2020 NFL Draft Stock – Pre-Bowls III

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2020 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
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2020 NFL Draft Stock Up

Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
As we discussed in the Hot Press last week, Becton could end up going higher than many expect. In speaking to sources from four different teams, they thought that Becton could end up being the second offensive tackle drafted after Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, and they thought that Becton could go as a top-16 pick. The 6-foot-7, 369-pounder is a massive blocker who is a good athlete for his size. The evaluators who are high on Becton feel he has a ton of upside, combining athleticism with being a giant at the point of attack. They feel Becton could end up going in the first half of Round 1 if the pre-draft process goes well for him.

Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
Holmes was a late addition to the Senior Bowl after having a strong junior year to improve his draft standing. He recorded 33 tackles with two interceptions and six passes defended in 2019. The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder would fit best as a nickel corner in the NFL. He could have transferred or returned to UCLA, but decided to make the move to the NFL. Holmes had 49 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes defended in 2018. In his redshirt freshman season, he totaled 39 tackles with three picks and three breakups.

Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky
Following the example of Randall Cobb, Bowden was a great athlete at wide receiver who was pressed into playing quarterback for the Kentucky Wildcats. He made 30 catches for 348 yards and a touchdown in 2019, and as a running quarterback, he averaged 8.2 yards per carry for 1,235 yards with 11 touchdowns on the ground. The 6-foot-1, 199-pounder is a dynamic athlete with speed, athleticism and size. He could be a second-day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft who ends up being an excellent value selection.

Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas
Curl was a solid defender for the Razorbacks in 2019, totaling 76 tackles with two interceptions, two sacks and two passes defended. Over the previous two seasons, he recorded 99 tackles with 13 passes broken up. The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder has height and length, but he could use more weight for the NFL. After his career at Arkansas, Curl could have mid-round potential for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
Bryant was one of the top receiving tight ends in college football in 2019, snatching 52 passes for 825 yards with three touchdowns. That was a huge jump in production from his sophomore (11-238-1) and freshman years (22-331-1). Given his lack of size, the 6-foot-2, 239-pounder could be limited in the NFL to a role player because isn’t big enough to be a blocker. However, he could be a good fit as a rotational receiving tight end and a solid mid-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Fulton has been a solid cover corner for the Tigers in 2019 and has been reliable in pass coverage. Coming from one of the schools in the running as “DB U,” Fulton has extra media hype that helps him to get some first-round projections. Fulton has 30 tackles with 11 passes defensed and an interception entering the college football playoff. Fulton does a good job of running with receivers and preventing separation, but he needs to improve his discipline and also could stand to do a better job of defending the ball on 50-50 plays – see the game against Texas tape. If Fulton plays well in the playoff against Oklahoma and possibly in the National Championship, those things could give a nice boost to his draft stock.

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Aiyuk put together a strong senior year, catching 65 passes for 1,192 yards with eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder produced some big plays for the Sun Devils and had a huge jump in production compared to 2018 (44-474-3). Some in the media, including ESPN’s Todd McShay, have projected Aiyuk as a first-round pick. In speaking to some area scouts, they didn’t grade Aiyuk in the first round, but he could be an early-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Curtis Weaver, OLB, Boise State
Weaver has been a pass-rushing force for Boise State over the past couple of seasons, totaling 24 sacks in that time. Some in the media have projected Weaver as a first-rounder, and that is understandable given his production getting after the quarterback. Some team sources say they have him lower on Day 2 because of skill-set limitations. It will be important for Weaver (6-3, 265) to test well in the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft.

2020 NFL Draft Stock Down

Nick Coe, DE, Auburn
Coe has an early-round skill set, but he did not play up to it in 2019. Coe decided to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, however, and skip his senior year. The junior showed a shocking lack of production in 2019 with 15 tackles and zero sacks. In 2018, he had seven sacks and was much more disruptive. Perhaps Coe was protecting himself, but he did not impress during 2019.

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
There has been some media hype around Love since he declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Love has a good skill set with a strong arm, size and athleticism, but his passing lags behind his skill set and he needs a lot of development for the next level. After Love declared, I circled back with some scouts who had seen him in person this year, and they were not as high on him as the media projects. One source said they even had a fourth- to fifth-round grade on Love. Others could have him graded higher of course, but Love hurt his development for the NFL by entering the 2020 NFL Draft rather than returning to college to improve his field vision in particular before going pro.

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