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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 11: 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

Jordan Todman
What Todman lacks in size, he more than acquits for with his between the tackles running strength, first step quickness, and downfield ball carrier vision. A true running back in the sense of necessary traits, Todman tore up a pretty good Pitt defense that was returning their best player Greg Romeus from injury. Keep an eye out for this junior running back, who with a good pro day might have some valuable draft stock.

A.J. Green
I had the opportunity to fly out this past weekend and watch the Auburn-Georgia rivalry game at Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. I was so excited to finally get to see Green in person, and wanted to see if he truly qualified as a top 5 draft prospect. Green did not disappoint. He’s more built/filled in when you see him in person; his arm length combined with hand strength allows him to get any pass within reason; and he is an intelligent route runner who understands how to expose a defense. A consistent deep threat, Green gave Auburn’s secondary fits, and also provided some magic for a hard fought loss on Georgia’s side.

Nick Fairley
The next player I was excited to see when I flew out to Auburn, was Nick Fairley. Fairley looked bigger than advertised, and also played up to that size. He has a knack for getting to the qb; he is very disruptive and a constant worry for offensive coordinators. Fairley has rare explosiveness off the snap for a big man, and is firm at the point of attack due to his very strong upper body; a high rising talent that deserves to go within the top 10 for sure.

Gabe Carimi
Wisconsin’s 83-20 drubbing of Indiana was constructed behind the stout blocking of highly touted LT Carimi. We all knew he could run block like he has done all season, however in this game he showed improved awareness in pass pro, as well as improved technique. Good to see from this talented prospect who will work his way up even further after his combine and pro-day.

Cameron Jordan
I keep hearing comparisons to last years surprise top ten pick and former Cal teammate Tyson Alualu, when I hear of Cameron Jordan. I don’t see it though…Jordan is much better. A polished 3-4 DE, Jordan has explosiveness that not many DE’s possess, combined with a good understanding of his role and responsibility within Cal’s system. Jordan will undoubtedly be a top 10 pick, barring any major setbacks

Jon Baldwin
I hate his lack of effort blocking in the run game, but love his downfield ball tracking skills. At 6’5 225 lbs, Baldwin reminds me of a young Plaxico Burress; with time and good coaching Baldwin could evolve into an elite NFL weapon. His pro-day and combine will be important, in order to gage his lateral quickness and true route running skills.

Leonard Hankerson
Built like former Miami Hurricane and now NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, Hankerson at 6’3 215 lbs could be the most prototypical of all the WRs in this year’s coming draft. A playmaker who can stretch the field, Hankerson does a little bit of what all the other WRs in this class can do; snag poorly thrown balls, go vertical on opponents, garner multiple coverage, and run good routes. Not an elite talent, but a dependable one for sure. Looking to break the bottom of the 1st round.

Ryan Kerrigan
A guy I have been high on all season long, Ryan Kerrigan continued his impressive play against the Michigan Wolverines with 5 and a half tackles for loss and 4 sacks. My vote for the potential steal of next years draft, Kerrigan has the talent backed up by a solid senior year of production; Top ten pick in my mind who has shown it all.
Stock Down

Greg Romeus
Once again, the injury bug bites the very talented Greg Romeus. Out for the season with a torn ACL, Romeus will now depend solely upon the combine and pro-day if even that. The long road to recovery begins now for the talented prospect.

Marcel Dareus
Although he will garner a top 15 pick, Dareus reminds me of former LSU DE Marcus Spears. Overrated by ESPN analysts because of exposure due to a BCS title win. He is no doubt a hell of an athlete, it’s just the mistakes he makes that drive scouts crazy. He’s a very good 3-4 DE prospect possibly a 4-3 interior, however I can name 15-20 guys I would draft ahead of this guy.

Brandon Burton
After receiving hype before the TCU game, the talk of Burton breaking into the 1st seem to have all but died after a follow-up loss to Notre Dame. I have yet to scout Burton, but what I’m hearing is that his play may be a result of weak opponents. Still, Burton is a physical corner that can get out and run, two things scouts look for. What I would like to see is his back pedal and ball skills.

*Noteable additions to Big Board: Jon Baldwin and Leonard Hankerson

*Noteable dropoffs from the Big Board: Daniel Thomas and Jake Locker


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