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.
Titus Young/Austin Pettis (Boise St.)
Both of Kellen Moore’s top wideouts have NFL caliber speed, route running ability, ball skills, and hands. Pettis has a bigger frame and excels across the middle of the field, while Young is slighter leaner and more of a deep threat. Titus Young and Austin Pettis could work their ways into Day 2 at this point, and they are certain to provide whichever team that drafts them with production and promise.
Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin)
With the emergence of Wisconsin’s smash-mouth offense over the past two months, Gabe Carimi has vastly improved his draft stock. Carimi instead of being just a mammoth run blocker, seems to have improved his pass blocking techniques, looking more fluid and balanced protecting QB Scott Tolzien’s backside.
J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
Another Wisconsin high-riser, Watt isn’t your typical hard nosed, blue collar end. Watt works with great hand useage off the end, stays disciplined on the end, and also shows an improved jump off the line of scrimmage. A potential early second and definite third round pick.
Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)
Clayborn after dropping down boards has brought his stock back up with his strong play in recent weeks. Forcing constant pressure, forcing turnovers, making plays in both passing and running game, Clayborn is a great fit as a 4-3 strongside or weakside DE, with the possibility of also playing in a 1 gap 3-4 scheme. Clayborn last week kept Ohio State from running the ball, while also creating a consistent pass rush. Clayborn will no doubt be a top 20 pick, top 15 pending on the draft order.
Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State)
Last season when I watched Terrell Pryor, I saw an athlete; an athlete playing the quarterback position. This season more than ever, his progression as a quarterback (not an athlete) has been very evident. A quarterback with extreme athletic potential, Pryor, with one more year refining his skills, could develop into a solid NFL starter and pro-bowler with the talent he has. Pryor looks comfortable in the pocket, his footwork isn’t sketchy, and he is throwing with improved accuracy. Needs more big-time wins in clutch situations, but for the most part is a poised player, with playmaking ability.
Marvin McNutt (Iowa)
One of the more under the radar receiver prospects in the year’s coming draft, McNutt seems to always come up with the big catch or big play. Not extremely explosive, McNutt uses good body control and positioning, along with intelligent route running abilities to expose defenses and make catches. McNutt could go as high as the 4th round in the 2011 Draft.
Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)
Finally healthy and showing the burst we saw his freshman year, Williams could be a Day 1 running back prospect with a strong finish to the season, and a solid pro day. The weak running back class allows for two or three quick risers, and Williams could be one of those.
Mark Ingram (Alabama)
Stamina issues? Ingram was winded after the first drive against Georgia State…The duo of Trent Richardson and Ingram is formidable in college football, but now NFL scouts probably wonder what kind of toll Ingram’s sophomore season put on his legs, as well as his ability going forward having undergone a knee surgery. Ingram without a doubt should be the first running back taken, however it is not inconceivable if he is not.
Jake Locker (Washington)
Its difficult to play quarterback when everytime you drop back to pass, you have to run for your life! Locker has a terrible offensive line, thus leading to poor footwork, but that isn’t what scouts are most concerned about. What is concerning is the lack of visible improvement throughout his college career, improvement from the past season under Steve Sarkisian, and his poor accuracy. Locker is falling and falling, and could see himself in the 2nd round, as was the case with phenom Jimmy Clausen.
Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)
Lack of impact, blown off the ball by double teams, may not actually be the best fit as a 3-4 2 gap DE due to lack of 300+size, and not consistent enough a pass rusher to be a 4-3 or 3-4 1 gap defender. Still however is powerful player, plays through the whistle, and sets a hard edge. Workhorse player similar to a Richard Seymour, but less of a pass rusher and more of a run stopper. Still 1st Round talent but has room to move up.
*Noteable addition(s) to Big Board: Donta Hightower and Stefen Wisniewski
*Noteable dropoff(s) from the Big Board: Akeem Ayers and Leonard Hankerson