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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week 5: NFL Draft Stock Watch for 2011

Each and every week, on Wednesday nights, I will update The 3-4 readers on movements within my Big Board. Previous week's performances will dictate which players are labeled, stock up/down.

Stock Up

Jake Locker
After watching Locker against USC, I finally see what had scouts raving before we began this season; his athletic prowess and mental fortitude. Locker has the mindset of a Phillip Rivers, and plays with an intense focus. Locker’s stock rose greatly with the upset over #18 ranked USC.

Big 12 Risers
The other stock risers came from the Big 12; specifically out of the games including UT and OU, and Colorado and Georgia, but also Daniel Thomas from KSU has been a back I have had my eyes on since the start of the season.

Daniel Thomas
Possibly the best “big” back in the draft, Thomas provides a rare combination of the three S’s; Size, Speed, and Strength. He carries a similar body build to former Arkansas back, Darren McFadden, yet has a much more fluid running motion and seems to read the hole quickly and efficiently. No wasted steps.

Nate Solder
Nate Solder showed me his freakish talent at tackle, and his raw size should be enough to afford him a 1st-2nd round draft status. The Buffaloes win over Georgia could set the tone for the rest of the season, as Colorado should not be overlooked by the rest of the Big 12 going forward.

Leonard Hankerson
It seems that no matter how many mistakes Jacory Harris makes, Hankerson finds a way to bail him out with solid statistics. Hankerson is a long striding, physically talented wide receiver who, while he won’t make my top 32, is one WR to keep an eye on throughout the season; his draft stock is flying up boards with performances like this past one versus Clemson, and it will be interesting how he performs going forward in ACC division play.

Stephen Paea
Continues to impress me, as Paea remains in my top 32, and my top 5 DTs in the upcoming draft. Paea wrecked Arizona State’s chances of victory last Saturday with six tackles included two sacks, and he also broke up a pass and forced a fumble. Paea is a strong DT who can take on double teams, clog the running lanes, and generate a quick pass rush. Solidifying himself as 1st Round draft worthy.

Allen Bradford
Although he will not be featured in my top 32, it will be interesting to see if Allen Bradford can go forward and continue his impressive play, after a 223 yard rushing spectacular versus Washington. Bradford, if he can stay healthy, will look to climb  up draft boards in NFL war rooms with more kinds of these games. I will be keeping my eye on him now, much like I did early this season with Daniel Thomas.

Stock Down

Ryan Mallet
After week 5’s slate of games, I realized I had put too much stock into the Georgia win for Arkansas. I admit, I crowned Ryan Mallet before he had deserved it, and ultimately jumped the gun on him. Really in truly, I’m realizing how much development, and the perfect system would need to be implemented for his success at the pro-level. Mallet showed why scouts rave over him in the 1st half versus Alabama, but displayed his flaws in the 2nd half. I do not feel it was a particularly bad loss, yet it showed me that I had previously rated him unfairly too high. A mistake on my part from a scouting perspective. Nevertheless, Mallet still deserves to be included among the top 15 best players in next years upcoming draft.

DeAndre McDaniel
DeAndre McDaniel and the Clemson secondary got torched for the third consecutive week, and Im really having doubts about the leadership of the Tigers ballteam. So many close losses means they don’t have that winning edge, and I am not okay with my safety not being a leadership kind of guy. McDaniel is talented no doubt, just not worth the risk of a wasted 1st round pick.

Jerrod Johnson
Johnson continued to devalue his draft stock on last Thursday night’s game against Oklahoma State, as it seems he has reverted to his ways of old; not poised in the pocket, making bad decisions, forcing passes, and trying to succeed with his athletic ability rather than playing the Quarterback position. He really needs to improve on his pocket presence and decision making, if he wants to be drafted before rounds 5-7, where I feel he is most suited at.

Von Miller
After coming up big last season and leading the nation with 17 sacks, Miller has been MIA with zero sacks through 4 games. Miller has got to get more involved, and lead this defense back to playing at a higher level. Miller still has the best tools of any pass rusher in the draft, therefore Miller is only a (-2) in stock change. Nevertheless, he is not helping his draft stock with the lack of productivity, especially since it is his senior season, the season in which the most improvement is expected by scouts of players. Miller in my opinion is the most complete pass rushing OLB in the 2011 draft, and with a solid finish and combine could soar on many NFL team draft boards.

*Noteable additions to Big Board: Demarco Murray, Nate Solder, and Daniel Thomas

*Noteable dropoffs from the Big Board: DeAndre McDaniel, Von Miller,and Orlando Franklin 

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