2019 NFL Draft Stock – Week 7

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

By Charlie Campbell.
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2019 NFL Draft Stock Up

DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
While Georgia suffered a huge loss to LSU, Baker played very well, breaking up two touchdowns including outplaying a 6-foot-7 receiver for a jump ball in the front of the end zone. For a 5-foot-11 corner like Baker, that was a phenomenal play and displays his ability to defend big receivers to pro evaluators.

Baker has a lot of skills that should translate to the NFL and could turn him into a starter quickly in his career. Perhaps his best trait is his good instincts. He has good route recognition, reads receivers hands and eyes well, and times pass breakups well. While Baker is not the fastest of corners, he has enough speed and athleticism to run the route and prevent separation. Baker also breaks on routes well and has good ball skills. He shows a nice ability to slap passes away and play the ball without drawing flags. Along with instincts and ball skills, Baker is a physical defender who will battle receivers. He doesn’t back down and plays with an aggressive attitude. Baker also has an impressive ability to come up with some big plays in the clutch, and he was vital to Georgia advancing to the college football playoff last year. Some sources feel that even though Baker may not be the first cornerback selected, he could be the best cover corner to run the route and prevent completions from the 2019 NFL Draft.

Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
After a rough game against Mississippi State in Week 2, Risner has played well for Kansas State, and he was excellent last Saturday versus Oklahoma State. Risner was dominant on the edge in the ground game, opening up a lot of big holes for running back Alex Barnes. To get the game started, Risner outsmarted a defensive end by giving him a free release to get upfield, which opened up a hole for Barnes to dart through that gap. On other plays, Risner was getting movement at the point of attack, pushing defenders out of their gaps and opening holes. In the second half, Risner blasted open a hole as he fired to a linebacker to seal the hole on a short rushing touchdown. In pass protection, Risner was rock solid, but his run blocking has led the way for Alex Barnes’ two straight massive performances.

It would be ideal for Risner to start out as a backup and improve his ability to handle fast edge rushers before being tasked with protecting a starting NFL quarterback. That was given proof by Montez Sweat and other defenders from Mississippi State. Given his starting potential however, Risner could be a quality selection in the back half of the second round or a nice pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Alex Barnes, RB, Kansas State
Barnes was absolutely dominant last Saturday, running all over the Oklahoma State defense. He hit the hole with quickness, ran through arm tackles, and picked up a lot of yards after contact. Versus the Cowboys, Barnes ripped off 181 yards on 34 carries with four touchdowns and had three receptions for 51 yards. A week ago, Barnes totaled 250 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns in a loss to Baylor. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder is on a tear and could turn himself into a quality NFL prospect if he maintains this hot streak over the rest of the conference schedule.

Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida
Joseph was one of the stars of Week 6 with a multi-sack game and other big plays to help lead Florida over LSU. While Joseph is an instinctive and fast linebacker, he has shown some physicality and has been a violent defender. That was given an exclamation point with a suplex tackle against Vanderbilt. Even though Joseph was ejected from that game, he has been an excellent defender for the Gators this season. The 6-foot-1, 227-pounder could be a seek-and-destroy Will linebacker in the NFL. Joseph would be wise to return for his senior year to add weight and get stronger before going to the NFL, but in the 2019 or the 2020 NFL Draft, Joseph could be a good second-day pick.

Lamichael Perine, RB, Florida
Over the past weeks, Perine has been the unsung hero of the Gators. Vosean Joseph and the Florida defense have gotten a lot of attention, but Perine has been the clutch play-maker for the Gators’ offense to lead them to wins over LSU and Vanderbilt. With Florida falling behind 21-0 against Vanderbilt, Perine came up with huge plays to lead the Gators to a comeback win over the Commodores. In that contest, Perine ran for 121 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown and caught four passes for 93 yards with a huge 63-yard reception.

The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Perine is a physical back who runs over tacklers and picks up a lot of yards after contact. The junior is putting his draft stock on the map with a superb start to the month of October and SEC play.

2019 NFL Draft Stock Down

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
Auburn has been one of the most disappointing and underachieving teams this year. The player who is the poster boy for that disappointment is the junior quarterback Stidham. He has really struggled in recent weeks, missing wide open receivers downfield with inaccurate passes, being hesitant in the pocket, and showing poor ball security. That trend continued in an embarrassing loss to Tennessee, with a key play in the game being Stidham not securing the ball and fumbling it away to be returned for a touchdown by the Volunteers.

Entering this season, a lot of scouts felt Stidham had first-round potential, but in speaking to sources in recent weeks, they have been very disappointed in his play. If Stidham maintains his current level of play and enters the 2019 NFL Draft, he would be fortunate to be a second-day pick. The better plan for Stidham would be to return for his senior year to improve before going pro.

Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Diggs makes the Stock Down section through no fault of his own. He has been phenomenal for the Crimson Tide this season, and some team sources think he could be the top cornerback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft. However, Diggs is out indefinitely with a foot injury that some are saying will end his season. Diggs was mostly a backup last year, so he does not have 2017 tape to fall back on. The injury could cause other corners to be viewed as safer picks and end up causing him to slide lower in the draft than if he had stayed healthy.

Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Taking on Alabama was an important game for Lock’s draft grade, as he needed to rise to the occasion to raise his level of play and that of his teammates to be considered an elite franchise quarterback. Lock didn’t do that against the Crimson Tide, who forced him into some mistakes, and he was incapable of matching up against their elite defense. Lock threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball deep in Missouri territory after holding the ball loosely. Lock also took a safety and some sacks from him holding onto the ball too long. He finished completing 13-of-26 passes for 142 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Lock has a big arm with size and athleticism, but his intangibles are suspect. Sources have said that Lock is a very quiet and understated personality. Versus Alabama, Lock did not exude any fire or a fighting spirit. Whichever team drafts Lock can not expect him to be a fiery leader and field general. The Alabama tape will hurt Lock’s draft grade, and he definitely did not look a prospect worthy of going as top-25 pick against the Crimson Tide.

Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan
Winovich is having a quality season for the Wolverines, but in speaking with team sources, they said that he belongs more on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft rather than the first round. Winovich has an excellent motor with speed off the edge, but his run defense and lack of length are the limitations for the NFL that have him being projected to Day. Winovich also could have scheme limitations because he does not have the weight or length to be a base end in a 4-3 defense. In a 4-3, he would have to move to outside linebacker, which typically does not bode well for players, but more likely would have to be a designated pass-rusher only. The best fit for Winovich in the NFL would be as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. However, this analyst thinks Winovich could be a good value pick for 3-4 team on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Last week in the Hot Press, we wrote about how not all NFL teams view Oliver as a high first-round pick. Here are some pretty interesting quotes from scouts who have been through Houston: One area scout who has been through Houston:

“I would bet a paycheck that he does not go No. 1 overall. There is no way.” “There are too many potential issues. He’s a lot smaller than people think. When the coaches and GMs see how light and short he is, there is going to be pause. Houston has him weighing at 275 and say he’s played as heavy as 282. They say that 285-290 is too heavy for him to play at.”

Another source said:
“[Oliver] is not the same guy as [Aaron] Donald.” “[Oliver] is more comparable to a Dominique Easley. [Oliver is] disruptive, twitchy, and can do a lot of positive things, so that is why people are eager to compare him to Donald because they both have surprising speed. But Oliver is not Donald. Donald is extremely strong, and you could see that at the Senior Bowl when he was tossing guys around. Oliver has issues with mass and problems with double teams that Donald does not. [Oliver’s] lateral anchor is a problem.”

Because of the size, Oliver could have some problems fitting certain schemes in the NFL. Obviously teams that want heavy nose tackles who play a two-gap scheme would not have a fit for Oliver. His speed, explosiveness off the snap, and quick-twitch athleticism would make him a fit as a three-technique. However, weighing in the 270s is very light for that role as well, and it would almost make him more of a designated pass-rusher. Evaluators feel there are scheme issues, but think Oliver could play in a 4-3 or 3-4. One scout said they graded Oliver as a late first-round pick and felt that he would go in the middle of the first round in the 2019 NFL Draft. That is much lower than the consensus projections of him being one of the first players off the board.

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