versus Kansas State in Week 2, but that does not hurt his pro prospects, as multiple team evaluators have lavished praise on Abram to me. Sources have been impressed with Abram this season, and they say he plays the game the right way. He is a physical enforcer in the middle of the field who is a good run defender and functional in pass coverage. One source said that Abram reminds him of former Texas A&M safety Justin Evans, a second-round pick of Tampa Bay in the 2017 NFL Draft. Abram is in the running to be the first safety off the board next April.

Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
In surveying some scouts on who has impressed them in the early going of 2018, Lock was a name mentioned. What sources like are his powerful arm and his athletic ability. From a skill-set perspective, they feel that Lock is a very good prospect who has a ton of potential for the NFL. What they want to see is more accuracy as a passer, and some feel that his team will have to be comfortable with Lock not being a leader due to his quiet and nerdy personality. Still, some scouts feel that Lock has the potential to go high in the 2019 NFL Draft if he shows improvement in accuracy this season.

Squally Canada, RB, BYU
Canada broke out against Wisconsin, which was considered to be one of the toughest Big Ten defenses. With his huge performance, Canada helped propel the BYU Cougars to a shocking road upset in Madison. Canada showed the speed to break into the second level to go along with vision, cutting ability, and balance. He totaled 118 yards with two touchdowns on only 11 carries. That impressive performance puts Canada on the map and makes him a prospect to watch this season.

Mitchell Wilcox, TE, South Florida
Sources say that Wilcox has impressed them in practice as well as the early games here in 2018. Through three contests, Wilcox has 14 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns. They feel he has receiving potential for the NFL with his ability to run routes and his athleticism to get open. If Wilcox can improve his strength and run blocking throughout this season and perhaps next year, those things could help improve his draft grade. Still, Wilcox has the attention of scouts, who are intrigued with his ability to potentially be a receiving tight end for the NFL.

Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
Lawrence had a statement game against Auburn to help LSU pull off the tough road upset. All game, Lawrence fired into the backfield to disrupt plays. He put heat on Jarrett Stidham and was vital to LSU limiting the Auburn rushing attack. The 6-foot-3, 317-pound Lawrence showed speed, athleticism, and strength to push through blockers. On the season, he has nine tackles with three for a loss, but he has been far more disruptive than the numbers indicate. If Lawrence can stay consistent, his stock is going to soar.

2019 NFL Draft Stock Down

Joe Jackson, DE, Miami
Taking on a Toledo team that Jackson should have dominated, he turned in a very disappointing game. He saw a lot of one-on-one blocks against offensive linemen who won’t play in the NFL and did nothing in the pass rush. Late in the first quarter, Jackson made a good read on a RPO and took down the quarterback for a loss of a couple of yards. Early in the fourth quarter, Jackson came unblocked around the side and chased down the back for a loss of three yards. Other than those plays, Jackson created no impact.

Something seems off with Jackson because he was not fast off the snap and was not putting heat on the quarterback with speed off the edge. He would try to bull rush frequently and got nowhere. The Toledo game was a bad tape from Jackson, who should have dominated, yet he was a non-factor on plays where he did not come unblocked. He looked nothing like the player who got the better of Mike McGlinchey last season.

Dave Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
Edwards struggled in the second half against BYU and was exposed by the Cougars. In the third quarter, he was called for a holding penalty after he got his hands outside the frame of the defender and hugged him to keep him from getting pressure on quarterback Alex Hornibrook. On the very next play, Edwards was beat with speed for a pressure, and Hornibrook helped him out by getting rid of the football.

In the fourth quarter, Edwards had his defensive end shed his block to help get in on a sack of Hornibrook. Edwards was holding a lot and was fortunate that he was not get flagged for more penalties. Wisconsin started to give Edwards double-team help in the fourth quarter. Late on the last drive, Edwards was beaten clean off the snap, and if his back had not made a critical chip, it would have been a game-killing sack. Edwards stood up too high on the next play and was knocked straight on his butt while giving up a pressure on Hornibrook.

This game illustrated that Edwards has work to do as a pass protector and is limited to right tackle. If anybody needed any evidence as to why the Badgers aren’t playing him at left tackle, his performance versus BYU should help answer that question. Edwards is a tough run blocker, but he could have problems with NFL speed rushers. He can stand up too high and that lets defenders get under pads to get some push in the bull rush. Clearly, Edwards’ run blocking is ahead of his pass protection. Returning for his senior year to get better might be a wise idea of Edwards. Right now, the projections of him being a high first-rounder seem hasty. He is being overrated given this performance versus BYU.

Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
This is a sad reason for a stock down, as Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury. He was one of the top running back prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft, but this will send his stock down significantly because he had two other season-ending injuries previously during his collegiate career. Anderson is now faced with a tough decision. If he enters the 2019 NFL Draft, he could fall to the third day or go undrafted because of the medical concerns. If he returns to school, he could improve his position by playing well in 2019, but he would be taking another injury risk. This was a devastating injury for Anderson’s draft positioning.

Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Adams entered this season as the top offensive lineman, and perhaps the top offensive prospect, for the 2019 NFL Draft, but that projection has come crashing down before Adams ever suited up for a game. A back injury caused him to have surgery that sounds likely to be season-ending. Adams and Washington will evaluate his status later on, but it sounds like he probably won’t play this year. After an ACL tear cut short his 2017 season, Adams now has major medical and durability concerns attached to his report. If he doesn’t play this year, Adams is said to be planning on taking a medical redshirt and returning to Washington for 2019 with an eye on the 2020 NFL Draft. Even if Adams plays next year for the Huskies and doesn’t miss a game, he will have medical red flags with his knee and back that could cause him to slide.

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