2019 NFL Draft Stock – Week 4

This 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

Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Last week in the Hot Press, we reported how Thompson is generating a first-round buzz in the scouting community. Thompson has an excellent skill set with size, speed and athleticism. Listed at 6-foot-2, 196 pounds, Thompson has excellent height and length for matching up against NFL wide receivers and tight ends.

Thompson has shown great range to cover a lot of ground in the deep part of the field so far this season. On the year, the redshirt junior has two interceptions, four passes broken up and 19 tackles. His numbers have been also somewhat suppressed as Alabama has blown out numerous opponents, which has led to the starters being pulled early. With his strong play to open the 2018 season, Thompson looks like he could be the top safety for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Isaiah Buggs, DT, Alabama
Buggs dominated against Texas A&M in a breakout performance. Early on in the first quarter, Buggs got after the quarterback and put him down hard to set the tone for an excellent performance. Later in the second quarter, Buggs used a swim move to beat the left guard for his second sack of the game. Buggs kept things going in the third quarter by bull rushing through the right guard to get his third sack of the game, although it was shared with a teammate. In the fourth quarter, Buggs lined up against the left tackle, bull rushed upfield, and then pushed the tackle to the inside to sack Kelly Mond as he stepped up in the pocket. Buggs displayed a serious combination of size, speed and leverage.

While Buggs is a strong defender at the point of attack, he has sneaky athleticism with a burst to close on the quarterback. If Buggs has a few more games like this in 2018, he could end up being a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
Some sources are intrigued with Ferguson, while others aren’t high on him. The evaluators who like Ferguson are interested in his skill set, as they like his combination of size, speed and athleticism. Through three games this season, Ferguson has 15 tackles with three tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted. He has enough fans in the scouting community that he could be an early-round pick next April.

Corbin Kaufusi, DE, BYU
Kaufusi has started the 2018 season in strong fashion after a quality showing in 2017. Against Wisconsin, Kaufusi gave Wisconsin right tackle David Edwards a lot of problems, including dominating Edwards in the fourth quarter. In 2018, Kaufusi has 22 tackles with three sacks, four tackles for a loss and one pass batted. The 6-foot-9, 285-pounder projects as a five-technique in a 3-4 or power left end in a 4-3 to go against right tackles. Kaufusi could really rise if he maintains this level of play.

D’Andre Walker, LB, Georgia
The senior Walker has stepped in as the replacement for Lorenzo Carter and has played well thus far in 2018. Walker was all over the field against Georgia, showing quality run defense with some splash plays in pass coverage. On the year, he has eight tackles with three sacks, two forced fumbles, one pass batted and four tackles for a loss. Walker (6-2, 250) has a thick build with some athleticism and quickness. If Walker is able to stay consistent throughout the season, he could end up being a second-day pick.

Bennie Snell, RB, Kentucky
Taking on a Mississippi State defense loaded with NFL talent, Bennie Snell ran all over the Bulldogs and led Kentucky offensively to a huge upset. Snell partied like Al Bundy with four touchdowns in the game and illustrated that he is a bell-cow back with three-down starting potential for the pro game. Along with powering in two goal-line runs earlier, Snell broke off a 36-yard and 23-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter to drop the Bulldogs.

Snell ran for 165 yards on 25 carries with the four touchdowns Versus Mississippi State. He showed a lot of great natural running ability as well as vision and cutting ability to weave through the defense. Snell also has speed to hit the hole while accelerating to the second level, and power to run through to tackles with the ability to get yards after contact. The tape against Mississippi State will help Snell to be an early-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Against Stanford in the overtime loss, Herbert showed why he is a potential first-round pick, as he has an excellent skill set that includes a powerful arm, good size, and running ability with deceptive speed. He showed a dynamic skill set against the Cardinals and looked like a NFL starting quarterback. With his big arm and athleticism, Herbert had his way with a tough defense. As a passer, he threw some lasers into tight windows to beat good coverage. Herbert showed impressive anticipation to throw passes before his receivers made their breaks and led them open with good ball placement. Through regulation, Herbert was a very accurate passer who only had three incompletions heading. He finished completing 26-of-33 passes for 346 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Herbert played well enough to lead his team to a victory, but his teammates’ fumbles were back-breakers.

As Herbert gains experience, his problem areas like working through his progressions and holding onto the ball too long are issues that can be improved, but his skill set is something that can’t be coached. The tape against the Cardinal could help Herbert to be a high first-round pick.

2019 NFL Draft Stock Down

Marvel Tell III, S, USC
Tell has been unimpressive this season, including last Friday night versus Washington State. Tell missed a bunch of tackles and was quiet in pass coverage against the Cougars. In previous games, Tell missed some tackles and missed some assignments. Tell is off to a very slow and disappointing start to the 2018 season. He is going to need to start making plays or his draft grade is going to really suffer. Right now, Tell is not playing as well as other early-round safety prospects like Alabama’s Deionte Thompson, Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram or Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Tell could end up being a mid-round or third-day pick if his senior year doesn’t turn around.

Blessuan Austin, CB, Rutgers
This is a sad reason for a stock down, as Austin suffered a season-ending knee injury to the same knee that knocked him out of most of the 2017 season. Last year, he missed eight games with a torn ACL, and he once again had to have surgery to repair his ACL. Team sources say that Austin really impressed them during fall training-camp practices, and he started out the year with an interception in the season opener. He had early-round potential, but after another torn ACL to the same knee, Austin could easily go undrafted.

Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa is on the stock-down list temporarily, but that could quickly be reversed. Ohio State announced that Bosa is out indefinitely after having surgery on a core muscle injury. The 2019 NFL Draft is loaded with defensive line talent, so if Bosa were to miss the rest of the season or a large portion of it, that could cause teams to prefer some of the other talented defensive linemen because they are healthier and not carrying a medical red flag from their final season in college football. If Bosa gets back to the field and doesn’t miss more than a handful of games, he could quickly illustrate why he is the No. 1 prospect on my 2019 NFL Draft Big Board.

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