2012 NFL Draft: Updated Stock Report for Top Prospects
While a rookie from last year, Cam Newton, competes for the Madden cover vote, this year's draftees also look to see their stocks rise and fall in the days leading up to the draft.
The month of April is one of the hardest to predict, as NFL teams take a last look at players' tapes, combine performances and interviews.
I can't speak to why NFL higher-ups see things on tape now that they didn't see before, but it's always interesting to track where the stocks of the top prospects are going.
Of course, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III's draft stocks aren't going up or down—rather, this article is dedicated to the players who are moving slots as the selection process approaches.
Here are seven of those top prospects.
Stock: Way up
Analysis: A lockdown corner at the SEC level, Stephon Gilmore is getting late attention as the second-best defensive back in this draft.
He wowed evaluators at the interviews and can corroborate his intangibles with a good tape and a solid workout.
Don't be surprised if Gilmore ends up in the top 10, but I think the top 15 is a safe bet for now.
Analysis: The main problem with Justin Blackmon is that there are no "Wow!" moments on his game tapes.
The Oklahoma State receiver elected to not participate in all of the events at the combine and jeopardized his draft stock in the process.
Some scouts are finding issues with Blackmon's work ethic and can't make a clear distinction that he is the best receiver on the board.
Analysis: Ryan Tannehill is a quarterback and will be overdrafted because of how important his position is, but the passer is certainly making even more waves for himself as a potential top-five pick.
A consideration at third overall (a team would, conceivably, trade up to Minnesota's slot and nab Tannehill) and fourth overall (the Cleveland Browns), this Texas A&M product is creating a true buzz.
Tannehill could end as a top-15 pick, which is still relatively high compared to what his actual draft grades are.
Analysis: A number of teams have completely crossed this troubled defensive back off of their draft boards.
Janoris Jenkins' stock is slipping as more information leaks about the corner's shady personal life filled with drugs and women.
As talented as he is, teams worry that he'll be an unstable personality in the locker room, and some clubs just want to avoid the headache altogether.
Stock: Way down
Analysis: Quinton Coples looked like a surefire top-10 pick until teams went back and noticed the defensive end's hot and cold motor.
Coples gave a subpar effort during his final season at North Carolina and can't just rest on his athleticism to get himself in the top few picks.
Look for this UNC product to fall out of the top 15 and maybe even the top 20 as he slides down boards.
Analysis: After Claiborne scored a four on his Wonderlic exam, many analysts figured that teams would drop the LSU cornerback on their draft boards.
This didn't happen, because Claiborne is the best defensive back in this draft and will go in the top five barring something unforeseen.
Look for his poor Wonderlic exam to have no bearing on both his NFL draft stock and eventually his performance in the league.
Analysis: On tape, Upshaw doesn't blow anyone away with dominance from the pass-rushing linebacker spot.
Past that, this Alabama linebacker has scared some teams away in the interview process and may fall out of the top 20.