10 Players Who Helped or Hurt Their 2013 NFL Draft Stock on New Year's Day

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 2, 2013

10 Players Who Helped or Hurt Their 2013 NFL Draft Stock on New Year's Day

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    The New Year's Day bowl games are now a thing of the past, as we were blessed with many late-second finishes and some of the better games of the bowl season. Although while we were watching the games for our own enjoyment, some of the players were treating the game as their last shot to make a case for their 2013 NFL draft stock.

    Many players will soon have a tough decision to make on whether they would like to enter the draft. Some simply don't have a choice, as seniors are going to be thrown into the next level whether they like it or not. Either way, bowl games give these guys a chance to make that one last impression with everybody watching.

    There were many key guys that played yesterday and will soon be playing on Sundays.

    Here are 10 players who impacted their draft stock the most. Whether it was good or bad may be a completely different story.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

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    Helped His Stock

    I have been critical about Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray throughout his career. The awesome numbers have always been there, but he is somebody that has folded under pressure and has never been able to get the job done in big games.

    His performance against Nebraska was incredible. He threw for 429 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs' victory, setting a new school record for touchdown passes in a bowl game. Keep in mind, he did this against Nebraska, a team that had the No. 1-ranked pass defense in the country.

    I think Murray would benefit from another year in college, but this performance showed that he is clearly better than guys such as Tyler Bray and Mike Glennon.

    Due to Murray's live arm, mobility in the pocket and ability to sell the play-action well, he could be a steal in this year’s draft if he decides to come out.

Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

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    Helped His Stock

    Besides Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov receiving attention for having a shaved rose on the side of his head, the senior came up with a big play in the game against Wisconsin.

    On a third down play, Skov did a great job of shedding his block and bringing down Montee Ball on a play that could have resulted in a touchdown.

    The play earned many positive reactions on Twitter, including this one from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News/Bay Area News Group:

    Shayne Skov just fought his way through a block to make that third down tackle. He's good.

    — Mark Purdy (@MercPurdy) January 1, 2013

    The Stanford linebacker hasn't been talked about being a high draft pick, but he should be considered a sleeper for many teams. He is a tough-nosed player who attacks the ball well and does a good job at the point of attack when taking on blocks. His great instincts allow him to be a terrific run defender and he is effective in blitz packages.

    Skov not only has a cool name, but he is somebody you would like to have on your NFL team.

J.T. Floyd, CB, Michigan

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    Hurt His Stock

    J.T. Floyd had one last chance to prove himself to NFL scouts in the game against Nebraska. However, due to a violation of team rules, the senior cornerback was suspended for the big game. It is really hard to make an impact on anything when you aren't even on the field.

    Floyd was arguably the best cover guy on this Michigan roster, leading the team with five pass deflections. But even with his solid play as a collegiate player, he isn't somebody that was high on the draft boards due to his smaller frame and lack of elite speed and athleticism.

    Michigan had the second-best pass defense in the country this year, but surrendered 341 passing yards to South Carolina with Floyd out of the game.

    Without the big game for him to create some buzz, Floyd is somebody that could go undrafted come April.

Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

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    Helped His Stock

    Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame is widely considered the best tight end prospect in this draft. However, after the performance against Wisconsin, I'm not so sure if Zach Ertz shouldn't be considered the first big receiver taken off the board.

    Just watch this play and tell me the Cardinal tight end can't succeed at the next level. He finished the game with three receptions for 61 yards, with majority of the production coming from that ridiculous 43-yard bomb.

    Ertz is a team player who will do whatever it takes to win. With his large frame at 6'6", 252 pounds, he gets down the field in a hurry and obviously has the ability to adjust well in the air for the football.

    Eifert has the bigger name heading into the draft, but if a team needs a tight end, Ertz certainly won't be a bad consolation prize.

Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

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    Hurt His Stock

    Kawann Short is really a frustrating player and probably drives NFL draft scouts nuts.

    The Purdue defensive tackle has all of the tools to be the next big thing at the position, but lacks consistency and doesn't seem to have that mean streak you would expect from his position.

    In the game against Northwestern, Short would show you great quickness off the ball and would make a play in the backfield. And then other times, it would appear he gave up on the play and wasn't as interested as you once saw. If he isn't able to dominate against a team full of future journalists, it makes you wonder how well he would do in the NFL.

    With great defensive tackles entering the draft such as Star Lotulelei, John Jenkins and Johnathan Hankins, Short could find himself slipping a lot further than he once thought.

Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina

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    Helped His Stock

    If you didn't know who Ace Sanders was before his breakout game against Michigan, there is a good chance you know who he is now. The junior wide receiver led South Carolina with nine receptions for 92 yards and two scores. He also returned three punts for 66 yards, which includes a return that went for 63 of those.

    Due to his route-running skills and ability to make plays after the catch, Sanders could be an interesting prospect if he decides to leave school early. He would provide a team with a terrific slot receiver, and according to Scott Wright of Draft Countdown, Sanders deserves to be in elite company.

    Everyone's talking about Tavon Austin and rightfully so, but don't sleep on Ace Sanders of #SouthCarolina as an all-purpose weapon. Top 100.

    — Scott Wright (@DraftCountdown) January 1, 2013

    The South Carolina wideout would come a lot cheaper than Austin, but he is a versatile player that could help out in a team in many different ways.

Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State

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    Hurt His Stock

    Joseph Randle had his chance for a breakout game against an underrated Purdue defensive line, but he didn't quite live up to expectations.  The junior running back rushed for only 66 yards on 17 carries and didn't find the end zone for the second straight game.

    Randle continues to avoid the question whether he will leave Oklahoma State a year early, but he is somebody that could use another year of school. Despite his small frame at 6'1", 200 pounds, Randle has the ability to run between the tackles and his vision of the field is incredible. He is also somebody that could help out in the receiving department, as he has caught more than 70 passes in the last two seasons combined.

    However, even in a weak running back class, Randle simply hasn't shown that he has that one thing that would put him above the pack. Guys such as Giovani Bernard, Eddie Lacy and even Montee Ball will go before the Oklahoma State star. Another year of school could make him the top back in 2014 if he continues to work on his craft.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

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    Helped His Stock

    Taylor Lewan has drawn a lot of comparisons to former Michigan great Jake Long, who was an offensive lineman for Michigan and also wears No. 77. But those aren't the only two reasons he has been receiving a lot of credit. They both have extremely quick feet, the size to simply bully the defensive lineman in front of them and they both play with a mean streak that you would like to see from this position.

    Lewan had a huge task against South Carolina great Jadeveon Clowney and he completely dominated the future first-round pick. Often keeping him in check throughout the game, Matt Miller of B/R sees the top offensive tackle as a top 10 pick this season.

    Have to give Lewan a ton of credit for the job he's done against an unreal athlete. He's solidified his stock as a top-10 pick for me.

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 1, 2013

    There isn't anybody who improved their stock more than Lewan on New Year's Day.

Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

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    Hurt His Stock

    Much how J.T. Floyd hurt his draft stock for being suspended, Johnthan Banks missed majority of the game against Northwestern with an injury. According to Bob Carkadon of HailState.com, Banks left with a nasty cut to his leg.

    Johnthan Banks had "a massive gash in the side of his leg," according to Mullen. Had to get it stitched up. Banks wanted to play.

    — Bob Carskadon (@bobcarskadon) January 1, 2013

    This shouldn't affect the Mississippi State cornerback to where he should be concerned falling out of the first round. However, Banks hasn't exactly been himself throughout the last month, giving up a few more big plays than usual and looking lost at times in the secondary.

    Banks will continue to receive respect as one of the better corners in this draft, but don't expect him to jump Dee Milliner or even Xavier Rhodes.

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan

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    Helped His Stock

    Robinson proved that he could actually be a successful running back in the game against South Carolina. He received 23 carries and rushed for 100 yards, looking like somebody who could really be a valuable football player on Sundays. He was explosive, made many Gamecock defenders miss in the open field and looked like he has played the position for quite some time.

    Some may try to turn Robinson into a defensive player or a slot receiver. Regardless of which position he ends up at, he was able to use a big game against a respected defense to his advantage. With him able to succeed against the Gamecocks, it makes you question if Robinson could really make an effortless transition to his new position.

    Don't expect Robinson to be taken in the first couple rounds, but with his versatility and playmaking ability, "Shoelace" could make some NFL team very happy on draft day.