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
James Morgan, QB, Florida International
Morgan was the best quarterback at the East-West Shrine and really had a strong week of practice. Morgan has a live arm with good size, which he put that on display in each session. The 6-foot-4 230-pounder can spin the ball and has the ability to drive ball to all levels of the defense. Morgan’s strong start to the week has a lot of teams showing serious interest in him. The Jets met with Morgan on Sunday night and then spoke with him for a long time after Monday’s practice. Other teams that met with Morgan include the Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills. The Chargers and Colts also showed a lot of interest in Morgan.
Calvin Throckmorton, G, Oregon
Throckmorton had a quality week in St. Petersburg, putting together solid sessions on Monday and Tuesday. He showed nice technique and polish in those sessions. Throckmorton does not have overwhelming size, strength, quickness or athleticism, but he is able to find a way to be aggressive and is a scrappy blocker. Team sources say the best position for him in the NFL would be right guard, but he could also be cross-trained at center and tackle. Throckmorton could be a third-day pick from the 2020 NFL Draft who is a valuable game day backup at a few positions.
Cameron Clark, G, Charlotte
Team sources singled out Clark as a player who has helped himself at the East-West Shrine and is worthy of being selected on Day 3 during the 2020 NFL Draft. Clark (6-4, 300) has a strong build with some athleticism and quickness. With his upside, Clark could be a nice developmental backup who grows into being a contributor. He had a very good practice on Wednesday, and afterward, he had a scrum of scouts interviewing him.
Charlie Heck, OT, North Carolina
Heck is another offensive lineman who did well enough in East-West practices to improve his chances of getting drafted. The 6-foot-7, 307-pounder has good size and length to block on the edge. While he has some stiffness and is not all that athletic, Heck has the ability to start out as a backup right tackle and could improve with NFL coaching and training. Team sources say someone will probably select Heck on the last day of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State
Victor strung together three impressive practices to help himself. Victor (6-4, 199) showed quality route-running to generate separation with some quickness to go along with size. If Victor can play well on special teams in training camp, he could make a roster as a backup receiver.
Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno State
Two linebackers who had solid weeks were Fresno State’s Walker and San Diego State’s Tezino. Team sources singled out Walker as having the skills to compete. He could be a third-day pick who starts out as a backup linebacker and special teams contributor.
Kyahva Tezino, LB, San Diego State
Tezino did well in the pass-coverage one-on-ones, and West linebacker coach Willie McGinist praised Tezino for having “good eyes and leverage.” Linebackers who can contribute in pass coverage are always in demand so that really helps Tezino.
2020 NFL Draft Stock Down
A.J. Green, CB, Oklahoma State
Green had some hype about being an early-rounder entering the 2019 season, but he did not play up to it, giving up big plays in coverage during the season. Green has good size to him for the NFL, but that’s his only strength as he is very tight and is beatable vertically. Some team might reach on him because of his size, but team sources were giving him grades for the third day of the 2020 NFL Draft at the end of the season.
Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit may have been protecting himself in 2019, but the junior did not play as well compared to his sophomore season. He had issues with missed tackles and displayed some limitations in coverage. Delpit needs to get stronger for the NFL. He has the mentality of a strong safety, but he needs to add weight as he is lean to play that position in the pros. He also needs more strength to be able to cover tight ends in man coverage – with his current stature, he will get pushed around. If Delpit can fill out his frame, he would fit as a strong safety. While he can play some free safety responsibilities, Delpit looks more natural as a strong safety closer to the line of scrimmage.
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
Terrell received some second-round grades from some team evaluators, and his tape against LSU gave proof of why Terrell is not a first-round pick, as he was absolutely torched by the Tigers. On the first drive for the Clemson defense, Terrell got away with a bit of a hold to slow up Ja’Marr Chase, and that helped produced some tight coverage that led to an incompletion. Later in the first quarter, Terrell had blanket coverage on a pass downfield and used his length to slap the pass away for an incompletion to force a punt. After that, Chase dominated Terrell in embarrassing fashion.
Just before the second quarter, Chase pushed free of Terrell deep down the field for a 52-yard touchdown. Chase did it again to Terrell on a 56-yard gain down the sideline, and Terrell was fortunate he got Chase to the ground. Late in the first half, Chase ran by Terrell again to get open for a short touchdown. After faking a block, Chase juked Terrell to get open down the sideline again for a big completion. Chase caught nine passes for 221 yards and two scores, with the vast majority of that yardage coming at the expense of Terrell. While Terrell is big, he has some stiffness and the vertical speed of Chase was too much for him to run with downfield. The National Champiosnhip is definitely going to hurt Terrell’ draft grade during the spring because it illustrates some serious weaknesses.
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Terrell was not the only cover corner to hurt his draft grade in the National Championship, as Clemson really picked on LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton. On the second play from scrimmage, Fulton was beaten by Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross at the line of scrimmage, as he swam over Fulton and cut to the inside to get open over the top for a gain of 35 yards. Fulton bounced back to have tight coverage on Tee Higgins while he ran a deep route downfield. Shortly later, Higgins got a step on Fulton running vertically and Fulton was flagged for a pass interference as he held Higgins to keep him from breaking away.
Minutes later, Fulton made a good open-field tackle in zone on a third down to keep Clemson from getting a first down, but he allowed Ross to get open on a comeback route and then had Higgins flat out run him over around the six-yard line before Higgins darted into the end zone. In the third quarter, Fulton snagged an interception after interfering with Justyn Ross and the officials correctly called the penalty.
The tape of the National Championship reminded me of Fulton’s performance against Texas early in the 2019 season. He does a nice job of running with receivers and keeping close coverage, but he struggles to finish, allowing wideouts to achieve late separation or pull away from him at the end of routes. Fulton has tendency to get too physical, and he could have pass interference penalty issues in the NFL. Fulton could be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but multiple team sources told me they graded him in the second round and this tape will serve to validate that grade and hurt his chances of being a Thursday night pick.
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